New curriculum in B.C. schools

B.C. education minister says New Year ushers in a more flexible, relevant curriculum

This New Year is bringing in opportunities for new ways of learning

This past fall, B.C. students and teachers continued to prepare for success in a changing world as classrooms began phasing in new curriculum.

This new curriculum still focuses on the basics – reading, writing and arithmetic. But those are being taught in such a way that students also learn the collaboration, critical thinking and communications skills they need to succeed in our changing world.

Teachers, students and parents all benefit when learning becomes more flexible. If your child is passionate about space travel, starting a business or producing videos, teachers can tap into that passion and help students build their learning around it.

Why do we need to change? In part, because technology is transforming the way we live and it’s changing the way kids learn. With information at the press of a button, the education system that worked for us years ago is not as effective as it used to be for today’s young learners.

What changes can you expect to see? For one, students are increasingly learning by doing, with more opportunities for hands-on experience. There is also new content, such as Aboriginal perspectives weaved throughout all grade levels and updated standards in math and sciences.

Teachers and students are already benefiting from the new curriculum, for example:

• Entrepreneurial high school students holding a fundraising campaign to purchase virtual reality technology. Their first project? A virtual reality roller coaster.

• Cafeterias being used as collaborative classrooms as students teach each other how to code for apps and computer programs – proving learning happens anywhere, any time.

• A history class digging trenches to help understand a soldier’s experience during the First World War.

In September 2016, K-9 curriculum will move beyond this year’s introduction and be implemented in all B.C. school districts. Also, this coming September the new grades 10-to-12 curriculum will be available for teachers to use on an optional basis. In September 2017, the full K-12 curriculum will be in place.

The curriculum is changing so young people get the best education possible, so they in turn can help support growing communities.

Mike BernierMinister of Education