New B.C. curriculum includes residential schools, Asian immigrant experience

September 1, 2015

By CBC News

British Columbia’s latest education experiment starts this fall with the launch of a new curriculum that will be phased in over the next three years.

The curriculum has Aboriginal perspectives integrated at all grade levels, and includes the history and legacy of the residential school system.

It also has new content on the historical experiences of South and East Asian immigrants, and a renewed emphasis on environmental sciences, according to a government release.

‘Music, hockey or dinosaurs’

Education Minister Mike Bernier said students from kindergarten to Grade 9 will kick off the transition to the new curriculum, which he says offers flexibility while focusing on the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic.

That “flexibility” means students can learn about core subjects while doing projects related to their own interests, “such as music, hockey, or dinosaurs,” said the release.

Bernier says the new curriculum aims to connect students with the collaborative and critical skills they need to succeed.

It will be phased in over three years:

  • 2015-16: Teachers have the option of using new curriculum in kindergarten to Grade 9 classes.
  • 2016-17: All classes will use new curriculum for kindergarten to Grade 9.
  • 2017-18: Entire K-12 curriculum will be “phased in by areas and grade levels.”

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