The Ministry of Education is promising curriculum changes that will steer student brains away from memory work and a heavy workload of predetermined learning outcomes and instead engage classrooms in more critical-thinking processes and personalized learning that's geared to produce a better understanding of concepts.
The ministry's plans are outlined in the Transforming Curriculum discussion paper posted on the government website www.bced.gov.bc.ca, and Prince George teachers are saying the sooner those changes take effect, the better it will be for our students.
"We're definitely in favour of curriculums that aren't a mile wide and an inch deep, and that has been an issue we've had with a number of the curriculums that have been put out," said Pearce.
"That's the kind of learning that's going to make people adaptable. Programs that are built around learning things for today's jobs are not the best long-term thing we can do for our students."
Pearce said the government is paying the price for cutbacks to the number of educators formerly involved in developing curriculum content. Pearce said teacher input on those committees has been drastically reduced over the past decade.
"Prior to 2002, there would be large amounts of active teachers working on curriculum development along with a pretty healthy crew at the Ministry of Education, but the ministry has largely been gutted of people responsible for curriculum development," said Pearce.
"If you compare the amount of curriculum development that's been done in the past decade in B.C. compared to what's being done in the rest of Western Canada, we've done very little work in that area, and that's largely because those positions don't exist in the ministry. They were cut to save funds."
Cindy Heitman, district principal of curriculum and instruction with School District 57, was unavailable for comment Wednesday.