Educators know all curricula need timely revision and many are concerned about the most recent draft K-6 curriculum proposed by the government of Alberta. The wheels began turning over a decade ago for a comprehensive K-12 curriculum review and rewrite, beginning with the “Inspiring Education” framework of 2009 under PC Premier Stelmach and Education Minister Hancock, followed by a 2013 Ministerial Order under PC Premier Redford and Education Minister Johnson. Prior to these directives, curriculum in Alberta was updated for individual subject areas at various times. The comprehensive K-12 approach came to fruition in 2016 under NDP Premier Notley and Education Minister Eggen with a planned 6-year curriculum writing project involving hundreds of educators meeting in expert working groups. A K-4 draft curriculum was completed and presented in draft form for piloting in 2018 but was cancelled following the Provincial election by the UCP, and was replaced by a 12-member advisory committee charged with developing a new K-6 draft proposal. That proposed curriculum has received much criticism from teachers, administrators, school divisions, and education professors. Our two speakers, both worked on the previously proposed, now rejected, curriculum revision and have an insider’s view of the 2016-2019 process. They will take us inside the controversy, sharing the process used, and outline what many points of debate and conflict are about.

Speakers: Ken Rogers and Kelly Frewin

Ken Rogers retired in 2018 from Lethbridge Collegiate Institute after a 32-year career in music teaching. He taught band, choir, guitar and general music courses at middle, junior and high school levels, as well as some elementary school music. He has taught at the post-secondary level including music studio performance, choir, and music curriculum and instruction courses at the U of L. He has had a keen interest in music curriculum through his teaching career. In 2016 he was appointed as a member of the Alberta Education Arts Curriculum Working Group focusing on grades 9-12 music and served until the group’s suspension in July 2019. Ken has been involved in many community music programs – McKillop United Church, the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra, Lethbridge Community band, Lethbridge Big Band, Vox Musica Chorus, and various musical theatre groups. He holds a B. Music and a B. Ed. from the U of L and a graduate diploma in Fine Arts from the U of C.

A Lethbridge educator for 20 years, Kelly Frewin received a B of Fine Arts 1996 & a B of Ed 2001 & received the Gold Medal from the U of L. He taught grades 5/6 multi-age classroom for 2 years, then transferred to Wilson Middle School, where he taught drama plus academic classes. In 2007 Kelly moved to Lethbridge Collegiate Institute to teach the drama program. In 2010 Kelly took a yearlong secondment position in the U of L faculty of Education teaching practicum students and future drama instructors. He returned to Lethbridge Collegiate Institute and continues to lead the drama program. Kelly joined the Provincial Curriculum Working Group in 2016, consulting with Alberta Education on the new curriculum. This work ended in 2019 when the curriculum was rejected. Currently he is working on his Master of Education thesis, focusing on using drama as a tool to address social issues in the school and community.

YouTube Live link: https://youtu.be/Dr_PFD90QX4

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