< Back to Blog

Talking to Albertans about new social studies curriculum

Posted on

Alberta’s government is beginning a transparent and collaborative process to engage Albertans and education partners to redraft kindergarten to Grade 6 (K-6) social studies curriculum. 

Using the valuable feedback Albertans have provided over the last two years, Alberta Education is redrafting the K-6 social studies curriculum to ensure content builds students’ critical thinking and communication skills, enhances Indigenous, multicultural and francophone perspectives and is age and developmentally appropriate. To inform the redrafting process, the ministry is engaging with Albertans and education partners through a comprehensive and phased approach. 

“Social studies is a critical component of Alberta’s K-12 curriculum, which is why I am proud to announce a new plan to engage with Albertans. As minister of education, I envision a social studies curriculum that will empower students to develop important life skills, such as problem-solving and critical thinking, while fostering their ability to articulate ideas and understand diverse world views. I am confident this engagement process with teachers, parents, Indigenous, Métis, multicultural and francophone leaders, subject matter experts, school boards and others will build a comprehensive curriculum that sets our students up for a lifetime of success.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Education

Earlier this summer, the education minister met with various education partners to build an understanding of the new engagement approach and process for curriculum development going forward.

Alberta Education is beginning the next phase of engagement and will gather information about what Albertans would like students to learn in the social studies curriculum through a survey and discussion guide online, which will be available until Oct. 16.

This fall, Alberta Education will meet with education partners, teachers, multicultural organizations, Indigenous and francophone communities, and other education specialists to inform the development of the scope and sequence of K-12 social studies curriculum and the content of draft K-6 social studies curriculum. Curriculum scope and sequence is a planning tool for curriculum developers that outlines the focus for student learning from kindergarten to Grade 12 and informs the development of curriculum content.

In early 2024, Alberta Education will begin public engagement with Albertans, where they will have the opportunity to provide feedback on key learnings within the K-12 social studies curriculum and view the draft K-6 social studies curriculum to provide additional feedback.

Throughout the 2024-25 school year, teachers will be able to pilot refined draft K-6 social studies curriculum in classrooms and provide further feedback as part of the final phase of engagement.

Collaborating with education partners and Albertans at different stages of the engagement process will ensure their knowledge and perspectives are considered at the right time. This targeted approach will allow the government to hear from a diverse range of stakeholders and leverage their expertise for curriculum development and implementation.

“Teachers must play a key role in curriculum development in order for implementation to succeed. Comprehensive, thoughtful and authentic engagement with teachers, education partners and the public is critical to the process. This new plan puts social studies curriculum development back on track and headed in a better direction. It provides a model for moving forward in other subject areas and on other issues facing education.”

Jason Schilling, president, Alberta Teachers’ Association

“Alberta’s students deserve a rich and diverse curriculum that supports them as they become contributing global citizens. ASCA’s member school councils welcome this meaningful collaboration to redraft the K-6 social studies curriculum through broad consultation and thorough review. Understanding the complexities of classrooms, the timeline for consultation, review and validation is very much appreciated.

Brandi Rai, president, Alberta School Councils’ Association

“We appreciate the engagement and responsiveness of Alberta Education in designing the new social studies curriculum. This is good news for teachers and school boards. We all have a shared goal of quality curriculum and its successful implementation and learning for students.”

Laura Hack, board chair, Calgary Board of Education

“As a school division, we are so pleased that the expert voice of teachers is going to play a significant role in shaping the new social studies curriculum. This will help ensure that our students learn age-appropriate content that is meaningful and that helps prepare them to be active citizens. We are also pleased that families will have an opportunity to provide feedback early next year. These diverse opportunities for engagement will result in a strong learning experience for our students.” 

Sandra Palazzo, board chair, Edmonton Catholic Schools

Quick facts

  • Social studies is an interdisciplinary subject area that includes content about history, geography, economics, government and civics. Social studies education can build active, informed and responsible citizens who contribute to their communities and are knowledgeable about rights, responsibilities and decision-making.

Related information K to 6 curriculum renewal

Online and French version

Minister's Letter to Parents re: Resuming engagement on draft K-6 Social Studies curriculum / Reprendre le dialogue sur l’ébauche du curriculum d’études sociales M à 6