The Alumni have been working on a special project this last quarter. They have been reviewing the new, draft Social Studies curriculum from the BC Ministry of Education. The curriculum has been studied by teachers and other educational professionals. Now the BCHFS thinks it is time for our team of social studies veterans – the Alumni – to respond. Here are their thoughts:
We would like to support the new curriculum, because we appreciate the student-choice and the project based learning approaches. We feel that it will be engaging for students and will help them learn by fostering greater autonomy and critical thinking. We liked the new “curricular competencies”. Though, in the future we want to see the continued focus on applicable life skills–such as learning how to communicate with others, and the ability to make educated, critical decisions when presented with information.
Though overall we support the new curriculum, we would like a greater emphasis on, and involvement of students in current events and discussion about how these contemporary issues link to the past. We would also like to learn many perspectives on issues, from all sides, and have students decide for themselves. We feel the critical thinking and questioning process of research is highly valuable and are glad to see the curriculum is moving this way.
On the other hand, because this process will be so much more open to student choice and interpretation, it may be harder for teachers to standardize learning across the Province.
This statement will also be sent to the Ministry along with a ringing endorsement of how well the Heritage Fairs Program fits into the Ministry’s new goals!