British Columbia

B.C. teachers to get training and prep time for new curriculum

B.C. teachers will get training and time to learn about the new curriculum that started being phased in this year.

New curriculum will be phased in over three years at all K-12 classrooms starting this year

Teachers will get paid hours to prepare for the new curriculum, which will be phased in at all B.C. classrooms over three years. (Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty)

B.C. teachers will get time and training to learn about the new curriculum that started being phased in this year, said B.C. Minister of Education Mike Bernier Monday at the first fall sitting of the legislature.

The curriculum, which teachers have the option of using in kindergarten to Grade 9 classes this year, will be fully implemented in all schools in three years.

Teachers had been asking for support making the transition, which was developed in consultation with more than 100 teachers, said Bernier in a release.

"The new curriculum was designed by teachers for teachers and these training supports will make sure they can bring the new curriculum to life in the classrooms."

The support includes 10 new hours of non-instructional time for public school teachers to learn about the new curriculum this year, as well as funding for local learning sessions for more than 2,000 teachers.

The B.C. Teachers' Federation, which has long had an acrimonious relationship with the B.C. Liberal government, welcomed the funding announcement — but said there are still unsettled concerns from last year's strike.

"For this change to be successful, there needs to be additional funding for updated learning resources, smaller class sizes, and more manageable class composition," said BCTF president Jim Iker.

The new curriculum focuses on collaboration and critical thinking, as well as the core subjects: reading, writing and arithmetic, and includes more information on Aboriginal history and the immigrant experience.

The training will cost $1 million this year, and over three years the government will spend $100 million on time for teachers to prepare for the curriculum, the release said.

With files from Richard Zussman

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