Yukon prepares for overhaul in school curriculum

Yukon's department of education is preparing for a big overhaul in its school curriculum. The goal is to modernize instruction, by emphasizing students' learning skills rather than lesson content.

'It really is a shift in the way the teacher works'

Nicole Morgan says the education department wants to "start a conversation" with teachers, parents and others next week, about what the new curriculum should look like. (CBC)

Yukon teachers are preparing for a big shift in the way students learn, as the territory revamps the school curriculum.

It's being done in conjunction with other jurisdictions across the country that have already begun to implement reforms.

"In the past, [school curriculum] was heavily focused on content with a lesser focus on the skills of learning," said Nicole Morgan, Yukon's director of Learning Support Services. "Curriculum redesign across Canada is pulling those learning skills to the forefront, and content gets a lesser focus."

"It really is a shift in the way the teacher works," she said.

According to Morgan, the new approach emphasizes the so-called "five 'C's": collaboration, creative thinking, critical thinking, communication, and "character" education. But the specifics of what that will look like in Yukon are still being worked out, she said.

Yukon uses B.C. school curriculum, and that province is already making changes. But Morgan says there's opportunity right now to adjust those changes to meet Yukon's specific needs.

The department is aiming to "start a conversation" next week with teachers, parents, school councils, and others to figure out what Yukoners want, and when to start implementing the new primary and secondary curricula.

"We do want to explore how we can have more Northern, more Yukon First Nations perspectives in our curriculum," Morgan said. "We don't have the map for what that's going to look like yet."

Morgan said many Yukon teachers are already on-board with the new "student-centred" approach, and have been adapting their lessons over the last few years.

"They feel like the curriculum is catching up to them right now," she said.


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