Our children are growing up in a very different world than we did. Technology has changed the way we think, learn, work and live. As such our educational system must adapt to this rapidly evolving world.
This has not been lost on Alberta Education. The past few years have seen a number of new educational initiatives by Alberta Education, including curriculum redesign, and the document “Inspiring Education”.
As part of the curriculum redesign now in progress, 3 priorities have been identified.
Students of the future should be:
1. Engaged Thinkers: Students will be critical thinkers and have the ability to use technology to learn, create and communicate.
2. Ethical Citizens: Students will be empathetic, open minded and compassionate, able to work together with others as they contribute to their community. (environmental stewardship)
3. Entrepreneurial Spirits: Students will be creative in their solutions to problems, look for innovative solutions, and have confidence to make tough, but necessary decisions.
To assist in this curriculum redesign, the Alberta Council for Environmental Education (ACEE) has created the document “Alberta Environmental Education Framework: Pathways to Environmental Literacy in Alberta Schools, Supporting Alberta Education’s Curriculum Redesign”. This document identified 3 main competency indicators for environmental literacy and education:
1. Interconnections: Students should learn about the interconnectedness of our ecological systems, and how they are also intricately connected to our social and economic systems.
2. Diversity: Students should recognize diversity in environmental and social perspectives among cultural and geographic boundaries
3. Responsibility and Citizenship: Students should gain the skills to investigate, evaluate, and take actions on issues pertaining to this social-ecological interconnectedness.
Alberta Tomorrow (www.albertatomorrow.ca) is a learning tool that fulfills the 3 priorities of Alberta Education’s curriculum redesign and the 3 main competencies of environmental education identified by ACEE.
Alberta Tomorrow is a tool that shows the interconnectedness of our environment, society and economy. Through cutting edge GIS technology and the most recent satellite imagery, this educational tool enables us to see how a change in land use results in changes in environmental, social and economic factors. Historical changes, as well as future changes in land-use, can be correlated with changes in the environmental, social and economic variables.
Students are able to take that knowledge and translate it into a plan for Alberta’s future that takes into account the diversity of priorities found in Alberta. Students must create an innovative solution – a land-use plan that balances environmental, economic and social values of society, while taking into account views of diverse stakeholders.
Lesson plans are available for grades ranging from 1 – 11 with curriculum connections to the current Alberta Education Program of Studies that also fit perfectly with the vision of the Alberta Education Curriculum Redesign.
For more information see:
Alberta Tomorrow: www.albertatomorrow.ca
Inspiring Education: http://education.alberta.ca/department/ipr/inspiringeducation.aspx