COLUMN: 2016 brings opportunities for new ways of learning

The curriculum is changing so young people get the best education possible, so they in turn can help support growing communities.

Mike Bernier

Guest Comment

Last fall, B.C. students and teachers continued to prepare for success in a changing world as classrooms began phasing in new curriculum that will make B.C.’s world-leading education system even better.

The new curriculum still focuses on the basics – reading, writing and arithmetic. But those are being taught in a way that students also learn the collaboration, critical thinking and communications skills they need to succeed in our changing world.

Teachers, students and parents all benefit when learning becomes more flexible. If your child is passionate about space travel, starting a business or producing videos, teachers can tap into that passion and help students build their learning around it.

Our education system is already recognized as one of the top three internationally. Why do we need to change? In part, because technology is transforming the way we live and it’s changing the way kids learn. With information at the press of a button, the education system that worked for us years ago is not as effective as it used to be for today’s young learners.

With labour stability in the classroom, parents expect us to focus on making sure their children have the skills they need to thrive in college, university and the workplace. We continue to work with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and other educational partners to phase in new curriculum and support teachers.

What changes can you expect to see? For one, students are increasingly learning by doing, with more opportunities for hands-on experience. There is also new content, such as Aboriginal perspectives weaved throughout all grade levels and updated standards in math and sciences.

I’ve toured many schools throughout the province and it’s encouraging to see innovative teachers and students already benefiting from the new curriculum.

In September 2016, K-9 curriculum will move beyond this year’s introduction and be implemented in all B.C. school districts. Also, next September the new grades 10-to-12 curriculum will be available for teachers to use on an optional basis. In September 2017, the full K-12 curriculum will be in place.

We all have a role to play – parents, teachers, and education partners. The work we do today will have a lasting effect for decades. Imagine what today’s students could be doing five, 10, 20 years from now.

The curriculum is changing so young people get the best education possible, so they in turn can help support growing communities.

B.C.’s continued strong economic growth and fiscal discipline means that we can return dividends that make a real difference for B.C. students and parents.

•••

Mike Bernier is B.C.’s minister of education.

 

Just Posted

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

Victoria housing provider launches crisis prevention program to combat homelessness

Pacifica Housing aims to address challenges before tenants risk evictions

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

Most Read