SQE: Society for Quality Education

Media Release from the Society for Quality Education
Attention Education Reporters, Editors

Alberta gets an A for Its Science Curriculum in Cross-Canada Comparison

TORONTO – June 15, 2005

Alberta gets top marks for its science curriculum according to a review just released by the Society for Quality Education (SQE). Teaching Science in the 21st Century: An Examination of Canadian Science Curricula from Kindergarten to Grade 12 looks at the science curricula in use in the ten provinces.

The authors, three university professors and a retired high-school teacher, assigned an overall grade in much the same way as would be done in the case of student lab reports, term papers, theses, or in the case of peer review of grant applications or papers submitted for publication in scientific journals. Alberta was judged to have the best science curriculum (A) followed closely by British Columbia (A minus); the Atlantic Provinces were judged to have the poorest curricula (an overall rating of C); and Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan were judged to have curricula of intermediate quality (B).

Dr. Case Vanderwolf, the principal author of the study, commented that “Most of the science curricula emphasize ‘child-centred’ teaching methods.” “Saskatchewan’s elementary science curriculum was actually very high quality,” he noted; but he cautioned that among all the Canadian curricula, “There were examples of outright errors and ideas that are taught as fact but not supported by scientific evidence.”

With today’s anticipated release of the Student Achievement Indicators Program Science III results, it will be interesting to see how the provinces fare. In past tests the quality of the curricula appeared to correlate with results obtained by students. Historically, Alberta and British Columbia students had performed better than those in other provinces, but the Atlantic provinces performed poorly.

The Society for Quality Education is a charitable, non-profit organization dedicated to providing facts about quality education. The Society works to advance public and private education in Canada by disseminating authoritative information on educational governance and methodology. The Society is funded entirely by private donations. The full report, as well as more information about the Society, can be found at www.societyforqualityeducation.org.

Contacts for this Media Release:

Doretta Wilson, Executive Director
Toronto, Ontario
Phone: 416-231-7247 (bus)
           416-526-1653 (cell)

Dr. Case Vanderwolf
London, Ontario
Phone: 519-318-2103 (cell)

For further information, please contact Malkin Dare at mdare@sympatico.ca.

SQE: Providing the Facts about Quality Education