Alberta education minister directs school boards to review curriculum after rebuke of ‘offensive’ test

Alberta Education Minister David Eggen is directing the province’s teachers to re-evaluate their curriculum after a test related to Indigenous history was highly criticized last week.

“I’ve instructed all my school boards to look at what they’re teaching, what they’re using, and take a good hard second look,” Eggen said Saturday.

The minister said he has told school boards to review all instructional materials related to residential schools and ask whether the content is appropriate and true.

Eggen made the comments after giving a speech at a conference at Grant MacEwan University, where teachers were learning about coding curriculum.

Eggen said he was sorry but grateful that a student from a St. Paul, Alta., program exposed the test on social media last week, alerting the government to its offensive nature.

“It was difficult, it was painful, I was a bit angry,” he said. “It underlines the absolute importance of building new curriculum.”

The multiple choice social studies test asked students to check off what they believed to be a “positive effect” of residential schools on Indigenous students. Answers included “children became civilized” and “children were taught manners.”

Eggen said Thursday he was “appalled to see such hurtful and offensive material given to an Alberta student.”

The St. Paul Education Regional Division and the Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC), responsible for providing the material, apologized.

Eggen said he has told the school districts to redouble their efforts in re-evaluating material “for us to be responsible and for us to be teaching both history and who we are as a culture in an honest and an equitable way.”

Alberta schools are already undergoing a curriculum review. Eggen said he’s also asked school boards to ensure the new material aligns with recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that aims to improve content on Indigenous history and culture.



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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.

History

Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
Geography

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

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