August 31, 2018
The retrograde move by the Province to rescind the 2015 Health curriculum, in favour of the 2010 one (called by the government the ‘2014’ one) with Fall 2018’s significant 1998 material inserts, needs to be resisted. Teachers federations have committed to support teachers continuing to teach 2015, and I believe that the OCDSB should do no less in terms of a declaration.
However my examination of the various curriculum versions involved suggests that 2015 can largely be credibly taught without violating 2010/1998, if a sufficiently broad interpretation of that document version is adopted. Indeed the 2010/1998 ‘interim’ version of the document removes a lot of the detailed guidance 2015 offered to teachers, leaving what details could or should be taught under Growth and Development actually ambiguous or up in the air. In many cases a defensible interpretation of 2010/1998 permits the teaching of much of most of what is in 2015. Spending the time for professional educators to compare and contrast these versions and what can defensibly be taught using the interim version may be a worthwhile investment, for the sake of the OCDSB and for that of other DSB struggling in the same ways.
Back in July I proposed the motion below, but this was before government teacher sanctions and the interim curriculum appeared. I still like it, as I still don’t see why 2015 can’t be largely taught as all curricula are usually minima, not maxima, and are usually treated as permissive of expansion and more in-depth treatment by educators based on their judgement. Perhaps the motion requires updating now, but what may be key now is dialoguing with teachers, and indeed direct DSN support of the analysis of teaching options vis-a-vis the current curriculum landscape.
The various curriculum versions are available here for comparison:
2015 Grades 1-8 (rescinded) – https://creatingconsentcultureorg.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/health1to8-1.pdf
2015 Grades 9-12 (not rescinded) – https://creatingconsentcultureorg.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/health9to12-1.pdf
2018 Grades 1-8 Interim, reissued 2010 (last used in 2014) with 1998 replacements – http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/healthcurr18.pdf
2010 Grades 1-8 (original) – https://creatingconsentcultureorg.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/health18curr2010.pdf
A Motion on Reversing the Rescinding of the 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum
WHEREAS the Province has rescinded the Health and Physical Education Curriculum in place since 2015 and returned Ontario to what is universally acknowledged to be an obsolete 1998 Curriculum,
WHEREAS the OCDSB agrees with expert opinion that teaching the 2015 Curriculum as it was meant to be taught is necessary to keep students safe, to teach respect for self and respect for others, including other ways of being, and in order to more fully realize its vision of a truly inclusive School Board,
WHEREAS a majority of Public School Boards in Ontario, teachers federations, and many Ontarians, are in favour of retaining the 2015 Curriculum,
WHEREAS the 2015 Curriculum was the product of both Province-wide consultation and child development expert input over several months,
WHEREAS the mysteriously stated reason for this rescinding is a purported lack of consultation with some parents years ago, but where the nature of this purported lack has never been provided, and so where the actual motivation to rescind must be presumed to be the product either of wedge politics or not getting the consultation outcome one wanted regardless of actual consultation quality,
WHEREAS the Province had the option of calling for additional consultation on the 2015 Curriculum without first rescinding it, but instead rescinded it first, without proper consultation,
WHEREAS while all Provincially mandated curricula must be taught by law, School Boards have always had the right to supplement curricula as they and their staff saw fit unless in direct contradiction to it, and where there is no evident legal impediment to the OCDSB doing so now as well,
AND WHEREAS the OCDSB wishes both to provide clear direction and support to its staff for the coming school year, and to ensure no interruption of qualty instruction to its students,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED
THAT the OCDSB write a further letter to the government, more fully stating its concerns with the waste of public money of new consultation, the confusion and concern created by the rescinding just before the Fall, the inadequate and dubious grounds for rescinding, the blow to inclusion and risk to student safety created by rescinding, and to call for the full and immediate reinstatement of the 2015 Curriculum,
THAT the OCDSB direct its staff, until such time as the 2015 Curriculum be effectively reinstated, to supplement the 2014 (aka 1998) Health and Physical Education Curriculum, or any variant Curriculm which may replace it but which falls short of the 2015 Curriculum, such that its effective over all instruction shall be as close as reasonably possible to the previous instruction of the 2015 Curriculum,
THAT the OCDSB save its staff harmless in effectively teaching to the 2015 Curriculum, and will defend, support, train, and adequately resource its staff in consultation with them,
AND THAT the OCDSB write to all member Boards of the Ontario Public School Boards Association (OPSBA), urging them to take similar action in support.