A new pilot curriculum
Several subjects piloted, some already implemented

Glen Korstrom
Northern News Services

NNSL (Oct 29/99) - Many adult basic education courses have changed this year to be more hands-on and applicable to students' lives, according to an Education, Culture and Employment co-ordinator.

Gloria Iatridis, who is the co-ordinator of literacy and adult basic education with the Department of Education, Culture and Employment said the department is piloting math 120, science 120 and 130 and English 110 through 150.

This is also the first year the department has implemented a new science 110, math 110 and introduction to computers.

"We've designed our math to be the applied approach so this new math teaches people to understand why you do math and how you use it in your everyday life," said Iatridis.

"It's more applied and hands-on. Before, you would give the student a textbook and they would basically be self-directed."

One example of how the math could be hands-on is if the class were to take a field trip to a shopping centre and be given a list of items to add up, coming under $100.

ABE student Ron Felix, who takes classes with the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre said he uses the math he's learning everyday with his carving.

"I need to figure out how much stone I need or how much I need to spend this week," he said.

"I also need to figure out how many tools I'm going to need."

Another component of the new curriculum is that it encourages combining the courses.

For example, students may write journal entries for English on how they feel about a math field trip.

Iatridis said the department did not implement a new curriculum at every levels all at once because the students at the higher levels would not have the necessary background.

Instead, higher levels will be altered each year to become more hands-on, just like the current lower-level courses.

To create the new curriculum, the department created work teams from across the NWT and included people from other departments and from non-governmental organizations.

"They designed it themselves so there was a lot of Northern content," Iatridis said. There are four components to the new curriculum: learning outcomes or what students in the class will come out of it with, teaching strategies, suggested classroom assessment or pre and post testing and suggested resources to use when using the curriculum.