Elements Integrated into the Curriculum

In addition to providing the requisite curriculum components (nature of the discipline, rationale, philosophy, aim, structure, student learning outcomes and standards), curriculum documents incorporate the following elements.

Foundation Skill Areas

The four foundation skill areas are

  • literacy and communication
  • problem solving
  • human relations
  • technology

The foundation skill areas are required from Kindergarten to Grade 12. They are fundamental in both teaching and learning and should be part of instruction in every subject area. Each foundation skill area represents a set of skills that will enable students to transfer and apply knowledge and allow teachers to design instruction for these purposes. They encompass both the "what" and "how" of teaching and learning across all subject areas. Therefore, every teacher will be a teacher of literacy and communication, of problem solving, human relations, and technology.

Appendix D provides a brief description of each foundation skill area.

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Resource-Based Learning

Resource-based learning involves the meaningful use of a wide range of appropriate print, non-print, and human resources in ways that reflect the principles of teaching, learning, and assessing. Suggested print and multimedia resources are listed in foundation for implementation documents and are available for purchase from the Manitoba Learning Resource Centre (formerly the Manitoba Text Book Bureau).

Further information on r esource-based learning can be found in Resource-Based Learning: An Educational Model (April 1994).

Differentiated Instruction

Teachers must differentiate instruction to support learning for all students.

Differentiated instruction is one of the ways educators establish a supportive learning environment for all students. Differentiated instruction refers to the wide range of strategies, techniques, and approaches that teachers use to support student learning and to help each student, whether less able or highly able, to achieve high expectations and to realize his or her potential.

Differentiated instruction acknowledges that students learn at different rates and in different ways. Integral to understanding and applying differentiated instruction is acceptance of the premise that every teacher must work toward continuous improvement to develop and maintain a rich repertoire of strategies, techniques, and approaches and to know when, with whom, and how to employ a particular strategy, technique, or approach. The notion that all students can learn also underpins understanding differentiated instruction.

Differentiated instruction is not about individualized instruction. It is about personalized instruction, using a balanced range of strategies, techniques, and approaches so that each student's learning requirements can be met and so that all students can grow in a variety of ways.

Differentiated instruction alone will not meet the learning requirements of all students; it will, however, enable all students to achieve relative to high expectations and to realize their full potential. It is crucial to the success of all students, but it is particularly important for those students who require particular kinds of support to achieve relative to the full range of student learning outcomes and standards (for example, students with physical or learning disabilities, deaf or hard of hearing students, and blind or visually impaired students).

Even when differentiated instruction is employed effectively, a limited number of students with specific cognitive disabilities will require the student learning outcomes in provincial curricula to be modified. Other students with particularly severe cognitive disabilities will require developmentally and age appropriate, highly individualized outcomes. As well, some students for whom English is a second language may require adaptations related specifically to their language needs in order to make a gradual transition to the full range of student learning outcomes and standards.

Therefore, regardless of whether a student is achieving relative to the full range of provincial outcomes and standards or to modified, adapted, or individualized learning outcomes, differentiated instruction must play a role in all teaching, learning, and assessing so that each student's learning requirements are met.

See Success for All Learners: A Handbook on Differentiating Instruction, a support document released by Manitoba Education and Youth in 1996, for more information. This document is available for purchase from the Manitoba Learning Resource Centre (formerly the Manitoba Text Book Bureau).

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Curriculum Integration

Student learning outcomes may elaborate on connections with other areas of learning such as other subject areas or community/home experiences. Curriculum documents may also include specific suggestions for connections.

See Curricular Connections: Elements of Integration in the Classroom, a support document released by Manitoba Education and Youth in 1997, for more information. Kindergarten to Grade 4 Science: A Foundation for Implementation provides a specific example of the integration of student learning outcomes from several subject areas.

Aboriginal Perspectives

Aboriginal perspectives are being integrated into curricula to enable students to learn the history of Manitoba and Canada before European settlement and to give the perspective of Aboriginal people since that time. Each subject area will address the perspectives and accomplishments of Aboriginal people, as appropriate. The goal in integrating Aboriginal perspectives into curricula is to ensure that all students have opportunities to understand and respect themselves, their cultural heritage, and the cultural heritage of others.

Aboriginal perspectives apply to learning experiences for all students. However, there may be unique and particular learning experiences that apply specifically to Aboriginal students. Aboriginal students are learners and participants in Aboriginal cultures, not necessarily experts in the culture. Their knowledge about their culture may be the same as that of other students in the class but if they do have extensive knowledge about their culture, it can benefit the entire class.

All students learn in a variety of ways and this should be taken into consideration to maximize learning for Aboriginal students as well. The intent is to ensure that high expectations in supported learning environments apply to Aboriginal students just as they do to non-Aboriginal students.

Goals of Aboriginal Perspectives for Aboriginal Students

  • to develop a positive self-identity through learning their own histories, cultures, and contemporary lifestyles
  • to participate in a learning environment that will equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to participate more fully in the unique civic and cultural realities of their communities

Goals of Aboriginal Perspectives for Non-Aboriginal Students

  • to develop an understanding and respect for the histories, cultures, and contemporary lifestyles of Aboriginal people
  • to develop informed opinions on matters relating to Aboriginal people
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Gender Fairness

To address the challenges of gender fairness and to develop student understanding in all subject areas in a balanced way, teaching, learning, and assessing must be equally accessible, relevant, interesting, appropriate, and challenging to male and female students. This will ensure that all students have opportunities to succeed regardless of gender.

Curriculum documents, learning resources, and classroom practice should reflect a commitment to gender fairness and inclusion. All students, regardless of gender, should be encouraged and supported to develop to their full potential.

Appropriate Age Portrayals

There is a growing recognition in society of the existence of stereotypes and discriminatory practices and attitudes related to aging. The contributions of all age groups, including the aging population, should be supported in teaching, learning, and assessing. Stereotyping related to age should be avoided.

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Human Diversity

Manitoba is a rich mosaic of people with a diversity of cultures, languages, religions, and other characteristics. These aspects of human diversity should be recognized, accepted, and celebrated to create learning environments that

  • prepare all students for full participation in society
  • provide students with opportunities for cultural and linguistic development
  • encourage intercultural understanding and harmony

Sustainable Development

The concept of sustainable development is the process of integrating and balancing the economy, environment, and the overall health and well-being of society, through a consensus-based decision-making process, so that each of these areas -- the economy, the environment, and society -- can be sustained for future generations. This concept will be integrated into subject area curricula as appropriate.

A support document entitled Senior Years Science Teacher Handbook was released by Manitoba Education in November 1997. This handbook provides strategies for integrating sustainable development into Senior Years science curricula.

Support documents produced by Manitoba Education that provide guidance in the integration of sustainable development in other curricular areas include:

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