Media Education in Alberta

This section comprises a curricular overview (below), as well as information about professional development for media education.

Also included in the sidebar are curriculum charts for Grades K-12 that feature media education outcomes in the Alberta English Language Arts and Information and Communication Technology curricula, with links to supporting MediaSmarts resources and lessons.

Last reviewed in July 2017

Curricular Overview

Alberta is part of the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Education (WNCP), and as such bases its Programs of Study on the WNCP Common Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts, which was completed in 1996.

The English Language Arts curriculum integrates reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing and representing. The program encourages the study and creation of a wide variety of text types and forms, including oral, print, visual and multimedia formats. The program emphasizes the importance of context, including audience and purpose, in the students’ creation and comprehension of “texts.” The program also incorporates Information/Communication/Technology outcomes.

What this means for media education is that the creation of media “texts,” the study of the relationship between “text” and audience, and the analysis of radio, television, films, Web site content and the many forms of advertising are now legitimized by the province as an integral part of the English Language Arts program.

The English Language Arts (Grades K-9) Curriculum states:

… texts refer not only to print but also to oral and visual forms that can be discussed, studied and analyzed. In addition, texts are affected and influenced by how they are transmitted, whether by computer, television, radio or book. Students need knowledge, skills and strategies in all six language arts [listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and representing] to compose, comprehend and respond to such texts. Oral texts include storytelling, dialogues, speeches and conversations. Visual texts include pictures, diagrams, tableaux, mime and nonverbal communication. Combinations of oral, print or visual texts include videos, films, cartoons, drama and drum dancing.

The Grades K-9 English Language Arts program was implemented in September 1999. The senior program was implemented in 2001 for Grade 10, 2002 for Grade 11 and 2003 for Grade 12.

The Information and Communication Technology curriculum, which works as a “curriculum within a curriculum, primarily for core subjects such as English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science, also provides opportunities to integrate media literacy into the normal course of study.