Many school administrators are aware that some parents are feeling the tension of change in Ontario’s Health and Physical Education (HPE) Revision for 2015. Concern that kids need more current information (the last curriculum was released 17 years ago), and a more comprehensive understanding of all the aspects of healthy living, has led to this revision. Ontario curriculum is written by experts in education, content, and policy, as well as in consultation with parents across the province. Many people are involved in trying to dispel the myths about the new curriculum that began to surface last spring, in many cases anonymously, and it’s my guess is that once folks actually dig in and read the curriculum, as some journalists have begun to do, fears quickly subside.
The Health and Physical Education curriculum has four main sections for each grade:
- Living Skills: understanding themselves, communicating and interacting positively with others and learning to think critically and solve problems
- Active Living: active participation, physical fitness and safety
- Movement Competence: skills for moving properly and with confidence
- Healthy Living: learning about health, making healthy choices, and understanding the connections to everyday life
A quick google search ‘myths about sex ed curriculum’ will bring up lots of good information to dispel the myths about Ontario’s revised HPE Curriculum, but my hope would be that parents actually read the curriculum, in order to make their own decisions. Here is a gathering of some helpful resources that school administrators or school council chairs might want to share with concerned parents who are wanting more information:
HPE_flyer_AODA – Ontario Ministry of Education – The ministry has produced a suite of materials for parents in several languages to build understanding about what students will learn. There are also details about how to order parent materials that Principals and Vice-Principals can make available to parents.
CBC Radio Interview with Meg Hickling – Veteran educator about body science and sexual health
Grade by Grade Guide to the Ontario HPE Curriculum (Sexual health portions) written for Muslim parents and created by Anela Jadunandan – hear her CBC Radio interview on Metro Morning.