Frequently Asked Questions

What is a curriculum framework?

In early learning and child care, curriculum is focused on the uniqueness of childhood, considering learning and care with broad holistic goals for children’s development and learning, highlighting the importance of play, relationships and family diversity. Flight is broadly focused on the process of our work and the decisions that we make every day, rather than determining the content of children’s learning, as traditional ideas of curriculum often suggest. The content of children’s learning will continue to be developed using children’s interests and daily experiences.

Flight is not:

  • A checklist of pre-determined outcomes.
  • A pre-set plan of activities.
  • A list of ages and stages.

Flight will:

  • Be based on the children, educators, families and community of the child care, family day home or ECS program.
  • Create places of meaning making through dialogue with others and particularly, with families.
  • Develop a common language for how we talk about and plan for what children are learning and how we work with families.
  • Consider holistic play-based learning goals that are grounded in current theories of learning, values and principles about what is important for responsive care and early learning in Alberta.

Why is a curriculum framework important?

A curriculum framework, grounded in research and reflective of a shared set of professional values, will guide the decisions that educators make every day in providing care and learning experiences for children. A curriculum framework will help create a common language across programs; one that respects our diversity and uniqueness, but also makes clear the underlying values, principles and goals that guide responsive routines, learning experiences and interactions with children and families:

  • Professional Values such as equity, play and respect are the foundation of the framework.
  • Principles are statements that reflect what we consider to be current truths in our work with early learners and their families, such as: “Children’s life-long health, well-being, learning and behaviour is strongly connected to their early childhood experiences.”
  • Curricular goals are grounded in research and express what we know to be important for responsive care and early learning experiences for young children such as: “Play & Playfulness - Children experience open and flexible environments where exploration and play are encouraged and purposefully planned. With the implementation of Flight we should feel a shift in our understanding of practice – from doing what we do because we’ve always done it that way, to practice that is intentional, grounded in research and that exemplifies, for ourselves and others, what responsive early learning and care for young children looks like.

Who developed the curriculum framework?

A team of faculty from Grant MacEwan University and Mount Royal University was invited by the Alberta Government to lead this project. We used a participatory approach to develop the curriculum framework. Front line child care educators from centre based programs and family day homes have been involved on the advisory committee and in developing support materials.

Will the curriculum framework be mandated by the Alberta government?

Currently the curriculum framework is not mandatory. It is available free of charge to any educator who wants to voluntarily engage with the ideas and concepts as a way to support their evolving practices, planning and provisions for young children’s learning. However, all Government of Alberta Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) sites offering $25/day programs are using Flight to guide their daily practice.

How do I use the curriculum framework to support my work with children?

The possibilities are endless! A curriculum framework will guide early learning and child care educators as they consider holistic goals for early learning and care in the development of nurturing daily routines, responsive play and learning experiences and environments, and thoughtful interactions with each child and family.

Learning always evolves out of what children are doing — their engagement with ideas, materials and others. It is in the doing that curriculum is lived. The curriculum meaning making process begins with observing children’s play and using the curriculum goals to consider it and describe it. The curriculum framework document provides a lens for reflecting on and interpreting what has taken place in children’s play and what to plan for next.

As outlined in section 3.1 Holistic Play-Based Goals, there are many ways to use the curriculum framework to support your daily work with young learners. For example:

  • You may use the reflective questions to examine your current practices.
  • Educators may use the curriculum framework holistic goals and dispositions to learn as a lens to interpret children’s experiences and then share their interpretation and documentation with other team members and children’s families.
  • The curriculum framework may act as a guide to a way of being with children as a co- learner, co-researcher and co-imaginer of possibilities.
  • It may help educators to engage in a co-inquiry process and curriculum meaning making to support their emergent curriculum planning.
  • Teams engage in continued professional learning by discussing core concepts at staff meetings.

Can I make copies of the curriculum framework for my own use?

Flight (formerly Play, Participation and Possibilities) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You are free to share – You may copy and distribute this material in any medium or format under the following terms:

Attribution – You must give appropriate credit. You should:

  • credit the creators
  • provide the title of the work
  • provide the URL where the work is hosted

The following is an example for an APA-style reference:

Makovichuk, L., Hewes, J., Lirette, P., & Thomas, N. (2014). Flight: Alberta’s early learning and care framework. Retrieved from flightframework.ca.

Non-Commercial – This material is not for commercial purposes. However, you can use the curriculum framework for your own personal and professional purposes. This means that you may use the curriculum framework to guide your professional development and practice. As well, you may share ideas and materials for educational purposes to support learners.

No Derivatives – If you remix, transform, or build upon the materials, you may not distribute the modified material. This means that if you use portions of the curriculum framework, reword phrases, or combine it with other materials you may not distribute that modified material as the curriculum framework.

To review the license, follow the active link Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International License

The curriculum framework goals within this framework have been reprinted with permission from the New Brunswick Curriculum Framework for Early Learning and Care, English (2008). The copyright for these goals resides with the University of New Brunswick Early Childhood Centre and the Government of New Brunswick, Department of Social Development. They therefore reside outside of this Creative Commons license.

Why is the framework called Flight?

“Flight” is generally defined as the movement of flying through the air, conjures images of journey, is associated with words like soaring, gliding, circling, and fluttering, and symbolizes the innovative, playful, creative, and often unpredictable trajectories in our work with young children. The Great Horned Owl, the bird chosen as the Flight logo, was selected by children as Alberta’s provincial bird. As well, some Alberta communities hold the owl as a symbol of wisdom and strength. Children, as mighty learners and citizens, reflect the notion of greatness, wisdom, and strength as well.