Curriculum Laboratory

What Are Curriculum Publications?

For further assistance in using any of the resources in the Lab, please ask at the Curriculum Lab Information Services Desk.

Curriculum publications are officially approved descriptions of prescribed curricula, and suggested delivery methods and learning resources. That is, they define goals and objectives for learning in specific subject areas, and provide a synopsis of the content to be covered and the skills to be mastered at different grade levels. They can also list basic and recommended learning resources.

There is a wide variety of terms used in the curriculum publications for the different subject areas. Here is a pyramid showing the different terminology and their equivalencies in various subjects.

In Alberta, curriculum publications include the Program of Studies, which provides an overview of the entire curriculum. A statement of the "Goals of Basic Education" for Alberta appears at the beginning of the volume for each of the three divisions. Other core curriculum documents include Teacher Resource Manuals, Guides to Implementation and Curriculum Guides (etc.), which are subject specific, and are often limited by grade level (e.g.. Language Arts, Gr.7-9). In some cases you will find subject specific Programs of Study. The format and depth of publications varies among subjects. Other curriculum publications include resource catalogues, handbooks, and teaching units. These may be general or subject specific.

The Curriculum Publication Chart is very useful to guide you through what types of documents are available in each subject. It is also posted on the ends of the Curriculum Publications library shelves.

Browsing the Shelves for Alberta Curriculum Publications

The Curriculum Laboratory has a comprehensive collection of current Alberta curriculum publications. All of them have the call number 375, and can be found in the main Curriculum Lab Collection.

Within the 375 section, the collection of curriculum publications is subdivided according to subject area, and arranged alphabetically:


Within each broad subject section, the curriculum materials may be divided into narrower subdivisions. In this case, general materials without a subdivision designation are shelved first:


A detailed list of Curriculum Materials divisions, broken down by subject and subdivisions.

The collection is further arranged according to grade level:

There are three general areas in the 375 section which are NOT subject specific. These are:

  • Administration e.g. School Act, School Councils Handbook
  • General e.g. Program of Studies, Guide to Education: ECS to Grade 12
  • Miscellaneous e.g. list of schools

Searching the Library Catalogue for Curriculum Publications

Curriculum publications can also be located by looking in the Library Catalogue:

  • By author: generally a corporate author: i.e.: 'Alberta Education' or 'Alberta Learning' (old name).
  • By subject heading:

  • Hints:
    • Add curriculum planning to your search for programs of studies.
    • Add lesson planning to your search for teacher resource manuals and other core curriculum documents.
    • Add secondary, primary, elementary or middle school to narrow your search by grade level.
    • Add Alberta or other location to narrow your search geographically.


    agriculture curriculum planning
    social sciences lesson planning alberta
    science curriculum planning elementary

  • By keywords: Will provide a broad search of curricula generally, and not simply official departmental publications. Add the word curriculum to your subject heading. For the broadest search, which captures all materials listed above, type in your subject and the word planning

  • Examples:

    music and curriculum
    science and planning

Other Curriculum Publications

Current Curriculum publications for each province can be found at these web sites:

Western and Northern Canadian Protocol Curriculum Materials
BC Education - Curriculum Branch - Curriculum Materials
Alberta Education Curriculum Materials
Saskatchewan Learning Curriculum Guides
Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth Curriculum
Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum
Quebec Curriculum Publications
New Brunswick Curriculum Materials
Prince Edward Island Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
Nunavut Department of Education
Government of Northwest Territories Education
Yukon Education Student Network

Alberta School Curriculum Historical Bibliography 1885-1985 "is a list of the materials authorized for use in Alberta schools during this time period. . . . Many of the materials listed here are included in the archival collection of curriculum materials in the Herbert T. Coutts Library, University of Alberta."

Prepared by: Margaret Rodermond and Bill Glaister. August 2002. Updated August 2009.