Arts-Centred Learning

Arts-Centered Learning at James Fowler High School

The Arts-Centred Learning (ACL) Program focuses on learning in and through the arts. Students learn and meet required Alberta Education curriculum outcomes in English, Social Studies, Science and Math while focusing on the arts as a means of understanding the concepts in the core curriculum.

Students create the opportunity to learn and present knowledge in multiple ways. Students share what they have learned through traditional methods as well as through video, photography, performance, dance and other disciplines of the fine and performing arts.

Who We Are

We are a passionate community of teachers and students who engage the regular core curriculums (Science, Math, English, and Social Studies) by using the arts as an entry point of understanding and expression. Students write the same standardized department and provincial exams; however, they are taught, and express themselves, in ways influenced by the arts.


Arts-Centred Learning Science allows students to acquire the curriculum through project and inquiry-based learning. This program requires individuals to be enthusiastic participants throughout in-class activities. Students will have the opportunity to try new things and be an integral part of their learning and evaluation.


Arts-Centred Learning Mathematics is a phenomenal program that creates a beautiful marriage between the structure of a typical math class, with the freedom and fluidity of the arts. In ACL Math students are learning the full math curriculum, but the material is supplemented with and related to different artistic fields, including, but not limited to: music, dance, art and drama. Taking ACL Math will open your eyes to all of the beauty in the world around us, and will help students make seemingly abstract connections with the content they are learning in class. ACL math is the perfect opportunity for students to embark on a journey of discovery through project based assessment; a journey they may not experience if they do not choose ACL mathematics.


Arts-Centred LearningEnglish is a place where students can feel connected to their peers while learning about themselves. We use many lenses to understand the relevance and artistry of texts that include film, short story, novellas, plays, novels, multi-media pieces, and poetry. ACL English is a place where students get opportunities to improve on a variety of critical and personal writing forms, while finding opportunities to express their learning and personalized creative ways. Throughout ACL English, students get to prepare for diploma examinations in grade 12, while also integrating their artistic passions


Arts-Centred Learning Social Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to geography, history, philosophy, world issues, and economics that is the social curriculum. Students work towards excellence on the diploma exam in grade 12 while getting an opportunity to express themselves and learn using the arts. ACL Social Studies is a way for students to connect their metacognitive understanding from ACL English and apply it to the world around them. ACL students do a variety of formative and summative assessment strategies to learn this very comprehensive core curriculum.

Teacher Advisory Program & Leadership Society

Every Fowler student is put into a Teacher Advisory (TA) program, and ACL students are not exception. However, ACL students get to maintain that community experience by having ACL specialized TAs that are facilitated by ACL core teachers. In addition, every week students have an opportunity to be involved in the ACL Leadership Society that puts on school wide and community events throughout the year.


For more information on how to register for our Art-Centered Learning program, please visit our How to Register page. 

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Arts-Centred Learning Program at the CBE

Is Arts-Centred Learning the Right Choice for My Child?

A successful student demonstrates:
  • An interest in and passion for the arts
  • Initiative, imagination and ingenuity when engaging in a variety of creative processes to develop and explore ideas
  • The ability to thrive in a fast-paced rigorous program that extends beyond the basic curricular expectation
  • A willingness to take advantage of multiple learning opportunities offered through the arts
  • Characteristics that honour and respect the creativity of peers
  • Motivation and independence
  • The ability to work well in a variety of situations; collaboratively and independently

Characteristics of Arts-Centred Learning

  • Arts-focused inquiry integrating Alberta Education’s Programs of Study
  • Opportunities for co-constructing knowledge and understanding through the arts
  • Develop creative and critical thinking
  • Learning comes from the process as well as the product
  • Students represent their knowledge and understanding through the multiple perspectives found throughout the arts
  • Students learn to appreciate and critique their art and the art of others
  • Skill development in the arts is integrated throughout the curriculum using school and community resources

Visit the CBE website to help determine whether or not the Arts-Centred Learning Program is right for your child and for the Alternative Programs Handbook (Alberta Education).​

Friday, Sept 24 is a system-wide non-instructional day so there are no classes for CBE students. Have a safe long weekend and please continue to follow all public health measures #WeAreCBE

RT @UsihChristopher: We all recognize the benefits of in-person learning. We are doing everything we can to minimize transmission of COVID-19 in our schools. We NEED your help! To all employees and students (who are eligible): Please get vaccinated as quickly as possible. Thanks for sharing message!

Thank you @JackJamesHS for sharing information about the history of Treaty 7 on the anniversary of its signing #WeAreCBE #WeAreAllTreatyPeople

RT @Indigenous_cbe: Today is fall equinox - a time when daylight & nighttime share the sky equally. Today is also Treaty 7 Day - the 144th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 7. The 🌞 & 🌙s equality today teaches us how to honour the walking together in equal partnership. #welcomeoko

A number of CBE schools have participated in #StudentVoteCanada last week and today to learn about democracy in action #WeAreCBE