FREDERICTON -- New Brunswick's minister of education has some big ideas about how children learn.

Dominic Cardy is suggesting schools do away with the conventional age-based grades and replace it instead with a flexible learning environment.

"We have challenges that we have to address head-on, and it starts with setting priorities," Cardy said.

The proposal first targets younger children in kindergarten to Grade 2, but eventually would eliminate grades at all levels.

"This isn't a forced change," Cardy said. "It's one that we hope will be embraced by teachers, because, again, it's an idea that came from them."

But some parents are already expressing concerns.

"I think the age-based system does work, however, we need to put more resources into helping the kids because there is such a large spectrum in the classroom," said parent Vivian Schaap.

Other proposals include giving principals more control over their schools, more trades course options, and implementing a second-language program that starts in early childhood.

Schaap says she attended French programs in British Columbia and says she thinks the issue lies more with overflowing classes.

"We all came out of it being bilingual, but it was a small class, that's the difference," said Schaap.

If adopted, Cardy's changes would alter what education looks like in New Brunswick.