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Educators meet to celebrate and strengthen curricula

Educators meet to celebrate and strengthen curricula free of National Standards

6 March 2018

Following the demise of the National Standards regime, educators are meeting this Fridayto lead a relaunch of the curricula that set the direction for all student learning up to Year 13.

New Zealand’s early childhood, English and Māori curricula are world-leading but were overshadowed by testing in the National Standards regime.

NZEI Te Riu Roa is taking the lead in celebrating our curricula in the new environment, and hosting a forum in Wellington on March 9.

Taking the lead – celebrating our curricula has brought together keynote speakers to lead discussion about how the full, rich curricula can now be used as a basis for assessment and reporting to parents.

NZEI TE Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart says: “This gives us the opportunity to strengthen and develop our ideas around broad and creative curricula – for our youngest learners to our eldest. Educators have fantastic resources at our fingertips and there is new hope for leading learning and teaching, now that we are not hamstrung by National Standards.

“Putting our broad, rich curricula back at the centre of children's education is a hugely positive step. However it's just the beginning - teachers need to have more time to teach and principals need more time to lead the profession in their school. Most importantly, all children need to be able to access the curricula in the way that suits them and with the learning support that they need.

“In 2016 Te Whāriki (the world-leading Early Childhood curriculum) turned 20 and it is time to refocus on that, and the New Zealand Curriculum, and the Māori curricla - Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and Te Marautanga o Te Aho Matua.’’

Panel Members

Professor Martin Thrupp

Head of Te Whiringa School of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Waikato

Martin Thrupp's research interests are in education policy with a particular focus on the importance of school contexts. Thrupp recently published a wide-ranging book about New Zealand’s National Standards, The Search for Better Educational Standards: A Cautionary Tale. He is currently working on a comparative study of the privatisation of schooling in Finland, Sweden and New Zealand, funded by the Academy of Finland.

Professor John O’Neill

Head of the Institute of Education, Massey University

John O’Neill has lived in New Zealand and worked at Massey University since 1994, where his professorial chair is in Teacher Education. His teaching and research interests include the relationships between teachers’ work and learning, applied professional ethics, teaching and learning in everyday settings, and the privatisation of public education.

Cathy Wylie

Chief Researcher at NZCER

Cathy Wylie is well-known for her research on policy and its impacts for school leadership, teaching, learning and the longitudinal study Competent Learners, which has provided understanding about the role and importance of the NZC's key competencies.

Key Speakers

Dr Mere Berryman

Associate Professor, Director of Poutama pounamu, University of Waikato

Mere Berryman aims to challenge the pervasive and historical discourses that perpetuate educational disparities for Māori students and disrupt these through school leadership and reform initiatives. Her research combines understandings from kaupapa Māori and critical theories.

Lester Flockton

Lester Flockton played a prominent part in the development and introduction of the New Zealand Curriculum and was one of the designers of the National Education Monitoring Project. He established the Project's Māori Immersion Education Advisory Committee and the Māori Reference Group to guide assessment for Māori students.

Helen May

Emeritus Professor, University of Otago

Helen May has spoken and published widely in the field of early childhood curriculum and the history and policy of early years education. During the early 1990s she worked with Margaret Carr on the development of Te Whāriki, the first national curriculum guidelines for New Zealand and more recently with Margaret and Sir Tamati and Lady Tilly Reedy. She has had an advisory role in the update of Te Whāriki.

Rosemary Hipkins

Chief Researcher at NZCER

Rose Hipkins maintains a strong interest in the complex space at the intersection of curriculum and assessment practices. She was actively involved in the development of both the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA assessment system).

Dr Bobbie Hunter and Dr Jodie Hunter

Massey University

Dr Bobbie Hunter and her daughter Jodie are redefining teacher education, hoping to help raise the academic achievement for children of all cultures in New Zealand. They believe the New Zealand curriculum can build on the richness that children bring to school, especially for Māori and Pasifika pupils. Although their research is focused on maths, the tools they create for teachers will be applicable to any subject in the New Zealand Curriculum.

O'Sonia Hotereni

O'Sonia Hotereni is a Resource Teacher of Māori at Te Whata Tau o Putauaki in Kawerau. She is also a long-standing member leader of NZEI Te Riu Roa Te Reo Areare, and is a respected kaumatua of the union.

TED Talks (these will be 10-minute speeches)

Bronwyn Gibbs

Bronwyn Gibbs is a mathematics mentor with the DMIC team at Massey University. She currently works in a range of diverse schools in Wellington, as well as Napier, East Cape and Christchurch, developing teachers’ mathematics pedagogy. Bronwyn has been working as a mathematics mentor since 2015 and prior to that was a classroom teacher in Porirua East, teaching from Year 3-8.

Perry Rush

Principal of Hastings Intermediate

Perry Rush was a founding member and spokesperson for the Boards Taking Action Coalition (BTAC), a group of school boards opposing the introduction of National Standards. He has spoken regularly at NZEI TE Riu Roa events on designing teaching and learning to meet children’s needs, rather than following a narrow curriculum and using standardised assessments to produce quantitative data.

Rachel Whalley

ePrincipal VLN Primary School

Rachel Whalley is ePrincipal of the VLN Primary School, a collaboration of NZ schools working together to provide improved educational opportunities for students through online learning. Her expertise is in facilitation and teacher professional development, online learning communities, pedagogy and curriculum development for online teaching and learning. Rachel is passionate about equity and access in education and believes virtual learning can be a great enabler for all students.


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