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Māori History in School Curriculum

Hon Dr Pita Sharples

Associate Minister of Education

Monday 9 June 2014 Press Release
Māori History in School Curriculum

Associate Minister of Education, Dr Pita Sharples has today launched a new education initiative to support and strengthen the teaching of Māori history in Years 1-13 in schools and kura.

Dr Sharples says “Māori history is New Zealand history. These resources enable teachers and schools to place our stories, our heroes, Māori identity, language and culture at the centre of learning.”

The publication, Te Takanga o Te Wā, is part of the Government’s $1.6 million investment to support and strengthen the teaching of Māori history in Years 1-13 in schools and kura.

This investment will support the development of a range of teaching and learning materials for students in years 1-8, as well as the development of NCEA teaching and learning materials focused specifically on Māori history, in alignment with the existing History standards. It will also support the development of English interpretations of the NCEA Tikanga ā-Iwi standards to enable more schools across New Zealand to teach Māori history.

Dr Sharples says schools and kura will also have the opportunity to utilise local expertise from iwi and historians within their communities, to incorporate local histories into their curriculum.

“Our local histories and heroes are among the world’s greatest. They can be a source of great learning for our children, and indeed for New Zealand generally.

“It’s important that children have the opportunity to learn about their ancestors, communities, and to see themselves and their culture reflected in the school curriculum.

“This initiative will strengthen students’ sense of personal identity and engagement with where they are from, through the teaching of relevant and localised Māori history,” Dr Sharples says.


Questions and answers

Why should our children learn about Māori history?

Māori history is New Zealand history. Learning about local Māori history events ensures that students will have an opportunity to learn about themselves, the people that they live alongside and the community they live within. It will also provide an opportunity to place Māori identity, language and culture at the centre of learning.

Secondary schools have already planned their NCEA history programmes. Why would they be encouraged to change them to include this work?

When schools plan their teaching and learning programmes they prioritise being able to provide authentic quality learning experiences for all students. The resources being developed will enable schools to offer localised Māori history in a meaningful way for their students. Schools will make their own choices about when and how they will do this.

What resources are being developed to support schools?

In alignment with the outcomes set in the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa,teaching and learning guides for years 1-4 have been developed to support teachers to provide Māori history learning programmes. We have also developed assessment resources to support NCEA L1 History teachers. Over the next two years we will continue to build on these resources by developing teaching and learning guides for years 5-8 and years 9-10 respectively and will develop further assessment resources for History teachers at NCEA L2 and L3.

When will the resource be made available to schools?

Distribution of the materials available now will begin within the next two weeks. We will also be launching an online community www.maorihistory.tki.org.nz so all the materials are available to everyone who is interested.

How is this initiative being funded?

Each year the Ministry reviews the priority projects we implement. Māori history in the school curriculum is one part of an education package agreed between the Māori Party and the National-led Government and therefore funding was made available to support the implementation of this. The Ministry will fund $0.5 million in each of the 2014/15 and 2015/16 years, and $0.3 million in 2016/17 year to support the implementation of this initiative.

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