Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Draft curriculum skewed by big business interests

29 November 2006

Media Release:

Draft curriculum badly skewed by big business interests

A profound shift to narrow capitalist values is signalled in the draft curriculum for schools.

This is evident in the first paragraph on the first page where the “vision” focuses on children being equipped to “contribute to the growth of the economy”. In the next breath the draft declares that the curriculum will aim for children to become “entrepreneurial” – running businesses to make profits. This narrow business agenda then ripples through the entire document.

This insidious infiltration of free-market values into the draft curriculum for schools is outrageous and unacceptable.

It represents a dramatic departure from the current curriculum.

New Zealand children should develop “economic literacy” but it must be broadly based and encourage children to be challenging and critically question any economic system including our own which has led to so much poverty and suffering.

Almost a third of our children grow up in poverty and a large proportion will take up low-paid, part-time jobs for much of their working lives. They need to question and think critically about the economic alternatives to the failure of New Zealand’s economy to work well for people aside from small numbers of wealthy entrepreneurs.

Absent from the curriculum is any mention of other economic possibilities. Such suggestions as work co-operatives, credit unions, trustee banks, profit sharing and trade unions don’t get a look-in.

Using this “entrepreneurial” approach children are already being branded as economic winners and losers when they are at primary school.

Most children will never become entrepreneurs because they are not be interested in doing so and because our economy could not function in this way in any case.

QPEC has circulated a brochure to schools encouraging them to consider this narrow, ideological focus of the draft. The brochure can be viewed at

The QPEC submission seeks the removal of the term “entrepreneur” from the vision for our kids and argues for it to be replaced with the terms “actively critical” and “challenging”.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland