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Success Will Depend On Time And Resourcing

Curriculum Success Will Depend On Time And Resourcing

The New Zealand Curriculum 2007-2011, launched today, has the potential to change the face of education for the 21st century but the teachers union, NZEI Te Riu Roa, says it will only be effective if teachers and principals are given the time and resources to implement it properly.

NZEI says the Curriculum places learners in the centre of the learning process and its success will depend on how strong the vision for change is at each school. This will require strong leadership, and an ability to convince parents that their past education is not what is best for learners for the future. Nothing will happen without good resourcing, support from sector leaders and clear communication with communities.

The Education Minister Chris Carter promised teachers today that they will be given a full day's release time to familiarise themselves with the Curriculum and prepare for its implementation. NZEI welcomes that move but says one day is only a start to the process, and the two year implementation timeframe may be difficult to achieve.

Central to the Curriculum are values, enterprise, sustainable environments, key competencies, international languages, core literacy and numeracy, and the use of new technologies. It still addresses subject disciplines but moves towards these being delivered through inquiry-based processes. It also reinserts the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

NZEI National President Irene Cooper says NZEI is enthusiastic about the opportunities for teaching and learning created by the Curriculum.

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"But enthusiasm alone is not enough to sustain it. Principals and senior teachers required to lead the implementation of change are already coping with burgeoning workloads and school leadership teams are struggling to attend to all their current responsibilities with little access to release time and inadequate reward structures. Putting in place a review of their whole school curriculum is a major piece of work and cannot be done by osmosis," Ms Cooper says.

Primary teachers are in a stalemate in employment negotiations with the Ministry of Education over the lack of management units (providing additional salary) available to primary schools to reward teachers taking on extra responsibilities. Primary teachers and their principals are in agreement that schools cannot continue to move ahead on the raft of substantial change agendas that are landing on schools, such as those proposed by the New Zealand curriculum unless resourcing is increased.

If you give nothing you get nothing. NZEI says it's time to be fair to the hard working teachers and school leaders who they are counting on to make the "future" happen


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