Curriculum Matters

Articles

Vol. 8, Annual

Curriculum Change and Teacher Resistance
Educational change in New Zealand has been a hot topic in 2012. We have faced cutbacks, closures, charter schools and league tables, not to mention the 'rejuvenation and consolidation' of Christchurch schools following the 2010/2011 earthquakes. A...
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Aligning Curriculum and Assessment-Divergent Approaches in the Framing of Knowledge
Introduction In the process of aligning a recent New Zealand curriculum document with assessment qualifications (the Alignment of Standards Project), the manner in which disciplinary knowledge for senior secondary subjects has been framed and prescribed...
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"Same, Same but Different": The Dangers of Binary Definitions of Dis/ability in the Neoliberal Marketplace of Early Childhood Education and Care
Introduction In this paper I aim to highlight issues, consider dangers and recognise challenges for adults who are involved in ECEC and the inclusion of children with disabilities. Drawing on my own and others' recent research, I examine the current...
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Primary School Visual Arts Education: Teachers' Perspectives
This research project developed from my concerns around visual arts programmes in New Zealand primary schools. Visual arts are an important expression of personal and cultural values and identity. Making art has been found to have a range of personal,...
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Dusky Maiden-Noble Savage: Pasifika Representation in the NCEA Drama Classroom
Introduction As a lens through which young people view themselves, the world and their place in the world, drama and drama texts can be a powerful means of affirming or undermining positive cultural identity and self-image. Patricia Grace makes...
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Physical Education and Citizenship: More Than Just the Creation of the "Personally Responsible" Body?
Citizenship An increased number of writers today point to a set of "unprecedented" challenges and "wicked" problems that are facing society (Bolstad, 2011). Alongside this perceived rapid and pervasive social change is an emphasis on utilising education...
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Expansive Learning: Multicurricular Pedagogy and Holistic Development through a Music-Centred Programme
Introduction I first encountered Ruth Round's teaching programme in 2009 when, on a visit to her central Auckland primary school, I was treated to 2 hours of written and oral expressive language development in a Year 4 class motivated through music-centred...
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Working towards a Motivational Pedagogy for School Programmes in Additional Languages
Introduction In Volume 4 of Curriculum Matters, I noted (East, 2008) that "[o]ne significant development in New Zealand's recently launched school curriculum is the establishment of a new learning area--Learning Languages." I went on to suggest...
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A Four-Stage Framework for Assessing Statistical Literacy
Introduction Is there a link between drinking cola and children's health? (http://www.figurethis.org/challenges/c68/challenge.htm Should cell phones be banned in schools? Asthma common among well-known New Zealanders (New Zealand Herald, 16...
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Service-Learning as a Responsive and Engaging Curriculum: A Higher Education Institution's Response to Natural Disaster
Introduction In higher education, a curriculum is often described as a prescriptive set of courses that contain content. The Latin translation of curriculum is "a course to run", which has been symbolically described as a "racecourse" (Bobbitt,...
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Vol. 7, Annual

Crisis, Curriculum and Citizenship
* 4 September 2010, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale rocks Canterbury causing widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure. * 19 November 2010, 29 miners and contractors are killed in an explosion at the Pike river mine on the...
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Mathematics Curriculum Change: Parliamentary Discussion over the Past Two Decades
Introduction During the past two decades mathematics initiatives have been introduced to schools at an unprecedented rate, bringing wholesale changes to the meaning of mathematics within the school curriculum. An important catalyst for the initiatives...
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Culturally Responsive Pedagogies in the Visual and Performing Arts: Exemplars, Missed Opportunities and Challenges
Introduction Attaining educational equity across the landscape of diversity is a global challenge, requiring effective and culturally responsive practices for all students. New Zealand is not monocultural, yet most students attend "mainstream" monocultural...
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Disturbing History's Identity in the New Zealand Curriculum to Free Up Historical Thinking
Introduction This paper critiques the reclaiming of a traditional orientation of history in the New Zealand curriculum, and seeks to make sense of history's curriculum identity for pedagogy in 2011. As a socially constructed curriculum subject,...
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The Recursive Elaboration of Key Competencies as Agents of Curriculum Change
Introduction This paper views key competencies through a sociocultural lens to discuss the role they have so far played as agents of change in The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC; Ministry of Education, 2007) and their as yet unrealised potential to...
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Mathematics and the New Zealand Curriculum in the Primary Classroom
Introduction The year 2010 heralded the mandatory implementation of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC, Ministry of Education, 2007). This presented a timely opportunity to pause and reflect on our beliefs and teaching practices in mathematics, and...
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The Co-Opting of Hauora into Curricula
Introduction Tensions and contradictions are inevitable when epistemological concepts are imported from one language and cultural context into another with an expectation of developing a common meaning. These tensions have been overlooked when discussing...
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Social Sciences in the New Zealand Curriculum: Mixed Messages
Introduction The official document that is The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC, Ministry of Education, 2007) reflects shifting ideas about teaching and learning in the 21st century and about teaching and learning in the social sciences. The following...
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Are We There Yet? Stagnation in Entrepreneurship Teaching Practice 10 Years On
Introduction If the popular press is to be believed, New Zealanders possess a strong entrepreneurial orientation (Riley, 1995). New Zealanders are told and encouraged to buy into the paradigm. For example, the book by John Hopkins, Blokes and Sheds...
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Teaching and Learning Fractions: Lessons from Alternative Example Spaces
Introduction Large-scale international studies (see, for example, "2009 Program for International Student Assessment Scores", 2010) involving Asian and Western countries consistently identify Chinese students, mainly from mainland China, Hong Kong...
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Understanding the Lines in the Sand: Diversity, Its Discourses and Building a Responsive Education System
Introduction Gibson, writing in the mid-1970s in the United States about what she considered to be the phenomenon of multicultural education, warned that: If ... we wish to move multicultural education from the realm of emotion-raising slogan...
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Trickle-Down Effects: How Have Developments in Senior Secondary School Social Studies Shaped Practice in Junior Secondary Social Studies?
Introduction The introduction of senior social studies from 2002 for New Zealand's new standards-based national credentialling system, NCEA, (1) precipitated a closer look at the subject's "nature and purpose" (Barr, 1998) by lead educators in the...
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Vol. 6, Annual

Knowledge and the Curriculum
Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to Michael F. D. Young, whose book Knowledge and Power (1971) was very influential on my early thinking about curriculum. Michael Young is an emeritus professor at the University of London and was in New Zealand...
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How the Conception of Knowledge Influences Our Educational Practices: Toward a Philosophical Understanding of Epistemology in Education
Introduction This article is written for practitioners and educational professionals wanting to become more familiar with technical philosophical issues in education; specifically, the issue of epistemology, or knowledge theory, as it relates to...
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Visual Arts Education in New Zealand: Curriculum, Promise and Challenge
Visual arts in the New Zealand curriculum Visual arts has been included in school programmes in New Zealand since the mid-19th century. Drawing had been included as a school subject as early as 1840 (Collinge, 1978, p. 15). It was incorporated in...
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Fictionalising a Future for a Field: Engaging Possibilities in Curriculum Research
Narrative beginnings In the narrative inquiry research method, there is an interpretive tool whereby researchers and participants deliberately take a hard look at past and present states of affairs and then project situations into possible futures...
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Grammar in the New Zealand English Curriculum: Implications for Primary School Teachers and Teacher Educators
Introduction Knowledge of grammar is one component of literacy, which is "the ability to understand, respond to, and use those forms of written language that are required by society and valued by individuals and communities" (Ministry of Education,...
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The Case for Empathy in the History Classroom
Introduction Empathy in the history classroom is about thinking (cognition) and feeling (affect). According to Shemilt (1984) empathy can be thought of cognitively as the ability of students not only to "think themselves into alien situations ......
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Teacher Education and the Hidden Curriculum of Heteronormativity
Introduction Heteronormativity, or the assumption that everyone is heterosexual (Warner, 1993), permeates all aspects of our daily lives (Sedgwick, 1991). New Zealand, despite its comparatively liberal laws in relation to sexual orientation, is...
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Engaging with Difference: Using the Arts and the Community to Help Children Connect with Others
Introduction Educating new "citizens of the globe" by helping to provide them with an understanding of cultural, political, legal and economic structures in different parts of the world is a worthwhile activity for those school teachers who have...
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Vol. 5, Annual

Curriculum: What, How and for Whom?
Curriculum is a hotly contested notion, yet it is a relatively new concept in educational thought. Pratt (1980) claims that it was only during the 20th century that attempts were made to describe, analyse and interpret curriculum as a phenomenon. other...
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The Status of Te Atiawa Histories of Place in Port Nicholson Block (Wellington, Hutt Valley) Secondary Schools: Some Research Findings
Introduction This article draws upon doctoral research (Manning, 2008) to discuss the status of Te Atiawa tribal knowledge in 24 Port Nicholson Block (Wellington and Hutt Valley) secondary schools' history classes. (1) The article firstly considers...
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Learning to Teach History in New Zealand Secondary Schools: Preservice Teachers Reflect on Their Practice
Introduction An important component of learning to teach involves integrating the theoretical framework developed in teacher-education courses with practical experience in schools. Institutions offering initial teacher-education programmes acknowledge...
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Integrating Number and Algebra in the New Zealand Curriculum: Implications for Teaching
Introduction In 1993, The New Zealand Curriculum Framework (Ministry of Education, 1993) set out the learning areas and strands to be covered in New Zealand schools. After consultation and revision, a newer version, The New Zealand Curriculum, was...
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Is Asia Represented in New Zealand Secondary School Curricula?
Introduction It is likely that 16 percent of the population will be Asian by 2026 (Statistics New Zealand, 2008). Given New Zealand's current and projected demographic profile, and its forecast future reliance on its Asian neighbours, an Asian component...
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Thinking and Curriculum
Exploring thinking It is interesting to wonder about situations and to consider whether thinking is involved in each, and when it is, what forms of thinking are involved, and whether they are significant to education. Consider the following: solving...
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Curriculum Matters for All Students? Understanding Curriculum from the Perspectives of Disabled Students and Teacher Aides
Introduction "... nowhere is education an uncomplicated 'good'; it produces both justice and injustice, equity and inequity and the issue is to understand why, when and how." (Walker, 2003, p. 169) The compulsory education of a nation's children...
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The Location and Dislocation of Pacific Knowledge and Experience in New Zealand Social Studies (1997-2007)
Introduction We are what we remember--a society is what it remembers or chooses to remember. And education plays a crucial role in the creating/storing/and transmitting of those memories. (Wendt, 1985) Just over a decade ago, as a secondary school...
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Initial Teacher Education Programmes in Transition: Tensions and Possibilities
Introduction During this time of active change in education, and in a world that is becoming characterised by "super complexity" (Barnett, 2004), initial teacher education (ITE) programmes are under the spotlight internationally. ITE programmes...
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Vol. 4, Annual

Curriculum Options: Being, Knowing, and Exploring
Imagine school students developing confidence and connectedness, being actively involved in society and autonomous learning, and demonstrating abilities in thinking, using language, managing themselves, relating to others, and participating and...
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The New Zealand Curriculum and Preservice Teacher Education: Public Document, Private Perceptions
Abstract The development of The New Zealand Curriculum from 2000 to 2007, including the initial review that gave rise to the curriculum stocktake, the development of the draft curriculum, and the production of the final curriculum, are reviewed...
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Educating for Ethical Know-How: Curriculum in a Culture of Participation and Complicity
Ethical know-how is the progressive, firsthand acquaintance with the virtuality of self. (Varela, 1999, p. 63) Abstract In this paper, we point to an infamous example of cyber bullying (the "Star Wars Kid") to frame a consideration of the sort...
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Ontological Centring and Education
Abstract Sumara and Davis (2007) assert that education should give more attention to "ex-centring" the individual. This paper builds on this assertion by indicating how earlier work on what it means to be a human being-in-the-world resonates...
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Engaging Curriculum for the Middle Years
Abstract This article explores the recent addition of Years 7-10 as a distinct learning pathway within The New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007a) in relation to the middle years' historical struggle for recognition. It suggests...
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Curriculum Integration in Secondary Schools
Abstract From its foundation in 2004, Alfriston College has sought to be a school for the 21st century. Extensive research and reflection by the foundation staff have resulted in a number of different approaches to secondary school teaching and...
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Thinking in Hypertext: Interrupting the Mindset of Schooling
Abstract In this article I develop two narratives from a study of adolescents using digital technology: one group were students in an English class, the other group were participants in a digital literacy camp. Focusing on how the students responded...
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Communicating, Thinking, and Tools: Exploring Two of the Key Competencies
Abstract Of all the key competencies, thinking and using language, symbols, and texts are the most closely connected to the learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007). In this paper we explore these competencies...
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Learning Additional Languages in New Zealand's Schools: The Potential and Challenge of the New Curriculum Area
Abstract New Zealand's new school curriculum, which will become mandatory from 2010, will require schools to offer a second-language programme as a curriculum "entitlement" for students in Years 7-10. This article considers the implementation...
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Caught in Between: How the Scientific Management of Education in New Zealand Made History History
Abstract Scientific management theory (SMT) is based on state legislation to control education. It usually involves an outcomes-based curriculum, standards-based assessment, audit mechanisms, and an unquestioned commitment to "evidence-based"...
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Using Narrative Inquiry to Explore Mathematics Curriculum
Abstract Curriculum can be interpreted broadly to include not only what is taught but how a subject is taught or enacted. Over recent years reflection has become an accepted practice as educators seek to develop their awareness about both what...
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Vol. 3, Annual

Half Empty or Half Full?
As we know, a pessimist is someone who sees the glass of wine as half empty while the optimist is someone who sees it as half full. The pessimistic perspective with its emphasis on problems, often gets more attention, and this would be understandable...
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Montessori Mathematics in Early Childhood Education
Abstract The Montessori movement recently celebrated a century of international education, spanning from early childhood through to tertiary experience. The first Casa dei Bambini, or children's house, was opened in Rome, Italy, on 6 January 1907,...
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Planning and Developing a Social Studies Programme: A Case for "Serious Talk" in the Syndicate
Abstract An interpretive case study approach was used to investigate teachers' understanding of the purpose and nature of social studies education and how teachers plan and develop their social studies programme. Data were gathered from eight teachers...
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Grab That Kite! Teaching Mathematics in to Reo Maori
Abstract This article uses the story of Whakatauihuihu to help describe how the teaching of mathematics in to reo Maori (the Maori language) has developed. It begins by recounting the enthusiasm of the teachers who worked on the development of the...
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Negotiating Spirituality in Teacher Education
Abstract Teachers teach out of who they are (Palmer, 1998), and teaching, or enacting curriculum, is what all teachers do, whether working in teacher education or at some other level of education. When the whole teacher is drawn into a relationship...
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Subjunctive Spaces of Curriculum: On the Importance of Eccentric Knowledge
When education forsakes the middle for the ends or the beginnings, it is deadly. (Grumet, 1995, p. 17) In the middle ... In her response to the question of "what is basic" to education, Madeleine Grumet argues that most schooling practices...
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The Spectre of the Literary Curriculum
Abstract The literary curriculum is not the literacy curriculum. The literary curriculum encompasses aspects of the taught curriculum, the assessed curriculum, and the processes of curriculum development and adjustment. The literary curriculum is...
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The Untold Story of Assessment
Abstract If one were to name one year as the year that assessment was invented, that year would be 1980. This proposition is not fully proven here, but a plausible argument is presented in its defence. Introduction What is the difference between...
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Engaging Teachers in Re-Imagining Curriculum
Abstract This article uses a specific curriculum innovation--a focus on the nature of science--to illustrate the complex dynamics of curriculum change. Snapshots from the professional learning of two teachers, one primary and one secondary, are...
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Epistemological Voyaging: Thinking about a Maori-Centric Curriculum
Abstract Many Maori (1) are rethinking curriculum development, delivery, and assessment as part of an agenda of ethnovisioning, and a resistance to educational philosophies that legitimate dominant paradigms for knowing and, as a consequence, subjugate...
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Towards a New Technological Literacy: Curriculum Development with a Difference
Abstract This article provides a brief review of the entry of technology education into New Zealand schools. It outlines the nature of technological literacy underpinning the 1995 technology curriculum and indicates how this has manifested itself...
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Leadership in Technology Education
Abstract The implementation of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) has posed a challenge for curriculum leaders and teachers in all learning areas. These challenges have been particularly acute for technology departments because...
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Vol. 2, Annual

What Matters in the Curriculum?
This year, New Zealand's Ministry of Education published a draft curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2006), as part of the consultative process associated with the development of the next school curriculum. Whether this document is a major perturbation...
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Signalling Shifts in Meaning: The Experience of Social Studies Curriculum Design
Abstract This article argues the view that curriculum policy is an educative resource for teachers, and that this view imposes certain design considerations on policy. Foremost among these is the need to signal shifts in meaning, in ways that enable...
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Literacy and the Achievement Gap
Abstract This paper challenges the belief that methods of teaching reading are the answer to raising age cohort standards of achievement, and that literacy, in the form of reading and writing, is based on spoken language. It is argued that documents,...
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Key Competencies: A New Way Forward or More of the Same? (1)
Abstract This article explores and critiques the different ways in which the concept of "key competencies" has been understood and represented in the curriculum. It is argued that if competencies are to go beyond simply reinforcing the curriculum...
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The Literary Curriculum and the Denial of Backgrounds
Abstract The "literary curriculum" seeks to make curriculum space legible. This requires denying that knowledge has backgrounds that cannot be made legible. Worse still, the attempt to make knowledge legible undermines that which can reasonably...
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A Thinking Curriculum
"Last time I only failed by the narrowest of narrow margins." "You what? You walked in there, wrote, 'I am a fish', four hundred times, did a funny little dance, and fainted." Rimmer and Lister in Red Dwarf Abstract ...
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Questions for a Twenty-First Century Senior Secondary Curriculum
Abstract This article looks at the current organisation of senior secondary curriculum in New Zealand, and raises some key questions that will need to be considered as we seek to develop a senior secondary curriculum designed for life in the twenty-first...
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Listening to Student Voice
Abstract This article explores the value of listening to and heeding student voice. By doing so, teachers learn about the life experiences of students, and about how these contribute to the more formal learning environment of the classroom. They...
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Mathematics Education in the English and French Contexts and the Implications for New Zealand of a "Europeanised" Curriculum
Abstract Though they are geographically close, England and France's underlying philosophies regarding education and, for the focus of this paper, mathematics education, exhibit differences worth considering. The English system, influenced by the...
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Conceptions of Curriculum: A Framework for Understanding New Zealand's Curriculum Framework and Teachers' Opinions
Abstract Five conceptions of curriculum (i.e., humanist, social reconstructionist, skills, technological, and academic) are described and used to analyse the New Zealand Curriculum Framework. It is argued that the framework contains aspects of all...
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Once Were Curriculum Developers
Abstract The Cold War, and especially the launch of Sputnik, meant changes in curriculum development throughout the Western world. New Zealand was no exception. Our model, the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU), later the Curriculum Development Division...
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The Draft New Zealand Curriculum
Abstract Much is invested in, and expected of, a New Zealand curriculum. Following curriculum developments in the 1990s, a curriculum stocktake was carried out from 2000 to 2002, to investigate issues such as the manageability of the current curriculum,...
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Vol. 1, Annual

Why Curriculum Matters to Me
Curriculum Mutters is, for me, a long overdue publication. Its genesis is due to the thinking of our colleagues in the Ministry of Education who wanted to encourage debate about curriculum, in particular with the current review of curriculum, and those...
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Looking Back, Looking Forward: Three Decades of Early Childhood Curriculum Development in Aotearoa New Zealand
Abstract In this reflection on early childhood curriculum development in Aotearoa New Zealand since the mid-1980s, the author identifies some of the factors that were influential in the genesis, and subsequent implementation, of Te Whariki. The...
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New Times: The Place of Literacies and English in the Curriculum
Abstract The article (1) discusses the varied and changing concepts of literacy and English. It is argued that these changes have implications for the place of literacy in the New Zealand Curriculum. Literacy and literacies must be more explicitly...
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Citizenship Education: Does It Have a Place in the Curriculum?
Abstract The call for citizenship education as a compulsory part of the curriculum has met with a varied response worldwide. While everyone would espouse the ideals of ensuring our young people grow up to be active and fair-minded citizens, why...
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Learning to "Be" in a New Century: Reflections on a Curriculum in Transition
Abstract Future-focused theoretical thinking about education exhibits an ontological turn, with attendant advocacy for more attention to be paid to the nature of knowledge and to students' identity development. This article explores the second of...
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Transnumerative Thinking: Finding and Telling Stories within Data
Abstract A critical component in the development of students' statistical thinking and reasoning is transnumerative thinking; that is, changing representations of data to engender an understanding of observed phenomena. Examples from Years 6 to...
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Towards an Ethically Oriented Curriculum: Resisting the Growth of Instrumentalism
Abstract Instumentalism is a growing disposition of thought in authorised curriculum theory. It is detrimental to education because it enfeebles the curriculum's ethical orientation. Instrumentalism reflects an "instrumental orientation" that is...
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Who Cares? Student's Values and the Mathematics Curriculum
Abstract My aim in this article is to encourage educators to deeply consider the values of justice and care in curriculum design and delivery. To support this argument I describe interviews with 12 women who experienced a "separate knowing" (rules-based,...
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Attempting to Capture the Intangible: Spirituality in State Education
Abstract Spirituality has quietly featured in the secular school curriculum for decades but little attention was given to it until "spiritual well-being" was defined and briefly discussed in the 1999 Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand...
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Curriculum Integration in the Junior Secondary School
Abstract The integration of curriculum has been of interest to educators since before the start of the 30th century. Today, an increasing number of New Zealand schools are embracing a variety of approaches to curriculum integration. At the same...
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School-Based Curriculum Development: Is It Coming Back into Fashion?
Abstract The current New Zealand Curriculum/Tc Marautanga o Aotearoa Project involves a wide-ranging process to engage teachers, principals, students, lecturers, and others in revitalising the New Zealand curriculum. In 2004, as one of many facets...
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Key Competencies in the New Zealand Curriculum: Development through Consultation
Abstract The Curriculum/Marautanga Project was launched in 2003 to build on the recommendations of the Curriculum Stocktake Report (Ministry of Education, 2002) in reframing the national curriculum. A key change to the curriculum is the proposed...
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