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Curriculum, pedagogy, environments

Teaching and learning that builds financial capability is a relevant context through which schools can meet the objectives and requirements of the national curriculum.

Learning environment

Inclusive | Culture counts | Partnerships | Learning contexts

Inclusive environment

"Learning is inseparable from its social and cultural context. Students learn best when they feel accepted, enjoy positive relationships with their fellow students and teachers, and when they are active, visible members of the learning community."

The New Zealand Curriculum, p. 34

Culture counts

Evidence shows that effective teaching and learning depends on the relationship between teacher and student, and the active engagement and motivation of the students by the teacher.

“Understanding how identity, language, and culture impact on Māori students’ learning, and responding to that, requires all stakeholders to develop a greater understanding of their own identity language and culture in ways that will shape their lives.”

Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success: The Māori Education Strategy 2013 - 2017, p. 17

The Pasifika Education Plan 2013–2017 (PEP) aims to achieve optimum learning by promoting closer alignment and compatibility between the learner’s educational environment and their home and/or cultural environment.

Finding out about and understanding how different cultural values affect financial decisions is an essential part of building financial capability in students. Participating in learning experiences that explore and model values enables students to understand and explore New Zealand's rich cultural diversity. These values include concepts such as:

  • fairness
  • charity
  • sacrifice
  • manaakitanga (hospitality)
  • whakawhanaungatanga (family or kin, shared responsibility, and collaboration).

These provide opportunities for rich learning conversations within the classroom. For example, some cultures may see money as a personal resource, others as a community resource. A successful financial capability programme will address these differences respectfully, without making assumptions about cultural beliefs.

"Having a majority of Pasifika students was a great advantage as we were able to have many discussions about the effects of culture on different financial decisions and the responses that may be required because of these decisions."

Onehunga High School story

“The majority of the mainly Pasifika students at Aorere get a real sense of satisfaction, pleasure, and self-worth from giving – particularly to their own community and cultural groups, rather than being motivated by profit. Within this context students learn how to budget successfully, make wise spending choices, and manage risk.”

Aorere College story 

"They had money left over from the Big Day Out and were unanimous in their desire to save it for the end of term 4. They also wanted it used for the whole group; this supports our kaupapa of whakawhanaungatanga (kinship, links, ties) valuing community."

Arowhenua School story

"Through working independently and collaboratively in problem solving situations, (students) took on different roles, sometimes competing and sometimes having to co-operate. They learnt to understand different cultures, particularly with regards to differing values and the impact these have on the decisions that people from different cultures might make."

Otahuhu College story

Productive partnerships

"The curriculum has meaning for students, connects with their wider lives and engages the support of the families, whānau, and communities."

The New Zealand Curriculum, p. 9

Forming productive partnerships, as suggested in Ka Hikitia, between Māori students, whānau, hapū, iwi, and educators sharing knowledge and expertise with each other will produce better mutual outcomes. The Pasifika Education Plan similarly recommends strengthening partnerships to ensure parents, families, and communities are engaged in their children’s learning.

Financial capability provides an authentic learning context to promote effective links between schools and other cultural contexts in which students grow up. There is opportunity for many productive partnerships to be formed with the community, including parents, whānau, agencies such as banks, budgeting advisers, and local churches.

Consider how you can connect with parents/whānau to share information and provide opportunities for input into student learning to ensure that the content reflects the values of the school community and whānau.

"To begin with we contacted the whānau and organised a hui at school... the number of whānau attending was above our expectations and they were positively supportive of our venture."

Arowhenua School story

"Our community engagement initiative has potential for significant long-term impact on financial literacy in our school."

Mangere Central School story

Authentic learning contexts

Authentic learning contexts are integral to creating student interest and are likely to increase students’ sense of connectedness and belonging.

Effective Pedagogy in Social Sciences: Tikanga ā Iwi: BES

"Māori students do much better when education reflects and values their identity, language, and culture."

Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success: The Māori Education Strategy 2013 - 2017 (p.6)

Finding out students’ prior knowledge and experiences, including cultural practices and values, and connecting with whānau and the local community in ways that give students ownership of their learning will help to engage all learners, particularly Māori and Pasifika students.

“Identifying what motivates students, recognising the impact of students’ values and culture on learning, and providing an authentic learning context engages students, gives them ownership of their own learning, and contributes to the successful approach Meriane has developed in her classroom.”

Aorere College story

Published on: 20 Nov 2013


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