Question 7 – How could @NZCurriculum support you in engaging the community to a greater extent?
In contrast to many international contexts, the NZC allows schools to interpret a national curriculum document in a localised way. In Question 7, we asked #edchatnz followers how the NZC helps with community engagement. Here are some of the responses.
Fundamental parts of the curriculum document refer to the importance of community engagement, providing a framework for individual school approaches:
- Principles: Community engagement principle, "The curriculum has meaning for students, connects with their wider lives, and engages the support of their families, whānau, and communities." (NZC, p.9)
- Values: Community and participation, "Students will be encouraged to value community and participation for the common good." and, "The specific ways in which these values find expression in an individual school will be guided by dialogue between the school and its community. They should be evident in the school’s philosophy, structures, curriculum, classrooms, and relationships. When the school community has developed strongly held and clearly articulated values, those values are likely to be expressed in everyday actions and interactions within the school." (NZC, p.10)
- Key competencies: "The development of the competencies is both an end in itself (a goal) and the means by which other ends are achieved. Successful learners make use of the competencies in combination with all the other resources available to them. These include personal goals, other people, community knowledge and values, cultural tools (language, symbols, and texts), and the knowledge and skills found in different learning areas." (NZC, p.12)
It is hard to be a true partner in the planning process if you do not have a grasp of the framework being used. Community understanding of the NZC is vital if the community are going to be informed planning partners. You could create a document specifically for your community, explaining the processes of the NZC and how it currently underpins the teaching and learning programmes at your school. The MOE parent portal and NZC online National Standards pages provide starting points for this kind of document.
"Curriculum design and review is a continuous, cyclic process. It involves making decisions about how to give effect to the national curriculum in ways that best address the particular needs, interests, and circumstances of the school’s students and community. It requires a clear understanding of the intentions of the New Zealand Curriculum and of the values and expectations of the community." (NZC, p.37)
NZC Online has a number of sections that could be used as a springboard for designing curriculum with community:
Education for Enterprise
Education for Enterprise (E4E) is about promoting an approach to learning – one that is real, relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning. This is a chance to connect with the wider community, with local businesses and industry and the people running them.
This section provides ideas and resources to help schools design a curriculum that enables students to be internationally capable. This is a chance to embrace the cultural and linguistic diversity of the school community, and create global connections and conversations.
National events and The New Zealand Curriculum
A guide to national days and weeks that you can celebrate in your schools. All of our national event pages have suggested ways to involve the community. How about inviting whānau and community groups to organise programmes for these national weeks in your school?
The final word...
Is your learning community fenceless? We'd love to keep hearing your stories, and suggestions of what we can do to help you with community engagement. Keep tweeting @NZCurriculum or post on our Facebook page.
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