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Determining a school's curriculum (archived)


Factors that determine the shape and quality of a school’s curriculum

Interpreting The New Zealand Curriculum and giving it effect in the school curriculum requires well-informed, thoughtful consideration and decisions. Professional leaders at every level – from principals to classroom teachers – need to take time to clarify and build essential understandings about students’ needs and how those needs can best be met. Research by Lester Flockton (Emeritus Director of the Educational Assessment Research Unit of the University of Otago) suggests 14 factors that schools need to consider through the processes of inquiry, exploration, and review.

  1. Collaborative engagement
  2. Community confidence in the school, its leadership, its teachers, and its processes
  3. A shared vision for students and their learning
  4. Understandings about what constitutes meaningful learning
  5. Understandings about learners and how meaningful learning happens
  6. Understandings about how meaningful learning is meaningfully assessed
  7. Structural decisions: subject-based, topic-based, or integrated?
  8. Coverage decisions: “mile-wide, inch-deep” versus “inch-wide, mile-deep”?
  9. Decisions on how the values, key competencies, and learning areas will interrelate
  10. Decisions on emphasis: process versus product?
  11. Professional development
  12. Resources and resourcefulness
  13. Vulnerability to packaged “solutions”, posters, and silver bullets
  14. The quality of regular self-review and critical reflection

Next - Direction and emphasis

Published on: 18 Dec 2007