A pivotal step

Issue: Volume 101, Number 5

Posted: 3 May 2022
Reference #: 1HAU1N

Professor Wally Penetito reflects on the significance of the new curriculum content for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories and Te Takanga o Te Wā.

Me mātai whakamuri, kia anga whakamua. To shape Aotearoa New Zealand’s future, let’s start with the past.

Me mātai whakamuri, kia anga whakamua. To shape Aotearoa New Zealand’s future, let’s start with the past.

Over the last several decades there has been general disquiet throughout Aotearoa New Zealand regarding relations between Māori as tangata whenua and Pākehā as the dominant society.

Despite what has often been interpreted as Pākehā ‘good intentions’ and the capacity of Māori for ‘dynamic adaptation’ the bridge between the two signatories to the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi remains an elusive goal.

How to reconcile two competing institutions taking into account both cultural and structural shifts was the underlying problem in transforming The New Zealand Curriculum

The Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum plays a critical role in helping all our ākonga, kaiako and the communities they serve to understand how events came about and how they shaped our lives. Each event has its own distinctive history.

How these histories relate to the Aotearoa New Zealand context is explored through stories, through visits, and through research. Such stories will be shared not so much as ‘facts’ but rather as ‘systems of stories’ or discourses told in particular contexts so that ākonga and their communities can share their experiences and interpretations about those events.

From 2023, Te Takanga o Te Wā and Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories will be part of the curriculum for all kura and schools throughout the country.

The responsibility of teachers will be to integrate the history of local communities with the broader context of Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories. This is one of the most exciting and pivotal steps in an education system where the expectation is that the child and their whānau, and the community they are a part of, are placed at the centre of learning. 

Ma te ahurei o te tamaiti e ārahi i a tātou katoa.

Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work.

Prof Wally Penetito, Ngati Hauā

Retired public servant and professor of Māori education (Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington); Member of Te Whakaruruhau.

Professor Wally Penetito and Dr Hana O’Regan share their thoughts on the new curriculum content – Watch the video in New Zealand Sign Language.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 11:17 am, 3 May 2022

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