Thursday, June 20, 2024

NZ history in schools discussion begins

What Kiwi students will learn about New Zealand history at school is up for public discussion, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.

Public engagement on draft curriculum content for Aotearoa New Zealand’s Histories to be taught in schools will run until 31 May. 

“In September 2019 we announced Aotearoa New Zealand’s Histories would be taught in all schools and kura from 2022. This was a response to the growing calls from New Zealanders to know more about our own history and identity,” Mr Hipkins said.

“In practice, learners across New Zealand will explore the stories that are unique to us. In Te Tai Tokerau, for example, I know people will be interested in learning about the battle that took place in Ruapekapeka during the Northern Wars in the 1800s.

“In Waikato, ākonga may learn about the invasion of Waikato led by Governor George Grey and the implications this had for people living in the region.

“In Otago, they may delve deeper into the region’s Māori and Chinese heritage and how it has helped shape the area into what it is today, while in Northland they may explore Māori histories and early Croatian stories. 

“In Porirua, learners may explore the stories of Pacific migration to the area, including when and how people came to the city and the reasons for coming such as work and education. They could also explore how Pacific people have influenced the culture of Porirua,” Chris Hipkins said. 

“We want all New Zealanders to have their say on the draft content and we are hoping to hear from as many people as possible. I urge all New Zealanders who are interested in our history and kura to provide feedback.

“Over the past year, the Ministry of Education has been working with teachers, school leaders, school sector representatives, academics, representatives from the Māori, Pacific, migrants and disabled persons communities to draft curriculum content. 

“The content was tested in a small number of schools and kura in Term 4 last year and this year the Ministry is seeking input from all schools and kura and the public before the content is finalised.”

Minister Hipkins said having the resources and infrastructure in place to teach the young about all aspects of New Zealand’s past would be a watershed moment for the nation. 

“It will provide opportunities to learn about history from a local, regional and national perspective and will help students get a stronger sense of how the past has shaped who we are,” he said.

“Support from school communities is critical to get this exciting new subject up and running. The Ministry will be rolling out a range of resources to support the teaching of the updated content in schools and kura. This includes local curriculum guides and support through professional learning and development.”

Draft content and an online survey is  available at Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories in our national curriculum – Education in New Zealand.

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