Friday, June 19, 2009

Mike Anderson's presentation on implications of the new NZ Curriculum on tertiary

Mike Anderson, principal at Waimairi Primary School and an avid promoter of the use of ICT in primary school teaching, presented at the monthly CPIT Educational Strategy group meeting.

Mike’s presentation was focused around the new NZ National Curriculum which is to begin in all schools next year. He began with a quick tour of how NZ had a curriculum that was student centred and geared to the needs of the community back in the 1930s when the then prime minister, Michael Joseph Savage, appointed C.E Beeby as the director of education. An example was the work of Darracott who taught students via building a house, 2/3 to scale at Jackson’s Mill in Kotuku.

Mike's approach to the new curriculum was to engage his staff and the community in order to base their school’s direction on a ‘localised curriculum’ which was based on 21st century needs. He proposed the importance of ensuring that practices (what) and principles (how) used by teachers in the classroom were well anchored in their core values and beliefs (why). He was keen to incorporate four of the key competencies (thinking, participating and contributing, managing self and relating to others) into a quadrant that could be used to inform teachers, parents and students of their progress.

He used the analogy of the TV shows ‘who wants to be a millionaire’ as an example of the transmissive model of education still prevalent in society when we should be promoting and supporting the skills of confident, connected, activity involved and lifelong learners in education. An example would be the TV show ‘monster garage’ or another example I have occasionally followed ‘junkyard wars’.

He then provided examples of how primary school students are being encouraged and taught the skill to be producers and not consumers. These were in connect TV and Rock our world, programmes his students have engaged & participated in.