Including New Zealand history in the national curriculum

Changes announced today will see New Zealand’s histories being taught as part of the curriculum in all schools and kura by 2022.

The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and Education Minister Chris Hipkins, made the announcement following the unveiling of a plaque at Parliament commemorating the New Zealand Wars of the 19th Century.

The curriculum changes will reset a national framework so all learners and ākonga are aware of key aspects of New Zealand’s histories and how these have influenced and shaped the nation.

The National Curriculum currently enables schools and kura to decide how New Zealand’s histories are covered, however variation in delivery means too much is left to chance in the teaching and learning of New Zealand’s histories.

The curriculum changes will span the full range of New Zealanders’ experiences. Themes may include first encounters and early colonial history as well as the impact of successive waves of immigration starting with the arrival of Māori in Aotearoa, and European immigration.

New Zealand’s role in the Pacific and the evolution of a national identity with cultural plurality may also be included.

The Ministry of Education will work collaboratively to develop a New Zealand histories update with historical and curriculum experts, iwi and mana whenua, Pacific communities, the sector, students and ākonga, parents and whānau, and other groups with a strong interest in shaping how New Zealand history is taught.

Once the updates to the curriculum are known, existing supports will be reviewed and an implementation package with teaching and learning resources will be developed ready for the 2022 school year.

The package will allow schools and kura to include the new content and learning expectations in their local curriculum, working in partnership with their local communities and mana whenua.

More information about New Zealand Histories in schools and kura

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