Revelations in the Revolution of Relevance: Learning in a Meaningful Context

By Steven S. Sexton.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The dramatically modified New Zealand Curriculum was fully implemented at the beginning of the 2010 academic school year. This new curriculum has changed the way teachers plan, prepare, deliver and assess the learning environment. Instead of being taught in isolation, subject matter is now approached in a holistic manner through an integrated educational context. Teachers now find themselves without a prescribed set of learning experiences and are expected to provide learning opportunities that their students will find Relevant, Useful and Meaningful. At the same time, students must practice and develop five Key Competencies: Thinking; Relating to others; Using symbols, language and texts; Managing-self; and Participating and contributing. In response to these changes, many teachers have been seeking practical professional development support from tertiary education providers. This paper reports on one primary school teacher’s practical demonstration of how to integrate the Key Competencies in a lesson based on a science context.

Keywords: Primary Education, Indigenous Education, Theory into Practice

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.29-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 548.207KB).

Dr. Steven S. Sexton

Lecturer, Curriculum Development and Teaching, College of Education, The University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Presently, I am lecturing in Primary Education with an emphasis in Science. My research interests are in teacher cognition and teacher role development. In particular, I am interested in the significance of the role of the teacher within New Zealand's indigenous Maori population. I have spent the previous three years working in a small predominately Maori organisation to help address some of the social injustices they have suffered being isolated and marginalised by mainstream society.