When I was younger the mantra from my parents was, actions speak louder than words. So what does this mean in relation to education, technology and learning? Quite apart from the fact I now repeat the same mantra to my own children and those in my school, this week we have seen the dfference between what our political masters are saying and what is actually happening around curriclum development.
What do I really mean? One of my over riding concerns about the introduction of national standards is they will become the de facto NZ curriculum. At a time where considerable work is being done by schools to work with what is widely acknowledged as a fantastic curriculum there is considerable danger the national standards will come in over top and become the NZ curriculum.
I have raised this on more than one occasion with MoE and political representatives. The response was no that is true we don't want the standards to become the NZ curriculum. All this is very nice to hear, however now we come to the action bit. This week the MoE announced its professional development funding priorities for 2010.
The professional development services provided through the SSS contracts in 2010 will include:
- increased support for primary and ongoing support for secondary for improving achievement in literacy and numeracy through The New Zealand Curriculum
- support for schools to implement the National Standards
- continued support for school leadership
- support for NCEA and the learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum in secondary schools (support for the arts, science, social science, technology and health and physical education learning areas for primary schools will cease)
- some support for implementation of school based curriculum underpinned by The New Zealand Curriculum in primary and secondary schools
- support for Māori medium education including implementation of National Standards and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa
- support for provisionally registered and overseas trained teachers
Clearly one can see that priority will be given to literacy and numeracy and the national standards. In the fifth bullet point of seven we get "some support for implementation of school based curriculum underpinned by the New Zealand Curriculum in primary and secondary schools."
Intended or not we are on the way to having the standards becoming the NZ Curriculum. The only way for this not ti happen is for schools to be quite deliberate and explicit in implementing the new NZC with the standards as supporting documentation.
My thoughts anyhow.