Via their professional learning networks, school leaders were strategically developing connections between the various sectors of schooling to enable better informed transitions for students. 4 Special Education Needs Co-ordinator
Curriculum Implementation Exploratory Studies 2 49 These examples highlight the professional learning dimensions inherent in curriculum decision making that focuses on the principle of coherence . Professional inquiry might relate to what is most worth learning, developed as whole-school curriculum themes, or to what constitutes “transferability and deep learning” (which is discussed in more detail in Section 8: Rethinking relationships between breadth and depth). Key competencies are likely to be a catalyst for and focus of coherence conversations because they “link learning areas, learning activities and life across the school”. One important form of coherence not included in The New Zealand Curriculum definition is a systems alignment of coherent approaches to curriculum, assessment and pedagogy. Working to achieve this form of coherence was a high priority for many school leaders as they supported their school through ongoing self-review processes. Their aim was to align practice within and between many different aspects of school practice, in a way that was aligned with the directions of The New Zealand Curriculum . Future focus The future focus principle aspires to have students look to the future through the study of topics such as sustainability, citizenship, enterprise and globalisation that have implications for their lives beyond school. Of all the principles, this is arguably the one that has received least attention to date, which is perhaps not surprising given the inherent uncertainties in what it might encompass (see, for example, Bolstad & Roberts, 2009). The New Zealand Curriculum vision for students that they become “literate, numerate, critical and creative thinkers, and active seekers, users and creators of knowledge and informed decision makers” as lifelong learners is connected to a future focus but in relation to the skills, attitudes and dispositions students need rather than the particular issues they might need to know about. The key competencies as the “capabilities for living and lifelong learning” also contribute to this meaning of future focus, pointing to future uses of all learning, not just future-focused topics . The discussion of breadth and depth in Section 8 also has implications for this principle. A focus on the nature of knowledge, that is, how it is generated, legitimated, structured and used in the different learning areas and how the different areas might be generatively brought together, has the potential to provide students with the knowledge and skills to creatively engage with future-focused issues. However, our research suggests that building teacher expertise in this nature of knowledge dimension is itself a future-focused issue in that it is likely to require a different type of professional learning than commonly offered programmes to date.
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