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Curriculum as a 3 Stage Process


This is a very important base concept, and it is outlined on page 37.

"Curriculum is designed and interpreted in a three-stage process: as the national curriculum, the school curriculum, and the classroom curriculum. The national curriculum provides the framework and common direction for schools, regardless of type, size, or location. It gives schools the scope, flexibility, and authority they need to design and shape their curriculum so that teaching and learning is meaningful and beneficial to their particular communities of students. In
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3 curriculum
turn, the design of each school’s curriculum should allow teachers the scope to make interpretations in response to the particular needs, interests, and talents of individuals and groups of students in their classes."
(p37 The New Zealand Curriculum)




The National Curriculm

It is important to grasp the fact that this document (The New Zealand Curriculum) is not a working curriculum, rather it is a framework or guideline that is provided to assist schools in the development of their own curriculum.


The School Curriculum

Your school curriculum should never be a finished document. Your school curiculum should be a document that is open to constant twaeking, editing and change as you respond to the needs of your particular communities of students.

Scope Flexibility Authority
Every School has been given "scope, flexibility, and authority" (p37 The New Zealand Curriculum) to develop and implement a curriculum that is "meaningful and beneficial to their particular communities of students". As a school works through the process of developing and implementing their own curriculum it is important to understand that you do have the flexibility and authority to develop a curriculum that is relevant, engaging and meaningful to your students. On the other hand you have the freedom also to implement a curriculum that bores your students, doesn't meet their needs and disengages them from learning.
The choice belongs to you as a school, and you do have the authority and freedom to develop a curriculum that is meaningful, beneficial and engaging or a curriculum that is boring, disengaging and of little value.


The Class Curriculum

The school curriculum should be structured and developed in a manner that also allows teachers to respond to "the particular needs, interests, and talents of individuals and groups of students in their classes." (p37 The New Zealand Curriculum)

This poses interesting issues in terms of designing a curriculum as we work ythrough two differing views of curriculum.
First there is the concept that a curriculum outlines the range and scope of material to be covered, this could be categorised as a content based approach to curriculum.
Secondly there is the concept that a curriculum outlines th competencies to be developed in the students, this could be categorised as an outcome based approach to curriculum.

The NZ Curriculum document is strongly advocating and outcome based approach to curriculum through its focus on the key competencies. If we carry this focus over into the development of our school based curriculm it is much easier to develop a curriculum that gives teachers more freedom at a class level to be creative and responsive to pupils' needs, talents and interests and thus deliver learning that is engaging and meaningful.
If at school curriculum level you develop a curriculum that is content based in its approach there is a great likelihood that teachers will feel bound and constricted to covering specific content.