purposes) into practice.
3. Competencies can be very closely related to values.
Values, too, are a key part of this overarching mix: “The revised values should link to the purposes, essential skills and attitudes and higher order thinking in the essential learning areas of the New Zealand curriculum and (the Framework)” (Ministry of Education, 2002, clause 134). However, Keown (2001) considers that the present Framework “… does not adequately address values education” (p.19) and that “ … while there are worthy values goals in broad general terms (these) are not developed in enough detail to provide curriculum writers and teachers with enough background or advice to actually achieve these intentions” (p.7). Keown’s analysis of the seven Essential Learning Area curriculum documents on five criteria gives Science in the New Zealand Curriculum a middle ranking, well behind Health and Physical Education and Social Studies, but well above Mathematics.
4.Teachers of science need a science curriculum document that prominently draws attention to the essential competencies which would be listed in a new curriculum framework.
The apparent lack of impact of the eight Essential Skills listed in the present Curriculum Framework on the thinking and practice of teachers of science over the last ten years bears this out (Baker, 1999). This is hardly surprising. In Science in the New Zealand Curriculum the Framework’s Essential Skills appeared only in Appendix 2 (pages 128-134) and they apparently played no part in shaping Science in the New Zealand Curriculum. The discussion in Appendix 2 reads very much like a justification in hindsight.
5. It is essential to define science competencies (at the level of the New Zealand science curriculum) which can be clearly seen to resonate with essential competencies (at the curriculum framework level).
Even when essential competencies are prominently highlighted in a science curriculum document, we believe that it is essential that teachers of science be shown how these can be translated into science competencies. This process of seeding in the essential competencies, so that they ramify through the whole of a revised Science in the New Zealand Curriculum and can be related to all the day-to-day activities of science teaching is, on our view, fundamental.
From TKI | NZ Curriculum Marautanga Project | What’s happening | Science | Reframing the essential skills
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