Education in NZ

Old May 8th 2013, 6:16 am
  #1  
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Default Education in NZ

I know there have been a lot of threads on education here and I have been enjoying reading them all and am thankful this is such an active forum.

I noticed a few people say teachers are able to decide content/teaching to each class. Does this mean there is generally no 'head of year' to determine what is taught and how? I am just wondering as we have this situation now at our current school, which is PYP/MYP (OB style) and it means we are heavily dependent on the quality of the teacher, rather than the overall standards of the school. Besides being uncertain of what kids will learn, it also goes as far as communication standards as well. One teacher will decide they communicate a lot with parents, another teacher will decide not to - it is highly variable and doesn't seem to be led by principal/curriculum coordinators.

I grew up in America and our kids have been educated on the international curriculum as well as british curriculum (which we loved). So I understand those, I am just trying to understand how it works in NZ!

If you have any input, teachers or parents, I'd love to hear it.

Regards,
Lori
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Old May 8th 2013, 8:28 am
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Default Re: Education in NZ

I have to say I'm not really sure where you have got the idea that teachers can essentially teach what they like. Certainly in high school that is not quite the case. While it is true that we don't have the same prescriptive syllabi as in the UK there is still a National Curriculum. At NCEA Level 1-3 the curriculum tends to go out of the window as we teach to the standards. That does mean that it is possible to pick from a range of standards within in each subject and to a certain extent tailor the courses. However, it is unlikely that you would find a department where each teacher is left to pick a bunch of standards with no oversight by a Head of Department. The system here is more complex in many ways than the UK system and can be difficult for parents to understand. As to whether it is better, I'm still undecided. I've recently taught the UK curriculum in International school after 8 years out of the UK system and I have to say that I personally think GCSE/AS/A'Level is a better system overall (as both a teacher and a parent).
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Old May 8th 2013, 8:58 am
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Default Re: Education in NZ

Yes Andyevs is correct- i am a pe teacher so for the various levels as a dept we put together a list of standards worth 1,2 or 3 credits which come together to make the course -worth 32 for our subject. Other subjects may vary but the idea is the same and some units are also worth numeracy and literacy credits which they have to get a certain amount of to also pass the year. I feel the problem with the system IMO is that it is so course work based that there is not enough timed exams, so i dont feel it prepares them for uni.
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