2020Vision: A case study of school-based curriculum development in a New Zealand primary school The Vanishing School: Towards a sustainable local curriculum

Year: 2008

Author: Gilmore, Alison, Lovett, Susan, Clarke, Michelle, Verstappen, Peter

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Schools in New Zealand subscribe to a national curriculum. That document specifies the direction for teaching and learning in English-medium New Zealand schools. While all schools must align with the intent of that document they have considerable flexibility when determining its detail. This paper represents a case study of a small New Zealand primary school as it begins to make decisions about how to give effect to the national curriculum in ways that best address the particular needs, interests, and circumstances of the school's students and community. The school's principal initiated a research project with partners from the local university to track this development. The research team has worked alongside staff, students and parents of the school's community to monitor and evaluate the 2020Vision development during 2008. Data shared in this paper are reports on the initial phase of the project. This includes interview data, observations of staff meetings, a survey and an extensive analysis of school documents to highlight the shared understandings of the emerging vision, the processes of consultation and the effects of this development on student engagement and achievement. Findings from our initial phase reveal some preliminary steps towards answering questions such as what knowledge and skills do the school's learners need for life in 2020, what will be needed to ensure that the children get these and what short term goals will help this vision to be realised in practice?