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From Conference to Curriculum: A History Teacher's Roadmap to Change

Updated: May 12, 2023

As the Head of History at Palmerston North Boys' High School, my journey through the Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum (ANZHC), the Social Studies refresh, and the new NCEA achievement standards has been an exciting and enriching experience.

My journey began back in 2018 at the New Zealand History Teachers Association (NZHTA) conference held in the Waikato. The conference was an eye-opening experience, with keynote speakers including acclaimed New Zealand historian Vincent O'Malley, and visits to key battle sites of the New Zealand Wars. At the end of the conference, we all voted to support the chairperson, Graeme Ball, in his desire to petition the government to make New Zealand history compulsory. I felt proud to have been present at the event, especially now that we can see how much we have achieved and the potential for good it will do for New Zealand society and our bi-cultural identity.

Since then, I have taken part in a variety of professional development opportunities to learn about the ANZHC and the Social Studies refresh. A highlight was the opportunity to host Graeme Ball at Boys' High where he gave a presentation on the history of colonisation in New Zealand and its impact, particularly for Māori. This was followed by a collaborative session on ways we could implement the ANZHC.

As an ASL for this Kāhui Ako, I would love the opportunity to work with other teachers to help them navigate the challenges that a new curriculum presents. I believe it would be great if we were able to collaborate and strategically plan how we implement this new curriculum across the primary, intermediate, and secondary schools in this Kāhui Ako. We have wonderful teachers in this community with a lot of expertise, and I hope that through my role, I can bring us together to work on this very important kaupapa.

Principal / Nominated Contact: Gerry Aitkin

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