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Source: Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA)

“The new histories curriculum has a big focus on New Zealand and Māori history – something which was missing for more than 160 years,” says Chris Abercrombie, PPTA Te Wehengarua president.

“You talk to people from other countries and they have a deep, well-formed knowledge of their history  – they know very much who they are and where they are going in the world. Yet, up until only last year the unique history of Aotearoa New Zealand was not part of what we were required to learn at school. The vast majority of New Zealanders know a great deal more about European or American history than their own.

“It’s really important for children and young people to learn about the history of Aotearoa New Zealand to get an understanding and sense of where we are at in Aotearoa New Zealand today, how we got here and the challenges that lie ahead of us.

“It’s also equally important that young people are able to see themselves in the curriculum – it helps them to identify with what they’re learning about and whets their appetite for learning more.”

Chris Abercrombie said the ANZ histories curriculum was very new – it only began to be implemented in schools last year – so there was still a lot of bedding in to be done. “And we still need a lot of support to make this curriculum as fantastic as it can be for all students. We hope the recommendations  made by ERO, particularly in terms of more support and resources, are picked up and run with.

“This new curriculum is a huge improvement on what we were teaching previously. Clearly there is a need for more support for teachers to ensure that the curriculum content is covered in full. These are momentous changes and they will take time to tweak and improve.”