NZ histories curriculum at AUT

26 May, 2022
NZ histories curriculum at AUT

The Auckland University of Technology is meeting the needs of teachers with the implementation of the new school history curriculum from 2023.

The University is not only working to ensure its graduate teachers are prepared for the new curriculum, but it also offers courses that working teachers might find useful for upskilling.

Professor of History, Paul Moon, says the University’s papers Introduction to New Zealand History and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, The Treaty of Waitangi are particularly convenient for working teachers to take, as they are fully online and not assessed with exams.

"Every single student in primary and secondary schools will be taught history from next year,” Professor Moon says.

“In the past, primary school teachers and secondary school social studies teachers have not needed to know much about New Zealand history. Now, however, they may like to take one of our papers to get themselves up to speed on the latest thinking and historical knowledge."

Senior Lecturer in AUT’s School of Education, Dr Carol Neill, says the Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership is a core principle of the University’s initial teacher education programmes. All courses in AUT’s Bachelor of Education have a focus on bicultural New Zealand, with students each year taking papers on Te Reo Māori and tikanga Māori, she says.

“Our students really have to think about Te Tiriti o Waitangi – not just what it was historically, but what it is now, and how it should inform their teaching practice.

Changes to the Bachelor of Education’s core history-focused course will also build students’ knowledge of Aotearoa New Zealand history as well as their ability to practice history and develop historical thinking skills.

“We are creating a strong emphasis on students building historical inquiry and their own thinking on resources for the new curriculum. Our students will get a sense of how the ‘Understand, Know, Do’ progression model really works,” Dr Neill says.

“We want our graduates to have good knowledge of and skills for teaching the new curriculum.”

Professor Moon says that about 200 New Zealand schools have also pledged to teach holocaust history, for which AUT’s paper The Holocaust: Its Causes, Character, and Legacy might be useful to prepare for, particularly with its focus on New Zealand.

“Many people don’t realize, for example, that New Zealand refused to take in Jewish refugees during WWII, and this directly led to many Jews suffering in concentration camps.

“In AUT’s growing history department we have a commitment that the teaching of history has to have some purpose.

“The study of history is about building up an architecture of identity, as who you are is largely based on what goes on around you and what came before. The more you learn of any kind of history, even if it's not your own, the more that architecture becomes robust and your sense of identity strengthens.”

The University’s history courses can be taken in Semester 2 this year, starting July 18, and most are offered in Summer School, starting November 28. They can be taken by themselves or put towards a Certificate in the Arts, Diploma in Arts in History or as a major or a minor in the Bachelor of Arts.

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