Aotearoa NZ Histories on Education Perfect

Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua

‘I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past'

What's changing?

Aotearoa NZ Histories is leading the charge with the biggest changes to the NZC in a generation. Its curriculum is the first produced by MoE, and the Ministry has provided clear indications that the Refresh will honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Aotearoa NZ Histories will challenge traditional versions of our past by placing hītori Māori as the foundational history of our country and by exploring the impact of colonisation and the exercise of power on its people. Across the motu, teachers and schools are eager to move into this space.

Phase 1 of EP’s Aotearoa NZ Histories package aims to support schools through this transition. We are excited to bring this offering to our communities. 

EP acknowledges that these histories are taonga. We have an internal kaupapa Māori team who whakapapa to various iwi from Te Tai Tokerau to Te Waipounamu. In cases of specialised mātauranga beyond their expertise, our team drew on their networks to consult external mātanga Māori. 

The intent of the new curriculum is for kura to work with mana whenua, so where possible EP will concentrate on general, nationwide contexts and leave our lessons open-ended for kura to input localised hītori. 

We take the consultation process very seriously and will be just as thorough when we come to complete the planned 70 lessons for Year 7-10 in 2023 - these stories are the lives of tūpuna Māori (ancestors). As such, we plan to have a wide range of Māori voices in the writing team, and with their help, EP will share these hītori boldly but with great care. If you have specific concerns, please let us know.

How is EP supporting schools?

EP has partnered with experienced History teachers and experts in Te Ao Māori to produce a package of 24 introductory lessons covering key moments and significant events of Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Spanning Ngā Hekenga - the migration across the Pacific 3,000 years ago and the arrival of tūpuna Māori to Aotearoa, life in pre-colonial Aotearoa, to the signing of Te Tiriti and its impact on us today.

The package also includes a series of 8 Skills Lessons that introduces students to the idea of Being a Historian. Some of the skills and concepts covered include:

  • Critical Thinking
  • How to Use Historical Sources
  • Sequencing 
  • Considering Te Ao Māori

Teachers will be able to use these universal lessons to guide students through any study of a historical event in their own local context.

This package of lessons is based on the draft of the Aotearoa NZ Histories, so it is not yet fully curriculum-aligned. However:

  • Our contextual lessons focus on the Know strand whereas the Skills lessons extend into the new Understand-Know-Do framework teachers can expect when the draft curriculum is finalised.
  • Our writers have also used the SOLO taxonomy when creating the Lesson Objectives. 
  • Our lessons are aligned with a high level 4 and level 5 level of literacy understanding. EP's tools for differentiation allow teachers to scaffold and support students working in early level 4 of the curriculum.
  • These lessons can incorporate all of the Key Competencies in the classroom but focus most explicitly on Thinking, Relating to Others, and Using language, symbols and texts.
  • For this foundational course, we have aimed our lessons at ākonga in Years 7-10 but have drawn primarily from the Know strand's Year 4-6 contexts. This approach will allow teachers to fill gaps and prepare students to move more seamlessly into Year 7-10 learning contexts.

Now the curriculum is finalised, we plan to build out a larger curriculum-aligned package that covers Years 4-10. EP looks forward to your feedback as we build toward 2023. 

Teacher Guide

Below are some ideas about how you could implement EP's Aotearoa NZ Histories lessons in your classroom - either full course, partial or the use of the Being a Historian Skills lessons in conjunction with the contextual lessons.

Full Course:
  1. Work through the sequence of lessons and complete the Being a Historian lessons as they become particularly relevant throughout the course - I.e. the first lesson which is directly related to that skill. 

Below is a grid that identifies which lessons are closely aligned with the different skills in the Being a Historian section. This should help you to identify which skills to tag with which contextual lesson and may help you structure your course. 

Grid showing alignment of NZ Histories lessons

  1. Completing the Being a Historian lessons first then working your way through the rest of the course, ending with the final Being a Historian lesson and an independent inquiry. 
  2. Another option is to complete the Being a Historian section first, then work through the rest of the lessons. Each week, allocate one lesson to an individual inquiry, making up the last lesson of Being a Historian. The class can complete this alongside study of the content lessons. 
Partial Course:

We suggest that the following sections of work are completed together:

Type Level Contents
Early Aotearoa Level 4 & 5 NZC Literacy This suite of eight contextual lessons (from Crossing the Pacific to The Power of People) covers the period of history prior to the arrival of Europeans in Aotearoa. They explore origins in the Pacific, early technology and key learnings from the earliest New Zealanders.

These lessons are drawn from the Draft Curriculum for Aotearoa New Zealand Histories and reach broadly across Years 7-10.
Early Contact Level 4 & 5 NZC Literacy These three lessons (from European Arrival to Stereotypes) cover the period of the arrival of Europeans. Emphasis is on the phases of contact and the varying impact this had across iwi and different rohe.

There is some cross-over with Te Tiriti and its Impact, the following section.
Te Tiriti and its Impact Level 4 & 5 NZC Literacy These five lessons move from before Te Tiriti to the signing and Short and Long-Term Effects of Te Tiriti.
Being a Historian Level 4 & 5 NZC Literacy

The package also includes a series of 8 Skills Lessons that introduces students to the idea of Being a Historian. Some of the skills and concepts covered include Critical Thinking; How to Use Historical Sources; Sequencing; Considering Te Ao Māori. 

Teachers will be able to use these universal lessons to guide students through any study of a historical event in their own local context.

Being a Historian Skills Lessons:

About these lessons:

This section of EP’s Aotearoa NZ Histories lessons is based on a set of key skills and concepts critical to the understanding of History. 

They are taken from the essence of the draft Aotearoa NZ Histories curriculum document and aim to cover some of the key skills covered up to Year 10. 

The lessons use an event in the history of Aotearoa to demonstrate how that skill/concept applies. While ākonga are gathering skills, they are also gaining knowledge of key events in our history. 

What's included?

Each lesson has a self-assessment tool, and while these are based on progression through a SOLO framework, they are aimed to suit any learning environment.  Students can also assess themselves in a simple way at both the beginning and end of each lesson to help them identify their own areas of growth. The ‘I’ statements used at each level should enable them to communicate why they feel they have progressed. 

To accompany these lessons we have included generic templates for each of the skills that can be utilised in other historical contexts. They could be utilised when engaging in the local history of your rohe or when examining international time periods or events. In most cases, students will meet these skills within the lesson and again as an option in the Mahi section.

The idea of Mahi is to scaffold the learning to enable the ākonga to carry out their own historical inquiry.

Being a Historian builds on students' agency, giving them the opportunity to utilise these skills/concepts and templates, to engage with a part of History they are drawn to or to engage in the hītori of their rohe.

Included is a tracking tool and an overall marking template to help synthesise these skills and guide both the students and the teacher through the process.

For any questions or feedback, please contact our team. We'd love to hear from you!

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