Education Minister Chris Hipkins has released a cabinet paper today outlining the major insights from the two education summits held in May and how the education reforms are progressing.

Around 1400 people from all areas education took part in the summits held in Auckland and Christchurch

“At both events, they emphasised the importance of a learner–centred education system, the importance of equity and valuing all learners, and of a holistic approach to learning, which is more connected to the community and which integrates Māori and Pacific values into the curriculum,” said Hipkins.

Insights from the summits fall into four broad categories:

  • Knowledge, competencies and skills: the importance of a holistic approach to learning that goes beyond knowledge building, redefining what is valued in the education system, and integrating Māori and Pacific values into the curriculum. The need to avoid over-testing was also emphasised.
  • Ways of teaching and the learning environment: a learner-centred education system where the unique identity of each participant is valued and there are flexible and individualised life-long learning pathways to reflect learners’ aspirations and needs. The importance of teachers as facilitators in synonymous and reciprocal teaching and learning (the concept of ako), underpinned by quality relationships was also emphasised, as were: the role of whānau in learning; the variety of contexts in which learning occurs; and the need to reflect Kaupapa Māori principles in learning.
  • Connections and relationships: whanaungatanga, the importance of connectedness with whānau and the wider community, and of broader community involvement in learning.
  • Systems and structures: the importance of equity and valuing all learners, including providing equal opportunities to learn throughout life and using an equitable education system as a means to create an equitable society. The need for resourcing to be flexible to meet diverse needs was emphasised, as were: the importance of education being coherent with wider societal values and concerns; a focus on the early years; and a focus on seamless pathways aligned from early childhood to tertiary education.

The top values for New Zealand’s education system were hauora/wellbeing, creativity, family/community, respect and belonging.

Chris Hipkins said the Government’s several education work streams, including the Tomorrow’s Schools Review, the Early Learning Strategic Plan and the NCEA Review are now drawing on those ideas and suggestions to inform their work on the changes to the education system to meet the needs of all New Zealanders.

The two summits, pre-engagement with stakeholders, and material preparation for the events and in the ongoing conversation cost just under $440,000 to design and develop, and holding the events in Christchurch and Auckland $1.41 million and $1.26 million respectively.

“This important investment is now influencing all aspects of the education portfolio work programme and supporting us to develop an education system that is fit for the future and delivers success for all New Zealanders,” Chris Hipkins said.

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