In reaction to the Government release today of its proposed history curriculum for New Zealand schools, AUT History Professor Paul Moon (left) says:
“This consultation document is a substantial opportunity and a major step in nation building. I encourage the public to give feedback.
“For the first time in several generations, there will be an opportunity for New Zealand students to learn about their own country in a thorough and systematic way. This will certainly help our sense of how we have evolved as a nation.
“The design of the curriculum allows students to develop a knowledge of the past, but also to appreciate that there are very different interpretations of that past.
“It is great that it emphasizes the role students can play in determining the meaning and significance of historical events for themselves. Rather than merely rote-learning dates and names, this is an effort to immerse students in the forces and events that continue to shape the country.
“This curriculum will strengthen the overall study of history in New Zealand. It is knowledge that is vitally important to all. In one sense, it serves as a sort–of instruction manual for how the world works.”
“I think that once students see the practical benefits of learning history, the subject’s popularity at universities like AUT will surge.”
History is one of the fastest-growing disciplines at the Auckland University of Technology, with an expanding range of papers encompassing a variety of topics.