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Book Group #1: Key Competencies for the Future, with NZCER | from 3rd October

Started by Karen Spencer 14 Sep 2014 12:48pm () Replies (36)

NZCER Key CompetenciesWe are delighted that NZCER will be hosting the first NZ Book Group in Connected Educator Month this year.

The new publication, Key Competencies for the Future, will be spotlighted through webinars and online discussions. This is a wonderful opportunity for educators across New Zealand and beyond to come together online to talk to the authors and explore the themes in the book. Join Sally Boyd, Rose Hipkins, Rachel Bolstad and Sue McDowall as they share their thoughts on this popular new publication.

Recordings from the Book Group


Meanwhile, check out this video in which the authors, Sally Boyd, Rose Hipkins, Rachel Bolstad and Sue McDowall, talk about what some of their values are and how these values helped frame the discussions in their new book:



M logoBrought to you with the support of Microsoft, our National Connector partner.


  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 7:11pm ()

    Today, we had a wonderfully rich discussion and exploration through three key themes of the NZCER book this morning with Rachel Bolstad, Sue McDowall and Sally Boyd.

    We touched on the challenge of educating for the future. School is supposed to prepare learners for their future lives… “Creative, energetic, enterprising...confident, connected, actively involved, and lifelong learners…”(NZC vision).  But – to what “futures” might they need to employ and apply these attributes? We can’t “see” the future. There is no data from the future. Research can help us to think about what the future could look like. But we also need to consider what we want that future to be. The key competencies, at the heart of the curriculum, might provide a fresh way of asking future focused questions about what today's learners need if they are to be ready for life beyond school.

    ....and so now we kick off the first week's discussion.....

    Key Idea #1: Wicked problems and the challenge of educating for the future: Chapters 3-6


    In the book, the authors start with a "wicked problem" and explore the ways in which key competencies can become a vehicle to help learners explore, inquire and take action in response to that problem. 

    wicked problems


    Explore the early chapters of the book and share your thoughts. Here are some questions to start us off:

    • Why might it be useful to design learning around "wicked problems" as a starting point for helping our learners develop key competencies?
    • How might different competencies provide a doorway through which our learners can relate to and explore learning areas and new ideas?
    • Can you share examples of approaches you are planning or have trialed with your own learners?

    The authors will be dipping in and out of this thread to answer questions and share thoughts of their own - and we would love to hear from you as you explore this book.

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 15 Oct 2014 4:56pm ()

    We are a couple of weeks into our Book Group and there have been some wonderful contributions from a number of educators across NZ in response to the challenge of designing for wicked problems - and thanks to Rachel and Rose for their replies.

    Stories have been shared of students grappling and reaching for new ideas through meaningful inquiry and exploration of real-life issues. Rose also raised the question of assessing progress through backward mapping - has anyone done this and has a story to share?

    This week, we turn our attention to a couple of other interwoven ideas that were explored in the first webinar [you can access the recording here] and are also unpacked in the book.


    Students as citizens:  

    • How can we make a stronger connection with the social justice narrative underpinning the Key Competencies?
    • How do we position school learners? Are they citizens NOW?…with opportunities to work together and with people outside school, to make their world a better place? or are they citizens in preparation who are learning about how others have made a difference?



    Working with diverse others and ideas:

    Equity is no longer about bringing everyone closer to a set standard of success. Educating diverse students is about using diversity as a resource. It's also about educating for diversity - preparing students to work with diverse others and with diverse ideas.

    • How might this be happening, or beginning to happen, in your school?

    Feel free to share an idea, no matter how tentative - and do join us for the closing webinar on 23 October, 3.45pm.

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 23 Oct 2014 9:29am ()

    Thank you to all of you who have been participating in this Book Group thread this month. There's a real richness of discussion and reflection which means that, even after we 'officially' wrap, this discussion can continue...

    Whether you have read the book or are still curious about the ideas in it, you are all invited to join the authors - plus Danielle Myburgh (Hobsonville Point) and Reid Walker (Henderson North School), two educators with stories to share - in this afternoon's wrap-up [23 Oct] at 3.45pm:

    Hope to see you there!

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 28 Oct 2014 12:38pm ()

    Kia nora koutou


    Some incredibly rich reflections here - thanks again for all your participation over the month. I'm just popping the links to the recordings in here again in case anyone else want to review and I'll add them to the initial post on this thread as well:

    The closing session explored several of the questions that have come up in this thread, and we also heard from two guests, Danielle Myburgh (Hobsonville Point Secondary School) and Reid Walker (Henderson North School), who have been exploring some of the book's ideas with their learners and generously shared their journeys.

    This thread will remain open beyond the end of Connected Educator Month for anyone else to drop into as they wish.

    My thanks to Rachel, Rose, Sue and Sally for all their time and participation in this discussion so far - and to all of you who have been participating:) It seems to me that the book is a timely guide to reimagining learning design in ways that honour the 'front end' and intent of the NZ Curriculum.

    Keep the comments, questions and stories coming;)

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