You are here

Intrepid journeys in social studies curriculum development: Critical reflections and insights of a New Zealand educator

Tanya Samu

This article describes and discusses a self-inquiry into curriculum practice on the part of a New Zealand-based social studies educator. The approach used was adapted from Barber’s Gestalt approach to holistic inquiry. It is a qualitative approach in which the self-aware practitioner-researcher and his (or her) interactions with others is at the centre of the inquiry. It prioritises the co-construction of respectful relationships. Self-awareness and reflexivity are important processes. The main settings for study were national education systems in the Pacific and central Asia, in which the practitioner-researcher carried out the role of consultant for national curriculum development in social studies (for primary and junior secondary schooling) and social sciences (for senior secondary). This self-inquiry into practice led to critical reflections about the extent to which the practitioner-researcher’s experiences with New Zealand social studies shaped efforts as an international social studies curriculum consultant. Several products and critical insights emerged from this study, which may have potential value for contemporary developments in social studies education in New Zealand and elsewhere.

Purchase the full text of this article