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Learning to "be" in a new century: reflections on a curriculum in transition

Rosemary Hipkins

Future-focused theoretical thinking about education exhibits an ontological turn, with attendant advocacy for more attention to be paid to the nature of knowledge and to students' identity development. This article explores the second of these recommendations and makes the case that students' "selves" should be an important curriculum focus if they are to participate positively in the knowledge age. Developing a sense of wellbeing that allows students to contribute to a diverse and rapidly changing society requires a more holistic view of self that is developed through learning experiences that are both practical and academic, and also model personal responsibility within the provision of appropriate social support. Using New Zealand's Health and Physical Education learning area as an example, the article explores the potential for authentic inquiry to meet the demanding challenges of making students' "being" at least as much a curriculum focus as their "knowing".

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