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School-based curriculum development: is it coming back into fashion?

Rachel Bolstad

The current New Zealand Curriculum/Te Marautanga o Aotearoa Project involves a wide-ranging process to engage teachers, principals, students, lecturers, and others in revitalising the New Zealand curriculum. In 2004, as one of many facets to this project, the Ministry of Education commissioned a background paper to explore principles and practices associated with the concept of "school-based curriculum development". This article discusses the different ways school-based curriculum development (SBCD) has been conceived, and considers the current relevance and implications of SBCD for New Zealand schools today. I argue that a rekindling of SBCD could stimulate schools, policy makers, and communities to reflect on three of the most fundamental questions about curriculum: What should students learn at school? Why? And who decides?

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