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Disciplining and Drafting, or 21st Century Learning? Rethinking the New Zealand Senior Secondary Curriculum for the Future

ISBN 978-1-877398-35-3

Will today’s curriculum prepare secondary school students for life in the 21st century?

Rachel Bolstad and Jane Gilbert propose radical new models for schooling that challenge long-held ideas about the purpose and structure of the senior secondary years.

They take a specific look at the curriculum that is taught in Years 11–13 and how it will need to change to be relevant in the developing knowledge society.

In the recent controversy and upheaval over assessment, they say we have failed to think deeply enough about what, and how, senior secondary students should actually learn. Bolstad and Gilbert tease out and challenge the historic assumptions that have lead to the current curriculum—one that either lays down the basis of a specific body of knowledge that will be developed by those who go on to university, or weeds out those who won’t.

They argue that to be successful in the knowledge society no-one can be left behind. It is not enough for our schools to produce people who are knowledgeable; we need to develop adaptable, technologically and socially adept people who can use and create knowledge.

Jane Gilbert is a Chief Researcher with the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. She is the author of Catching the Knowledge Wave? The Knowledge Society and the Future of Education, a book that has caused vigorous debate in all education sectors.

Rachel Bolstad is a Senior Researcher with the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. She is a regular contributor to set: Research Information for Teachers and is the author of a number of popular future-focused literature reviews.

Read and comment on author Rachel Bolstad's entry on the Shifting to 21st Century Thinking blog:
Disciplining and drafting, or 21st century learning?
"...There is lots more we could say about our metaphors - but really the idea here is to use them as a stepping-off point for discussion. What do you think?...". Rachel Bolstad, Senior Researcher, NZCER.

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