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Te tuangi (the clam): A metaphor for teaching, learning and the key competencies

Mary Simpson and Tina Williams

This article explores the shift from “essential skills” to “key competencies” in the school curriculum. Drawing on information gathered from teacher interviews and observations at a New Zealand primary school, this article suggests that culture and context strongly shape and influence the interpretation of key competencies. The authors develop a metaphor—te tuangi—to theorise the relationship between a learner (akonga) and a teacher (kaiako) in a cultural and social context.

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