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Deliberate design: An analysis of the 2010–11 School Journals and Teacher Support Materials

Sue McDowall (New Zealand Council for Educational Research) and Judy Parr (University of Auckland)

This summary report was carried out by NZCER for Learning Media Ltd. This is what Learning Media had to say about the project:

"Learning Media Ltd Te Pou Taki Kōrero is a learning organization. What drives us is our commitment to making a tangible difference for all learners, of all ages, This project reflects our interest in how curriculum materials can be designed to impact on learners in ways that can be described and measured.

We believe that curriculum materials should be smart tools for teachers, students and other key education stakeholders – their families, whānau, parents, and communities.  That is, they should be instructional in purpose and deliberately designed to scaffold learning for students and support teachers to mediate them with diverse students in different contexts.

Learning Media commissioned independent research to put our deliberate design principles to the test, so that we could better evaluate and improve our materials development processes and outcomes. Policy and research around this aspect of the education spend is limited in New Zealand. International research is also scarce and often focuses on how publishers, rather than the curriculum, drive teaching and learning in classrooms.

The commissioned research confirms that our principles for design are strongly aligned with the research evidence in the literature. It unpacks our design principles by identifying examples of their implementation in specific texts, and it confirms that these texts do make a difference to diverse learners. 

This independent research by the New Zealand Council of Educational Research and Professor Judy Parr of The University of Auckland has furthered our understanding of the role of curriculum materials in teaching and learning. It will help us to further leverage our principles to make a bigger difference for all learners."

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Research report
Learning Media Limited
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