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An Examination of the Curriculum-Levelling Construct

Esther Smaill, Charles Darr

In February 2020, the Ministry of Education asked the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) to examine the curriculum-levelling construct that sits at the heart of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).

A key goal of the research was to investigate, whether— and if so, how—the construct helps (or hinders) teachers and school leaders as they plan learning programmes and make judgements of student progress and achievement. This study was prompted by earlier research examining curriculum levelling, which raised questions about the curriculum-levelling construct. The current study examined relevant literature and documentation and involved interviews and focus group sessions with teachers, school leaders, professional learning and development (PLD) facilitators, and curriculum experts from around Aotearoa New Zealand. Interviews with two curriculum experts from Australia were also conducted. This report provides an overview of the findings from the study.

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Research report
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