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Nature of the key competencies: A background paper

Rosemary Hipkins

This report provides background material on the key competencies proposed for the New Zealand school curriculum.  These are:

  • Thinking
  • Using language, symbols, and texts
  • Managing self
  • Relating to others
  • Participating and contributing

Each of the five sections begins with the current definition of the relevant competency, as included in the draft curriculum document, released in 2006.

The discussion that follows outlines links to the essential skills of the current curriculum framework (Ministry of Education, 1993), briefly explains how the competency extends beyond the scope of “skills”, and clarifies any necessary detail related to the definition.

Each section includes a short discussion of the rationale for seeing the competency as “key” to learning.

A discussion of “opportunities to learn” highlights issues and challenges for teaching and learning, including the incorporation of metacognitive aspects.

Selected examples describe actual teaching and learning situations in which the relevant competency has been addressed.

Background to the Key Competencies
Year published: 
Publication type: 
NZCER, for the Ministry of Education
Full text download: 
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