Paper for the AARE-NZARE conference, Brisbane, 30 November – 4 December 2014.
This paper examines the extent to which New Zealand’s self-managing (autonomous) schools have been able to build such learning-centred community, and the policies that appear to have supported or stalled this development. It uses analysis from NZCER’s national school surveys to show how such approaches developed markedly between 2007 and 2010 as New Zealand primary schools started work on the revised New Zealand Curriculum which emphases school-based curriculum and teaching as inquiry. Then progress stalled between 2010 and 2013 when attention shifted to the new and highly contested national standards, the first mandatory national assessments for New Zealand primary schools in recent years, with much reduced support for school leadership development.
The paper concludes with a discussion of policy changes in 2014, particularly ‘Investing in Educational Success’, which seeks a greater sharing of knowledge and responsibility for student learning across as well as within schools, and how likely they are to support the development of schools as learning-centred communities.