The Struggle for Ideological Control over Curriculum: Two New Zealand Examples.Report as inadecuate

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In the 1980s, the government of New Zealand came under the influence of a new right-wing economic ideology whose political agenda evolved to include the review and reform of education. The reforms were to take two paths: administrative and curricular. This paper focuses on the curricular reforms and the development of two key national curriculum statements: (1) the curriculum policy statement for K-12, the 1993 "New Zealand Curriculum Framework, Te Anga Marautanga o Aotearoa"; and (2) the early childhood curriculum "Te Whariki" (1996). The curriculum for years 1-13 (K-12) became centrally controlled, subject-based, and achievement oriented, while the early childhood document outlined a child-centered, thematic, and experiential curriculum. This paper explores how such divergence arose out of the same sociopolitical context. The development process and the content of the documents are analyzed using theoretical models and concepts from both traditional and contemporary curriculum theory. This paper elaborates on certain assumptions concerning curriculum in New Zealand and then outlines the curriculum history relevant to the study. The conclusion reached is that the two curricula were so different because there were differing ideological factions at work vying for control over their construction. (Contains 57 references.) (DFR)

Descriptors: Curriculum Development, Curriculum Evaluation, Curriculum Problems, Educational Administration, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Public Schools

Author: Mutch, Carol


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