NCEA: A Curriculum in Disguise?
Today I thought I would share my thoughts on education and learning in New Zealand. With the general election coming up it seems that our national assessment NCEA is the punching bag de jour with recent articles from the NZ Herald suggesting it is no longer fit for purpose as a Level 1 curriculum. However, I think the principals advocating for this change and their reasons behind it are flawed in their understanding of what NCEA actually is. So, is NCEA Level 1 a curriculum or an assessment? For those readers who are not familiar with NCEA, it stands for National Certificate of Educational Achievement, and it is the main qualification system for secondary school students in New Zealand. NCEA Level 1 is usually taken in Year 11 or tenth grade for my American friends, and it covers a range of subjects and standards that students can choose from. But what exactly is NCEA Level 1? Is it a curriculum that guides what students should learn and how they should learn it? Or is it an assessmen