A national initiative that puts well-being first.
We partnered with the New Zealand Ministry of Education to design a national initiative aimed at supporting teachers to design better learning.
Theory of Change
If kaiako (teachers and others who support learners) are supported to design curricular learning that (1) builds from a shared, cultural understanding of well-being and (2) embeds culturally responsive pedagogical practices, they and their ākonga (learners) will create cultures of well-being in which everyone (ākonga, kaiako, whānau/families) progresses toward self-identified goals.
Curriculum Lead Project
Developed by The Learner First and the New Zealand Ministry of Education, the Curriculum Lead Project is the culmination of many reports, reviews, and initiatives that pointed to the need for well-being to be incorporated across the many pathways for education and the national curriculum in New Zealand. Designed as a national resource that is regionally based, the Curriculum Lead roles strengthen the Ministry’s frontline curriculum resources and engage schools, kura, early learning services, and kōhanga reo to create curriculum that is right for today and tomorrow, supporting the cultures, identities, languages, and well-being of all ākonga.
Across New Zealand, teachers identified that they need more support to include well-being into the design of their learning programs. Desired support centered on:
- a purposeful, integrated, and intentional approach to well-being,
- well-being embedded in local curricular design and marau-ā-kura,
- marau-ā-kura localized to whānau and ākonga aspirations and to the learning context, and
- an emphasis on learning progression and development.
The aim of the Curriculum Leads is to improve how teachers can develop their local curriculum using the resources and guidance to achieve better learning outcomes and enrich their learners’ well-being. Leads work with kaiako to design local curriculum that responds to children’s wellbeing needs, and to create the right environment in which children and youth will thrive.
In response to identified areas of need, the Curriculum Lead Project was designed with The Learner First’s framework to support kaiako to:
Develop a shared language of wellbeing in local contexts.
The foundation of well-being in individual schools, kura, early learning services and kōhanga reo is a shared language and understanding—among learners, kaiako, and whānau—that supports the delivery of learning and development of desired outcomes.
Create a culture of learning and wellbeing for ākonga and their whānau.
The culture of a learning environment determines learners’ experiences. Ākonga learn best, and experience the greatest well-being, in environments where they feel known, cared for, and supported to succeed—not only academically, but in all aspects of life. A shared definition of success is determined by weaving national curricula with the aspirations of ākonga and their whānau.
Use curriculum decision making to design teaching and learning that develops wellbeing.
Kaiako learn to use the curriculum as a springboard to wider well-being outcomes, weaving well-being into everyday learning experiences no matter the learning context.
Embed positive and culturally sustaining pedagogical practices.
Processes for improving pedagogy, along with strategies and approaches that have proven effective for developing well-being in an academic setting, give kaiako practical ideas on how to shift practice.
Progress toward self-identified well-being goals.
Progression is at the heart of well-being learning. Kaiako are supported with a range of tools for identifying goals, planning their actions and monitoring progress along the way.