Enhancing student achievement through curriculum integration based on New Zealand's key competencies : a descriptive case study : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy (Education) at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
New Zealand schools are constantly searching for means for enhancing student
achievement, maximising learning potential and utilising effective teacher pedagogy.
Curriculum integration is widely supported as an effective pedagogical approach to
curriculum design and has been identified within The New Zealand curriculum
(Ministry of Education, 2007) as a method that would successfully aid in
implementation of all aspects of the new curriculum, including the Key Competencies.
This research used a descriptive case study approach to attempt to enhance student
achievement through the creation of a model of curriculum integration that was based
on the Queensland New Basics model and yet unique to a New Zealand setting so that it
developed the teaching and learning of the Key Competencies. Through the conducting of
semi-structured interviews, extensive observations of students and teachers, and
document analysis, there were five emergent themes identified. One of these themes
effectively led to a working model of curriculum integration that enhanced student
achievement and overall learning experiences. Central features of the model include the
development of a personalised school curriculum: Deeper Understandings and learning
dispositions, recognition and development of effective pedagogical tools and
approaches, culminating rich assessments encompassing self, peer, formative and
summative assessment; and greater student engagement, levels of higher order thinking
and transferability of learning.