Submissions: Education Curriculum
This is a reminder that it is not too late to make a submission - as brief or as long as you like - on the draft Ministry of Education Curriculum document. The deadline for submissions is the end of the day, Thursday, 30 November.
This message is focused on the deletion of the Treaty of Waitangi from the Principles section of the draft Curriculum and the one less than meaningful mention of the Treaty in the entire draft, and includes some points about that which you could include in a brief submission if you wish. There is also a section with some resources on other concerns about the draft, and a section with links to the draft Curriculum documents.
The easiest way to submit your comments on the draft Curriculum is via the online feedback form or, if you find that what you want to say does not fit into the formula there, then you can email your comments (as text in the body of the message, or as an attachment is fine) email. If you are going to email your comments, there is some information that you need to provide for your submission to be taken into consideration, for details see section 4 below 'Submitting your comments'.
Apologies for the lateness of this reminder, a consequence of computer malfunction and ISP failure over the past week. Thank you to everyone who assisted with putting this information together.
1) The Treaty of Waitangi, te reo Maori, and the draft Curriculum
The Curriculum Draft signals the direction the Ministry of Education intends schools to be taking in their teaching and learning programmes. It also sets out the Government's expectations of what school students should be able to achieve by the time they leave school.
The main document 'The New Zealand Curriculum: Draft for consultation 2006' has no reference to the Treaty; the only reference is in the Social Sciences Achievement Outcomes document under Social Studies, Level five - "the Treaty of Waitangi is responded to differently by people in different times and places". 
When questioned by Dr Pita Sharples in parliament about the removal of the Treaty from the Curriculum, Steve Maharey (Minister of Education) denied it had been removed, and said "it will be embodied in a Maori version of the curriculum next year." 
In contrast to the draft Curriculum, the current Curriculum Framework states:
"The New Zealand Curriculum recognises the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi. The school curriculum will recognise and value the unique position of Maori in New Zealand society. All students will have the opportunity to acquire some knowledge of Maori language and culture. Students will also have the opportunity to learn through te reo and nga tikanga Maori. The school curriculum will acknowledge the importance to all New Zealanders of both Maori and Pakeha traditions, histories, and values." 
The NZEI has pointed out that:
"The area of greatest difference between the curriculum framework and the curriculum draft documents relates to the statements about New Zealand's identity. New Zealand's genesis as a country in its present form relates to a country forged on an agreed relationship between two sovereign peoples. The nature of this relationship is spelled out in the Treaty of Waitangi. While there is debate about versions and interpretation of the Treaty, the essence of the Treaty, as the document in which the ongoing nature of that relationship is articulated, has been broadly acknowledged in New Zealand. It is also widely recognised as having an important place in the development of pathways forward for our country." 
Furthermore, Te Whariki / the Early Childhood Curriculum has very specific references to how this can be put into practice, for example:
"Adults working with children should understand and be willing to discuss bicultural issues, actively seek Maori contributions to decision making, and ensure that Maori children develop a strong sense of self-worth." (40) "New Zealand is the home of Maori language and culture: curriculum in early childhood settings should promote te reo and nga tikanga Maori, making them visible and affirming their value for children from all cultural backgrounds." (42) "The curriculum should include Maori people, places, and artifacts and opportunities to learn and use the Maori language through social interaction." (43) "Appropriate connections with iwi and hapu should be established, and staff should support tikanga Maori and the use of the Maori language." (55) "The use of the Maori language and creative arts in the programme should be encouraged, and staff should be supported in learning the language and in understanding issues relating to being bilingual." (73) 
In the same way as the draft Curriculum minimises the place of the Treaty and apparently is to embody it only in "a Maori version of the curriculum next year", so too it seems Maori perspectives and values are to be restricted to Maori. For example, the Principles  section states: "Students who identify as Maori have the opportunity to experience a curriculum that reflects and values te ao Maori." Furthermore, while the Learning Languages  section states: "Te reo Maori is unique to new Zealand and is a source of our nation's self-knowledge and identity", English is the only language given precedence in the draft Curriculum, and te reo Maori seems consigned to the status of any other language.
Even worse, in the same paragraph as the quote above, there is this statement: "Classical languages provide access to the origins of thought and civilisations" - what an astounding display of monocultural arrogance.
2) Some other concerns about the draft Curriculum
3) Links to draft Curriculum documents
4) Submitting your comments
The easiest way to submit your comments on the draft Curriculum is via the online feedback form or you can email your comments (as text in the body of the message, or as an attachment is fine) email. If you are going to email your comments you need to provide this information for your submission to be taken into consideration:
Contributors: Are you completing this feedback form:
 NZEI Special Circular 2006/27, p14 http://www.nzei.org.nz/archive/special_circulars/documents/2006SpecialCircular27.doc
 The New Zealand Curriculum: Draft for consultation 2006, p9, http://www.tki.org.nz/r/nzcurriculum/pdfs/curriculum-framework-draft.pdf
 The New Zealand Curriculum: Draft for consultation 2006, p18, http://www.tki.org.nz/r/nzcurriculum/pdfs/curriculum-framework-draft.pdf