AbstractThe key competencies are a potentially transformative feature of the New Zealand Curriculum. However, the way in which they have been understood and implemented in schools points to tensions and challenges that may prevent them from acting as agents of curriculum change. One recent researcher /practitioner partnership developed materials that show how a close interweaving of key competencies and traditional subject learning might transform the taught curriculum. Analysis of the practice of the teachers who contributed to this project suggests that refocusing teacher thinking about purposes for learning is likely to be a critical change lever. A clear focus on students’ present and future needs must be part of any re-imagining of purposes for teaching and learning, and hence of the taught curriculum.
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