Te Rā O Ngā Tamariki
“Take care of our children. Take care of what they hear, take care of what they see, take care of what they feel. For how the children grow, so will the shape of Aotearoa.”
Legendary Māori leader, Dame Whina Cooper’s powerful quote is fitting to mark Children’s Day in New Zealand today and significant for educators helping students of all ages unravel our history.
As educators, we are sensitive to what students may hear, see and feel when visiting Waitangi and confronted with the “good, the bad and the ugly” of our history which often challenges unhelpful preconceived ideas and beliefs, causing a range of emotions to surface. As they explore complex social ideas, students learn to critically evaluate, debate and interpret the past, understand the present and look to the future.
During our various education programmes, we remind students that nothing that happened in the past is the fault of any of us today, but that by learning about where we have come from, we can make better choices for our shared future. This opens up those important conversations that will shape the identity of our relationships, communities and nation. We are often inspired by the openness of children of all ages, their ability to learn about our history through different lenses and their willingness and desire to imagine and create possible shared futures for Aotearoa New Zealand.
From 2022 onwards, Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories will be taught in all schools and kura, embracing the histories of all the people who live here. Draft curriculum content is now available for public feedback from as many people as possible. The online survey is open until 31 May 2021. Read more about the draft curriculum survey and how to take part