Monday, September 12, 2016

NCEA in Context - book published today

NCEA in Context: Education before qualification

The authors of a book being released today on the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) say it’s important that the secondary school qualification is used to promote education that prepares students for citizenship, further study and work, rather than simply giving them credentials.

Two Victoria University of Wellington senior lecturers have collaborated with a chief researcher from the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) to write NCEA In Context—a four-part book which presents an analysis of the past, present and potential future of NCEA.

Victoria Faculty of Education contributors, senior lecturers Dr Michael Johnston and Dr Mark Sheehan, and NZCER contributor, Dr Rosemary Hipkins, say the book aims to give educators working with NCEA new ideas on how to use the qualification to the best advantage of their students.

“We want students to be educated rather than just qualified. The key message of NCEA In Context is that curriculum and learning need to be at the forefront of what is happening in the classroom,” says Dr Sheehan.

“This book isn’t about policy change, it’s about practice change,” says Dr Johnston.

"We sought out strong examples, to emphasise that these types of changes are already happening in some schools," says Dr Hipkins.

The book looks at the precursors to NCEA, the impact NCEA has had on teaching and learning, challenges and shifts in its early implementation, as well as potential opportunities to use NCEA to improve the quality of education and its relationship with the New Zealand Curriculum.

Each of the authors brings a variety of experience and expertise to the book. Dr Johnston led psychometric and statistical work at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to support the reform of NCEA between 2005 and 2011. Dr Sheehan is a historian and history educator who has contributed to the development of achievement standards for NCEA. Dr Hipkins from NZCER is a highly experienced researcher who has been tracking NCEA's development since its inception. She has a background in science education, and has had a long career in curriculum development and assessment.

The book is published by NZCER and is being launched 12 September at Victoria University.

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