This framework presents a series of nine principles that are intended as ‘design tools’ for developing powerful learning experiences for teachers contemplating a visit to the Park. The principles are for teachers and educators of all age groups and subject areas, though they have been written especially with the social sciences, humanities and the arts in mind. The Guiding principles to support school visits to the park are as follows:
- Foreground the purpose of the visit
- Prioritise conceptual approaches to learning
- Embed visits within a pre, during and post framework
- Collaborate with educators
- Discuss controversial issues
- Balance emotional and critical responses
- Separate memory and history
- Use sites as opportunities to explore Māori history
- Use collective pronouns carefully
Pukeahu National War Memorial Park is the perfect site for teachers and educators wishing to explore with their students a range of perspectives that challenge and extend the way they think about their society. Since its opening in 1932 it has been a place of significance for many New Zealanders, especially for those wishing to pay their respects to those who served in war. For others it has been a place to learn about New Zealand’s involvement in conflict or to commemorate important moments in New Zealand history. However, the educational reasons for visiting the Park with young people may be different from the reasons young people visit with their family and whanau.
In preparing for a visit or any experience outside the classroom, teachers need to ask what experiences they want their students to have. What do they want them to be able to do? Such questions encourage deeper thinking that goes beyond simply passing on information. They encourage a more active, and cognitively sophisticated approach.
Pukeahu can be used by teachers and educators to challenge generally accepted views on the form and function of remembrance and commemoration as well as what are considered to be important elements from our past. Such an approach meets the requirements of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and its focus on “critical and creative thinkers” who are confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners.
Pukeahu is also an opportunity for citizenship learning, an important cross-curricular theme of the NZC. Young people learn to be citizens from a wide range of life-experiences that should ideally occur outside as well as inside the classroom. The Park is one such experience. Active citizenship can be fostered by asking whose voices, values, and experiences are missing. Here young people can be encouraged to ask about their society and its future; to consider the so what? And the ‘and now what? in relation to their active citizenship.
Read more in the following report:
Updated on 23rd November 2016