Co-designing Curriculum as a Community

The Problem

Penny and her team think it is unacceptable that students are not always at the forefront of decision making at her school. Unfortunately, when the team started the program 38% of students reported usually being bored at school, the NZ Level 3 pass rate was 26% lower than the European pass rate, and 82% of Year 10s were below 5A (e-asTTle). Penny and her team saw a misunderstanding of the New Zealand curriculum. Instead, they believe in a school where young people are treasured and the whole community learns and cooperates together.

The Team’s Solution

The key to their solution was collaborating with The Southern Initiative on a Design Thinking Project. The project is ongoing, but already Penny and her team are hopeful for great change!

They worked with The Southern Initiative to explore the question, ’How might we collaborate with students, community, and each other to design ways of working that are relevant, inspiring, and that lead to better outcomes for our students?’. This involved empathy interviews, insight mining, walk throughs to check insights, prototyping, ideation and testing.

The Team’s Impact

So far, Penny’s team’s have created prototypes and the winning one will be chosen in September 2018 and implemented in 2019. Watch this space!

“We were donated 100 boxes of Weetbix to share with our community. It was decided by the student community council that they would use the boxes as an incentive to complete the ‘walk through’ which was facilitated by the students to collect whanau/community voice on the co-designing of the curriculum.”

Like the idea?

Penny and her team would love your support for Co-designing Curriculum as a Community, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and they’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where they can. Shoot an email to if you want to get in touch with Penny and her team and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer them on in the comments below as well.

#WhatChangeLooksLike #ECStories #EduChange

Developed in collaboration with our epic partner, 21c skills lab.

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