Almost every government and local body agency has a good message for school children.
-how to pat dogs safely
-be safe around railway tracks
-don't get sunburn
-start a saving habit early
-be nice to whales
-be nice to Wales (perhaps)
-increase use of Te Reo
-don't touch power lines
The list goes on and on. Sadly the bulk of these sort of messages are delivered in the form of 'resource kits' and workbooks.
These resource kits and workbooks cost millions of dollars to produce, package and distribute and frankly do not truly address the challenges and opportunities offered by and outlined in the New Zealand Curriculum document.
Code the depth of thinking demanded or depth of learning experience offered in so many of these school resources and information campaigns using any taxonomy of learning, and you will find yourself swimming at the shallow end of the pool. Word-finds, black-line masters, colouring activities, multichoice quizes, mazes, stickers and fact-boxes. Sadly watering sound messages down to superficial learning.
Swimming against this tide of 'good message but mediocre learning resource' is the innovative, useful and challenging work being done by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) in conjunction with Hooked On Thinking. It is not only an outstanding contribution to the cause of road safety, fitness and sustainable transport, it is a great contribution to the cause of quality learning in New Zealand schools.
The high quality learning resources, which have been developed and continue to flow, more than serve their purpose for the NZTA. They also offer an illustration of the depth of learning on offer when the SOLO Taxonomy is employed in school curriculum design.
If these sets of resources achieve nothing else, they show schools great examples of the sort planning, thinking and learning possible when the NZ Curriculum is fully implemented and well interpreted.
Several teachers at our school have already used the resource to strengthen their planning and practice in other curriculum areas. Not something you often get from other 'resource kits'.
Well done Raewyn Baldwin from NZTA and Pam Hook & Julie Mills from Hooked on Thinking.