The government intends to introduce a new legal definition of the purpose of education, as part of the review of the Education Act. NZEI members give their professional views

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[g1_quote author_name=”Margaret Ready” hide_author_image=”none” author_description=”Honorary NZEI member, Auckland” author_description_format=”%link%” align=”center” size=”m” style=”solid” template=”03″]

The purpose is complex. It is about equipping people with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to enable them to become full-time, life-long learners. It allows all people to live productive and fulfilled lives. We have to provide a broad curriculum to allow this to happen

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[g1_quote author_name=”Byron Sanders” hide_author_image=”none” author_description=”Primary teacher, Dunedin” author_description_format=”%link%” align=”center” size=”m” style=”solid” template=”01″ author_image=”http://www.ea.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/byrons.jpg”]

Education is the process of empowering progress. Our educational purpose has evolved over time and we now require an education system that develops lifelong learners through discovery, inquiry and engagement. Our education system must be prepared to wholeheartedly support the principles of best-practice and not be compromised based on narrow political ideologies or constrained budgets

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[g1_quote author_name=”Lynda Stewart” hide_author_image=”none” author_description=”Primary principal, Auckland” author_description_format=”%link%” align=”center” size=”m” style=”solid” template=”03″]

The challenge for us is that we live in a very inequitable society so an education system needs to be responsive, broad, encompassing and enable equitable outcomes. For those children who come from homes where they’re struggling – financially, or overcrowding, or not enough food, and all the other issues of poverty – it’s about those children having the resources and supports they need to meet their goals and to reach their potential

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[g1_quote author_name=”Lana Price” hide_author_image=”none” author_description=”Primary teacher, Nelson” author_description_format=”%link%” align=”center” size=”m” style=”solid” template=”01″ author_image=”http://www.ea.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/lanap.jpg”]

The purpose of education is to develop, create, grow and inspire young people who will make a positive and influential difference in the wider world.

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[g1_quote author_name=”Jenna Robertson” hide_author_image=”none” author_description=”Kindergarten teacher, Nelson” author_description_format=”%link%” align=”center” size=”m” style=”solid” template=”03″ author_image=”http://www.ea.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/jenna.jpg”]

It is to empower children to gain the knowledge, skills and strategies to pursue their passions and interests, and to support them in dealing with their successes and “failures” along the way. It is to encourage them to think outside the box and challenge what is in front of them so that they can participate to the fullest wherever they are on their learning journey and whichever direction they choose to go. The purpose of education is to support children to learn about themselves, others, community and society

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[g1_quote author_name=”Sally Knox” hide_author_image=”none” author_description=”Early childhood teacher, Dunedin” author_description_format=”%link%” align=”center” size=”m” style=”solid” template=”01″ author_image=”/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/sallyk.jpg”]

Education in early childhood is a joyful dance where the tempo of the music can change at any time. Why is this dance important? It is a child’s way of unfolding the world, and as a teacher it is a blessing to join them in this journey

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[g1_quote author_name=”Peter O’Connor” hide_author_image=”none” author_description=”Associate professor, Auckland University” author_description_format=”%link%” align=”center” size=”m” style=”solid” template=”03″]

Critical citizenship is vital for democracy. We live in a world where radicalism and fundamentalism are increasingly attractive to young people. Critically engaged citizens learn the lessons of history and they learn these in schools

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[g1_quote author_name=”Jaime Kingi” hide_author_image=”none” author_description=”Student teacher, Nelson” author_description_format=”%link%” align=”center” size=”m” style=”solid” template=”01″ author_image=”http://www.ea.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/jaimek.jpg”]

The purpose of education is to facilitate the overcoming of obstacles that stand in the way of students reaching their full personal and academic potential. Both are equally important. Education is progressively becoming more about the individual person, and I believe that explicit self-awareness plays a key role in successful academic outcomes and students becoming confident participants in society

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[g1_quote author_name=”Danielle Koster” hide_author_image=”none” author_description=”Primary teacher, Canterbury” author_description_format=”%link%” align=”center” size=”m” style=”solid” template=”03″ author_image=”http://www.ea.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/daneillek.jpg”]

Education’s purpose is to provide a successful pathway for every learner: ensuring that every learner has equal (and a variety of) opportunities that are meaningful to them; and there are successful experiences that children can relate to and will remember

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[g1_quote author_name=”Simon Flockton” hide_author_image=”none” author_description=”Primary teacher, Wellington” author_description_format=”%link%” align=”center” size=”m” style=”solid” template=”01″ author_image=”http://www.ea.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/simonf.jpg”]

We want an education system where a broad-reaching, balanced and rich diversity of learning and achievement is recognised, truly valued and practised. The formula-driven approach we seem to be falling into fails miserably in addressing the richness of our diversity and the true realities of the kind of education our children need for this uncertain world we live in

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[g1_quote author_name=”Jo Vaughan” hide_author_image=”none” author_description=”Teacher aide, Invercargill” author_description_format=”%link%” align=”center” size=”m” style=”solid” template=”03″ author_image=”http://www.ea.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/jvaughn.jpg”]

The purpose of education is about the child. As a teacher aide I am there to help children access the curriculum and be part of everyday life in the classroom

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[g1_quote author_name=”Nicole Moore” hide_author_image=”none” author_description=”Primary teacher, Auckland” author_description_format=”%link%” align=”center” size=”m” style=”solid” template=”01″]

The purpose today is to make change. If we want to move past the problems we’re facing in our society we have to look to education to do that. It is the way to empower students beyond the situation that they’re born in to and achieve their full potential. They can improve on the decisions we’re making today

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