The inclusion of key competencies in The New Zealand Curriculum (2007) redefines what should be taught to prepare students for lifelong learning. This is in keeping with what has been proposed internationally.
Fullan and Scott (2014) are clear that modern learning:
… is about collaborative learning through reflection in action and on action in order to become better at negotiating the messy, fuzzy, dilemma-ridden context of real-world life and work with positive impact. It is about developing an attitude of mind, a set of values and the personal, interpersonal and cognitive capabilities identified repeatedly in studies of successful early career graduates and those leaders who have helped create more harmonious, productive and sustainable workplaces and societies. (Fullan & Scott, 2014, p. 4)
The key competencies vary internationally. However, there are common themes and exemplars for effective implementation of key competencies to equip students with the capabilities they need for the future. These include teachers:
Examples in practice can be seen in The Institute for Habits of Mind, Building Learning Power and A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning.
Because such examples of teaching practice are not common in schools, pedagogy needs to change.
Students are more likely to develop those competencies and capabilities that they have opportunities to experience, practice and discuss. Teachers need to enable students to identify their strengths and challenges as learners. Students can then determine what strategies to use and what they need to practice, to build their learning capabilities. Learning-to-learn requires the interplay of metacognition and co-agency (OECD Learning Compass 2030). Teachers’ support of students to take agency (co-agency) helps students to be aware of themselves as learners (metacognition).
Effective pedagogy for development of key competencies also includes teachers promoting students’ self and peer assessment.
Several authors have identified aspects of teacher knowledge and thinking needed to build self and peer assessment capabilities in students. These aspects include:
Such practices would promote students’ metacognition, a deep appreciation of the expectations implicit within tasks, and strong learning partnerships of students with their teachers and peers.