Key Competencies and Effective Pedagogy

A new section has been added to TKI focusing on Key Competencies and Effective Pedagogy. It focuses on a tool developed by NZCER and University of Waikato who worked with teachers to see what the key competencies looked like in different learning areas. This has led to the 3 sections on the website: a self-audit tool, 14 learning stories and Insights into aspects of the key competencies.

The self audit framework could be used by a teacher, syndicate, department or whole school to inquire into how well the key competencies are embedded into learning rather than an afterthought. The framework is developed around the concepts of initiative, connections and challenge. Initiative is really about student agency – student voice, learning to learn etc. Connection is about meaningful links between activities, experiences and/or learning areas. And Challenge is about using, transforming, critiquing, and generating knowledge for purposes that students recognise as worthy of their effort.

I personally have found the framework to be an effective self-reflection tool (as I was lucky enough to see earlier drafts of the framework) and I would encourage you to utilise this if possible, particularly when planning out or reviewing a unit of learning.

The ICC indicator framework

  Taking the initiative Building connections Being challenged
Design Which KC do I plan to foreground and why? How will students know what my purpose is? What relevant prior experience and knowledge might students have already? How do I plan to check? What specific learning opportunity could this KC/LA mix create?
In action How am I modelling and encouraging the capability I want my students to build? Are/how are students identifying relevant connections to other learning and prior experiences? Have I got the right balance between challenge and capability? How do I know?
Future focus How have my students and I identified and documented their learning gains? How might students use their strengthened capabilities in other contexts? What will support them to do so? What new insights about the challenges and opportunities in this subject might my students take forward?

For more detail on this framework, click here.

The learning stories demonstrate how teachers of different learning areas (and age groups) are integrating the key competencies within their teaching. The common theme amongst the stories is that there are key opportunities that learning areas provide for developing key competencies and vice versa. These do not have to be add on activities, they should be present in what we do every day. Many of the stories are very interesting and provide links to other stories for deeper reflection.

I provided a learning story for the project about Waitangi Day which utilised philosophical chairs as a discussion model. It really helped develop the students’ thinking around values exploration as well as encouraging them to provide evidence that supported their perspective. If you are looking for a discussion model to help provide better structure for your discussions, I would really recommend that you check this out.

And I hope that all of you will have a look through the great material provided on 


1 thought on “Key Competencies and Effective Pedagogy

  1. Pingback: Ungoogleable Questions | Steve Mouldey

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