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NCEA: Over the last 20 years

Story time. I thought I would share my perspective on the change of NCEA assessments by reflecting on my own experiences learning through NCEA back in 2003 as well as sharing my perspective as a teacher in 2023.


NCEA has developed over the last 20 years to accommodate NCEA students undergoing the NZ Education.
NCEA has developed over the last 20 years to accommodate NCEA students undergoing the NZ Education.

NCEA 20 years ago


I took NCEA in the second year that it rolled out in NZ. That was 2003. Things were still new for NCEA, and the first few years were used to gauge and define the appropriate complexities for the NCEA year level, within each NCEA assessment criteria. There were rules such as only a limited number of students could obtain excellence in each class, and a heavier workload occurred in comparison to what is offered now.


We had more of a mixture of unit standards and achievement standards offered, as well.


There were rules such as only a limited number of students could obtain excellence in each class, and a heavier workload occurred in comparison to what is offered now.
 

My NCEA experience in 2003 as an NCEA student vs. Now as a NCEA teacher


Sitting NCEA in school allowed me to understand the wider world. My efforts were acknowledged with the credits system that is still put in place, and I was able to take some of the subjects I still enjoy to this day. These days, there are a lot of variety of opportunities for students and more of a focus on quality over quantity.


I think what is valuable for students these days who undergo NCEA, is that they can spend more time learning to build their skills prior to sitting assessments. This allows time for teachers to develop the content knowledge they are teaching and work with a variety of different ideas. NCEA students value the chance to practice assessment skills, and I have noticed from experience teaching them, that they can apply themselves more. This is because they lose the time management pressure. Having a less-is-more approach to NCEA assessment options, might also provide students with the time to work on a school / social life / work balance by being able to have the time to do other things at the same time as completing assessments. For example, attend social gatherings, sports games, competitions, perform in productions, and being able to successfully immerse themselves in their high school experience. It is a win in my eyes, for this particular reason.


Having a less-is-more approach to NCEA assessment options, might also provide students with the time to work on a school / social life / work balance by being able to have the time to do other things at the same time as completing assessments

What NCEA students and NCEA teachers miss out on


I think specifically with teaching Drama, I was able to decide which assessments I would teach, and it catered to my content knowledge and what I thought my specific students would engage in best. I used to choose 4 specific NCEA assessments, along with two NCEA external assessments. I would also offer any other assessments as a bonus for any student wanting a challenge or extra stimulus.


It isn't far off from what NCEA is rolling out now, with NCEA Drama assessments, however I no longer have the choice of which ones I would like to teach. I think by emerging achievement standards as well, students will still learn appropriate skills in a comfortable time frame. However, teaching specific skills, will occur in a condensed manner for less credits.


I will also acknowledge that some subject(s) will be dropped from the curriculum, which is saddening for both students who enjoy the subject(s) and teachers who are highly qualified and experienced teaching them, as well.


...some subject(s) will be dropped from the curriculum, which is saddening...

Having an open mind as an NCEA student and NCEA teacher


Given what our country and the world has been through over the last three or four years, the NZ Education system should be commended for trying to accommodate this and not ignoring it. There are many New Zealanders (including myself) still picking themselves up after troubling times and the repercussions that have occurred (and are still occurring). So, it is good to see that some students will have the chance to trial what the NZ Education system feels is most appropriate for NCEA students. I hope that there will be careful reflection, discussion and remediation if there are significant issues as well.


I think there are some things which work well in the classroom and have for years, and other things which could do with improvement, so having an open mind and trying to solve and development the curriculum, the content knowledge, and the delivery of skills - depending on how New Zealand is going - is a good approach to getting New Zealand through trying times.


The best thing about all this, is that we have a plethora of teachers and experienced NCEA students out their tutoring to support NZ learners. 'Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd' is extremely lucky to have all qualified and experienced teachers who take pride in looking after their learners' needs. We have a variety of group tutorials and one-on-one session times as well. 'Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd' endeavour to provide value and effective NCEA tuition to all NCEA students anywhere in the country through their online tutorial sessions.


'Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd' is extremely lucky to have all qualified and experienced teachers who take pride in looking after their learners' needs.

We are right here for NCEA students when they need it.


Tovah O'Neill

Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd


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