Teacher educators in New Zealand are charged with supporting student teachers' understandings of the New Zealand Curriculum document (Ministry of Education, 2007). Integral to this challenge is the need to provide relevant knowledge and understandings that are contextually and pedagogically appropriate (Fullan, 2007; Jasman, 2003). Aspects of the 'front end' of the New Zealand Curriculum document such as the vision, principles, values and key competencies along with the learning area statements need to be understood by newly graduated teachers who will be applying this curriculum in their own classrooms. This paper reports on ongoing research investigating and reflecting on student-teacher understandings of these components of the New Zealand curriculum, on completion of three different compulsory papers within the Bachelor of Teaching degree and Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Primary). Implications for pre-service teacher education and for supporters of provisionally registered teachers are considered.
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