The local context: educational vision and teaching and learning approaches


Being able to adapt and respond to the needs of different learners through co-teaching and constant evaluative, collaborative conversations enables learners to achieve more and learn to manage themselves. It is not about the space and ILE design, but about how the learning is designed within an ILE.

— Wendy, teacher at Stonefields Primary School

State schools must follow the National Curriculum, but are free to determine their own educational vision and translate this into how teaching and learning takes place within its facilities.

Extensive research has proven that students learn best when they are:

  • actively involved in decision making
  • initiating learning
  • collaborating together
  • making connections within and across learning areas.

New teaching approaches have evolved from this knowledge. Traditional approaches to teaching and learning are no longer enough on their own to give children the best education to prepare them for life. Along with strong foundations in reading, writing, mathematics and other learning areas, young people need other skills such as digital fluency, complex problem-solving and the ability to work with others both in person and virtually. Professional learning and development can help teachers prepare for transitioning into this environment.

Innovative learning approaches have not replaced familiar teaching approaches. Rather, they have expanded teaching and learning practices to suit today’s learners. 

Regardless of the educational vision and the approaches employed, teachers and leaders should reflect what the evidence says about quality teaching and learning by:

  • constantly reviewing the impact of their teaching practice on learning
  • actively seeking external observation and critique by colleagues and more experienced teachers and leaders
  • seeking and contributing to evidence of what works to improve learning outcomes and how they can apply that in their day-to-day practice
  • and innovating when ‘what works’ doesn’t work for all learners or all the time.

This page provides links to further resources on the process of creating an evidence-informed, learner-centric educational vision and a range of teaching and learning approaches that can be employed.

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Ministry resources and guidelines on ILE and FLS are currently in development. Watch this space for more resources coming soon.