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Visual Culture and the New Zealand Curriculum

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These units of work, written by Sam Cunnane, provide examples of approaches showing how the  Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa  assets can be used in secondary school visual arts teaching and learning. The units can readily be developed and modified to suit particular school contexts.

The units provide some explicit links to the ways that visual arts teaching and learning helps students to develop the values and key competencies of the new curriculum. Contextually the units deal with elements of identity - though portraiture, clothing, poster/flag promotion of Aotearoa and the issues that are important to us. Each of the units supports students to develop their critical thinking skills. It is anticipated that students who have learnt through these units are more aware of who they are as individuals and have greater understanding of the community they live in.

  • Cultural Identity Portrait
    Level: 4 Years: 9 16 - 18 Periods
    Students research and paint a self-portrait that demonstrates an understanding of the Rita Angus work 'Rutu'.
  • Wearable Art Level:
    4 Years: 9 9-12 Periods
    Teachers have the option to require students to investigate a selection of traditional clothing items and wearable art works. Students make their own wearable art accessory based on their local culture and environment.
  • Issue-based Assemblage Sculpture
    Level: 5 Years: 10 9 Periods
    Students investigate a selection of art works that comment on social or environmental issues. They then make their own art works in response to a self-selected social or environmental issue.
  • Representations of Aotearoa New Zealand
    Level: 5 Years: 10 7-9 Periods
    Students investigate a selection of representations of Aotearoa New Zealand (Flags, Souvenirs, NZ Design). They think critically about what these representations communicate about the people, place and culture of Aotearoa NZ. Students then produce a design for their own flag or poster representing Aotearoa NZ.
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