Thursday, August 7, 2008

George Nepia and the NZ Curriculum

The revised Curriculum has tickled my fancy for where it can lead us. After several deep discussions with mrs bob and mumbleboy we kept coming back to those values listed in the document. I couldnt help but split them into life values and educational values until mrs bob connected George Nepia to both of them.
I was watching a documentary on Maori television (as you do) reading the subtitles in english. For an hour they portrayed the most honest, hard working family man. On the farm he preferred to walk and carry rather than using the horse or tractor. He went to England for nearly three years to play League during the depression so his family could keep their land (turangawaewae). He coached, captained and led men through actions, he truly was a great humble man.
In 1982 in his late seventies he went to Wales and was at an All Black game. The last time he had been in Wales was in 1924 with the "invincibles". Before the game Keith Quinn walked with George down the sideline to a seat. Keith tells the story of how the crowd started to whisper "theres George Nepia" after walking ten meters the applause started and whistled around the ground at "mexican wave" speed. Keith spoke of how some 50 years after being in wales, that a crowd could hold a man in such high regard. The ground announcer then said "ladies and gentleman we have a very special guest, please welcome George Nepia" the crowd erupted into a five minute ovation. George quietly walked to the 25 and tipped his hat. Keith says one of the great moments of sport.

Values are listed in the document as deeply held beliefs. Three listed values included are excellence, ecological sustainability and innovation. Well they are important but deeply held ?? Not for me.
Of course in our Curriculum discussion on values I chose diversity and respect as ones that I feel strongly about, enough to call them deeply held beliefs. There are other values, integrity, equity, community. All very very important.

Then mrs bob made the connection - Did George Nepia achieve:
Excellence by aiming high and persevering in the face of difficulty.
Innovation, by thinking critically, creatively and reflectively.
Ecological Sustainability which includes care for the environment.

The answer is yes to all and without going too deep, it shows that those dudes at the MOE did get a few things right. It shows to me that the NZ Curriculum should reflect excellence, innovation and ecological sustainability. Well done Wellington and thanks barb for making connections.
Please read the link to George Nepia above, a great man, Kia Ora Maori TV.

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