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This section looks at how EfS fits the wider curriculum and how it can be an important and valuable part of a student’s learning pathway.

There is a limit to how much education you can sustain for no obvious reason … but if they are starting to develop a view that what I am doing will lead me to this area or that area, if they see the connection, it gives them a reason to continue to learn their English, to develop their maths, or whatever they need … that there is a purpose for it …

(Stuart Middleton, Manukau Institute of Technology)

EfS as a collaborative enterprise

A survey of the achievement objectives in The New Zealand Curriculum will show that many of them relate to the themes and the learning around EfS. Most of these are in the social sciences, health and physical education, science, technology, and the arts. In other subjects, such as English and mathematics and statistics, EfS can provide relevant themes and contexts for parts of the learning programme.

EfS works well when taught collaboratively by more than one teacher and by drawing on more than one subject. While this can be challenging in a secondary school, even a modest collaboration can give teachers greater confidence when working with complex issues and can model the interdisciplinary nature of those issues.

Teaching and learning in EfS can be powerfully reinforced by a whole-school approach that brings together the school’s learning programmes, the ways members of the school community work with one another, sustainable practices and policies in the school, and the way the school and its grounds are cared for.

Strong community partnerships support learning in EfS and also help students to understand that what they are learning and doing now makes an immediate contribution to a sustainable future.

You can’t teach people everything they need to know. The best you can do is position them where they can find what they need to know when they need to know it.

Seymour Papert, mathematician, computer scientist, and educator

The learning programme design section of this guide discusses integrated approaches.

The pedagogy section of this guide makes numerous suggestions as to how EfS learning can be assessed using achievement standards from a variety of different subjects.

Last updated May 11, 2015