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The following links provide assessment information and professional support for teachers of history.

Assessment and professional support

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)

  • Follow links to the National Qualifications Framework, NCEA, and subject achievement standards. See in particular NZQA history.
  • Further information on assessing with unit standards can be found on the NZQA website. Some assessment resources are also available.
  • NCEA assessment resources are available on the NCEA on TKI website.

Assessment Online

  • This key community covers assessment in the classroom, effective use of evidence, and reporting to families and whānau. It offers news, assessment tools and resources, research, a glossary, FAQ, and related links.
  • The linked site Consider the evidence promotes 'evidence-driven decision making for secondary schools' and supports secondary educators in making best use of evidence to improve student achievement.
  • For an overview of assessment, see Directions for Assessment in New Zealand, a report by Michael Absolum, Lester Flockton, John Hattie, 
Rosemary Hipkins, and Ian Reid (also available as a Word or PDF file).

New Zealand History Teachers’ Association

  • The site provides information about curriculum and assessment matters and professional development and includes links, contact information, and resources.

Resourcing ideas

The following references will help you to plan teaching and learning activities for this subject.

The National Library of New Zealand Services to Schools

Services to Schools supports educators by providing professional learning, advice, and quality resources to inspire and inform student learning, foster their love of reading, and develop their knowledge of culture and heritage.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Explore the history of New Zealand pages.

Te Kete Ipurangi

See in particular the social sciences community. Teachers are also encouraged to visit other TKI communities, such as the ICT community and Software for Learning.

Social Sciences Online

This site provides pages specific to the following senior subjects: business studies, classical studies, economics, geography, history, and senior social studies (see links under 'Senior secondary' on the landing page).

Social sciences online also provides PDFs of titles in the Ministry of Education series Building Conceptual Understandings in the Social Sciences (BCUSS). (These are listed in 'Featured content'.)

  • Approaches to building conceptual understandings
  • Approaches to social inquiry
  • Being part of a global community
  • Belonging and participating in society

Although the BCUSS series is designed to help teachers of levels 1–5, it is strongly recommended to senior social science teachers.


Students can go to this website to find useful, accurate, online information. Librarians from all over New Zealand are available each weekday between 1 pm and 6 pm to help students search online. To use AnyQuestions, students must be attending a New Zealand primary, intermediate, or secondary school or being home-schooled.

Ministry of Education websites

The New Zealand Curriculum Online

As well as the HTML version of The New Zealand Curriculum, this interactive site offers a variety of support and strategies, news updates, digital stories of schools’ experiences, and archived material relating to development of the curriculum.

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

This site includes a translation into English of the main sections of the draft marautanga. Only learning levels 1, 4, and 6 have been translated in the learning areas.

Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia

Ka Hikitia is a five-year strategy that aims to transform and change the education sector, ensuring Māori are able to enjoy education success as Māori.

Te Tere Auraki

This Ministry of Education professional development strategy focuses on improving outcomes for Māori students in English-medium schools. This strategy supports four main projects: Te Kotahitanga, Te Kauhua, Ako Panuku, and Te Mana Kōrero.

Pasifika Education

This has been created to enable all of those involved with Pasifika education to find information quickly and easily, including policy, initiatives, publications, research results, and services and funding.

Key Competencies Online

This companion site to the online version of TheNew Zealand Curriculum offers specific guidance to school leaders and teachers on integrating the key competencies into the daily activities of the school and its teaching and learning programmes.

Other government agency websites

BES (Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis) programme

BES is a collaborative knowledge-building strategy designed to strengthen the evidence base that informs education policy and practice in New Zealand. See in particular: Effective Pedagogy in Social Sciences/Tikanga ā Iwi: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration [BES].

New Zealand History online

NZHistory.net.nz is produced by a small team within the History Group of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, and draws on the experience and skills of some of New Zealand's leading historians. The Classroom section of the site is aimed at teachers and students from Years 6 to 13.

Other websites

The following websites have been recommended as helpful by history teachers. They have not been extensively reviewed or checked for quality. The sites are listed in alphabetical order.

Center for History and New Media

Using new technologies to examine the past, this site has sections on teaching, researching, and exhibiting that are worth keeping an eye on.

Facing history and ourselves

As its longer title attests, this site seeks to help 'classrooms and communities worldwide link the past to moral choices today'. It contains issues on values and significance, as well as insight on how to effectively teach emotional and controversial history – all promoted by the new curriculum.

Historical podcasts

This site is what it says it is – and well worth a visit and a browse. You will undoubtedly find something of use.

Historical thinking matters

This website is 'focused on key topics in US history, [and] designed to teach students how to critically read primary sources and how to critique and construct historical narratives'.

History matters

As it makes clear at the outset, this is a gateway site for resources on US history with access to primary documents and images as well as a list of annotated sites. This site is very useful if looking for US history materials. The section 'Making sense of evidence' is also of general use, providing excellent strategies, guides, and resources for teaching the use of primary documents.

History standards: Historical thinking standards

'Real historical understanding requires students to engage in historical thinking: to raise questions and to marshal evidence in support of their answers ...'

The Historical Association

This is the UK’s history teachers’ association. The site provides free content, but by subscribing, you gain access to free e-PD and the archives of Teaching History (the journal for secondary history teachers, written for and by practitioners), as well as hard copies of the current editions.

The History Channel

This is a collection of websites connected to a pay-TV channel. The sites offer useful supporting guides and resources for using particular series/episodes.

Note: Keep an eye on our trans-Tasman colleagues as they embark on a project of teaching Australian history – a national narrative – to all Australian students in years 9 and 10. Recent updates can be found on the History Teachers’ Association of Australia website.

Print publications

Counsell, Christine (2000). Historical knowledge and historical skills: A distracting dichotomy. In James Arthur and Robert Phillips (Eds.), Issues in history teaching. London: Routledge.

Drake, Frederick D., and Nelson, Lynn R. (2009). Engagement in teaching history: Theory and practices for middle and secondary teachers (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Merrill/Pearson Prentice.

Husbands, Chris (1996). What is history teaching? Language, ideas, and meaning in learning about the past. Buckingham, Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Lee, Peter and Ashby, Rosalyn (2001). Empathy, perspective taking and rational understanding. In O.L. Davis Jr., Elizabeth Anne Yeager, and Stuart J. Foster, Historical empathy and perspective taking in the social sciences. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Levstik, Linda S. (2008). Articulating the silences: Teachers’ and adolescents’ conceptions of historical significance. In Linda S. Levstik and Keith C. Barton, Researching history: Theory, method and context. New York: Routledge.

Levstik, L. and Barton, K. (2005). Doing history: Investigating with children in elementary and middle schools. New Jersey: Laurence Erlbaum.

Selwyn, Douglas, and Maher, Jan (2003). History in the present tense: Engaging students through inquiry and action. New Hampshire: Heinemann.

Teaching History, The Historical Association, London: 'Defining progression', 98, February 2000; 'Assessment without levels?', 115, June 2004; 'Beyond the exam', 128, September 2007; and 'Disciplined minds', 128, December 2007. (Teaching History abounds with explanations of practical approaches to incorporating methodology and innovative practice in the classroom, which can be adapted and replicated in the New Zealand context. See, for example, Kate Hammond’s 'Teaching year 9 about historical theories and methods' and Sally Burnham’s 'Getting year 7 to set their own questions about the Islamic empire, 600–1600', both in Teaching History, 128 – 'Beyond the exam'.)

Last updated January 22, 2024