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Achievement objectives


The New Zealand Curriculum (page 30) specifies four conceptual strands for the social sciences. These are:

  • Identity, culture, and organisation
  • Place and environment
  • Continuity and change
  • The economic world


The following achievement objectives indicate the progression in learning that teachers might expect to see across curriculum levels 6–8 of The New Zealand Curricumum (NCEA levels 1, 2, and 3).

Courses at each successive level reflect the growing sophistication of students’ social studies skills and experiences. At level 6, student learning is supported by direction, while at level 7, guidance would be more common. At level 8, students will be more actively involved in shaping their own learning experiences, with the teacher often acting in a collaborative and supporting role.

The achievement objectives themselves demand increasing depth of conceptual understanding.

  • Level 6 requires a broad understanding of a culture and how it may change.
  • Level 7 requires a deeper understanding, with students explaining ways of addressing conflicts arising from different cultural beliefs.
  • At level 8, students must gain a comprehensive understanding by exploring and evaluating how ideologies shape society.

Students at all levels will be using the social inquiry process in the context of relevant social issues.

Achievement objectives

Students will gain knowledge, skills, and experience to:
Level 6 Level 7 Level 8
6.1: Understand how individuals, groups, and institutions work to promote social justice and human rights. 7.1: Understand how communities and nations meet their responsibilities and exercise their rights in local, national, and global contexts. 8.1: Understand how policy changes are influenced by and impact on the rights, roles, and responsibilities of individuals and communities.
6.2: Understand how cultures adapt and change and that this has consequences for society. 7.2: Understand how conflicts can arise from different cultural beliefs and ideas can be addressed in different ways with differing outcomes. 8.2: Understand how ideologies shape society and that individuals and groups respond differently to these beliefs.

Last updated May 29, 2014