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Curriculum focus and learning intentions

How the ACE Consumer resource fits into the New Zealand curriculum.

The curriculum focus for ACE Consumer is primarily within the Social Studies Curriculum.

Being a critical and enquiring consumer is implicitly linked to active citizenship. 

Social studies curriculum

This resource supports achievement objectives from the Social Studies’ Resources and Economic Activities strand, but also develops concepts embedded in the Social Organisation strand – such as rights and responsibilities and aspects of citizenship.

A concept approach

While this resource meets the specific Level 4 Achievement Objectives of:

  • Resources and Economic Activities (how and why individuals and groups seek to safeguard the rights of consumers) and
  • Social Organisation (how and why people exercise their rights and meet their responsibilities).

It is designed around the use of focus Social Studies concepts that underpin these Achievement Objectives. These concepts are relevant to various strands and levels, thus extending the lifetime of this resource beyond the current curriculum.

Social Studies concepts

Rights, responsibilities, market, goods and services, competition and the market, laws and regulations, needs and wants, participation, social decision-making and values exploration.

  • Perspectives - Current issues
  • Settings - New Zealand
  • Essential skills - Communication skills; Numeracy skills; Information skills; Problem-solving skills; Social and co-operative skills

The Social Studies processes at Levels 3-4 

The Social Decision-making processes* - Indicators Located in resource lessons              
Identify possible causes of issues and problems. 4, 6
Use criteria to evaluate a range of solutions to relevant problems. 4, 5, 6
Make a choice about possible action and justify that choice. 4, 5, 6


*The Social Studies processes do not follow a linear progression, but are visited and revisited throughout a unit of work, or a course of study. The three processes inter-relate and complement each other.

Curriculum links

This resource can be linked to the Mathematics, English and Health and Physical Education curricula.

Key concepts in ACE Consumer

This resource uses a number of key concepts embedded in the Social Studies curriculum achievement objectives as the basis for all the learning intentions and activities. These concepts are introduced and revisited throughout the resource and used as the basis for the online activities.

Descriptive concepts (what we look at):

  • Consumer rights and responsibilities

  • Business rights and responsibilities

  • Competition and the market

  • Consumer needs and wants

  • Consumer rules and laws (government).

 Analytical concepts (how we look):

  • Consumer decision-making
  • Critical thinking and inquiry processes
  • Values exploration
  • Social action and participation

Key understandings

  • The key understandings developed in this resource derive from the concepts and are listed in the consumer education table that follows.
  • Student outcomes can be measured against their knowledge, skills, attitudes and values based on the following key understandings (see the Social Studies Exemplar project (2004) for more information). 

Key understandings: Consumer education 

Key aspects of learning

Personal and social significance

Active informed consumer

Individuals understand and exercise their rights and responsibilities as critical (active and informed) consumers.

Purchasing decisions made by consumers can be influenced by factors such as advertising and trends.

Responsible business

Individuals (and organisations) understand and exercise their rights and responsibilities in business.

Role of Government

Government ensures laws and information are available to consumers to fully participate in (and therefore influence) the market.

Government is aware of new or changing markets, and develops laws and regulations, if required, to ensure business and consumer participation.

 (The three aspects of learning used to analyse this topic are derived from the Social Studies Exemplar project (2004)).

Learning intentions

   Students will:
  • examine and describe the factors that influence people’s purchasing decisions and the process that leads to a consumer decision   (Lesson 1)
  • explore and describe some rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses (Lesson 2)
  • recognise that there are laws to protect the consumer and explore situations when these laws apply (Lesson 3)
  • access, make sense of and use information derived from consumer laws and regulations (Lesson 4)
  • explain and demonstrate how to access consumer information and make a complaint to a trader about faulty goods (Lesson 5)
  • describe how our actions as consumers can influence the market (what is bought and sold) (Lesson 6).


Last updated 27 October 2015