Updated guidance in early childhood education

Issue: Volume 96, Number 7

Posted: 1 May 2017
Reference #: 1H9d7h

New Zealand’s world-leading early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki has been updated.

Te Whāriki now better reflects the context of children’s lives today, as well as changes in early learning theory and practice. Its unique bicultural framework has been strengthened with updated guidance for teachers, kaiako and educators who support young children’s learning across New Zealand’s diverse early learning services.

It includes two documents in one flipbook: Te Whāriki he whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa early childhood curriculum and Te Whāriki a te kōhanga reo, which clearly shows the unique indigenous curriculum pathway for children in kōhanga reo alongside a bicultural pathway for children in early childhood education. The launch of Te Whāriki coincided with the 35th anniversary of the opening of the first kōhanga reo, Pukeatua Kōhanga Reo, in Wainuiomata, Wellington on 13 April 1982.

Secretary for Education Iona Holsted said the biggest challenge for the New Zealand education system was achieving equity and excellence.

“The whole system needs to work in unison to achieve that outcome. The refreshed Te Whāriki provides the platform for this to happen. A strong and well constructed curriculum is essential to ensuring our children, our tamariki, have the best possible start in life; giving them confidence as they move from one learning environment to another, keeping them engaged and eager to learn.”

Te Whāriki now has fewer learning outcomes – reduced from 118 to 20 – and provides links to The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa to better enable teachers, kaiako and educators to support children’s learning continuity as they move to school or kura. The overall vision and structure of principles, strands and goals has been strengthened but remains unchanged.

Early copies of Te Whāriki 2017 are now available on the Ministry of Education’s website. Printed copies of the document will be sent out to all early learning services in May. All schools will also receive a copy.

The updated curriculum is supported by a new portal on Te Kete Ipurangi website – tewhariki.tki.govt.nz, which provides implementation guidance, practical examples and resources. It will be expanded and developed over time.

The Ministry of Education has committed an additional $4 million dollars for the professional learning and development of teachers, kaiako and educators to support the implementation of Te Whāriki.

The update of Te Whāriki is part of a wider work programme across the education system to support children’s personalised learning pathways within Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 7:49 pm, 1 May 2017

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