Updating Te Whāriki

Issue: Volume 95, Number 22

Posted: 5 December 2016
Reference #: 1H9d5m

The Ministry of Education is updating Te Whāriki so that it better reflects shifts in educational thinking and social change since it was first published in 1996.

We’re updating Te Whāriki – New Zealand’s world-leading early childhood curriculum.

Consultation hui to discuss the proposed changes have been happening around the country over the past weeks and there is still time to give your feedback online. We want to hear what works for you, what doesn’t, and any suggestions for improvement. Consultation closes on 16 December 2016. Find out more on the Ministry Of Education website(external link) 

We want the updated Te Whāriki to be relevant and valued. Above all else we want it to empower every child to be competent, confident and eager to keep learning. This is an opportunity to make sure we have a curriculum that ensures our youngest New Zealanders have a great start to learning now and in the future.

The updated Te Whāriki will be available in hard copy and online in early 2017.

A changing sector and society

The early childhood sector asked for an update of Te Whāriki so that it better reflects shifts in educational thinking and social change since the curriculum was published in 1996.

There have been a number of changes in the 20 years since Te Whāriki was launched. For example there are now more children participating in early childhood education services me ngā kōhanga reo than ever before – this includes more under 2 year olds. New Zealand has become a more ethnically diverse nation and technology has changed the way we live. It is shifts like these that need to be reflected in our curriculum for learning.

The things that make Te Whāriki world leading won’t change. The overall structure of principles, strands and goals remain. The vision, aspirations and framework for learning all stay the same.

The main changes include:

  • Updating the language, context, implementation advice and examples
  • Making the document easier to navigate and more engaging
  • Strengthening the bicultural framing and inclusion of all children
  • Consolidating the learning outcomes
  • Linking early learning with learning that happens at school and kura.

The curriculum document that is out for consultation was drafted by a team of early learning specialists who are all practitioners and/or academics. They sought the advice of the original writers of Te Whāriki who are advisors to the project.

Linking with school and Kura

A new section about successful transitions to school and kura has been developed to support and strengthen learning continuity as children move from one setting to another.

Te Whāriki has always made links to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) but the section needed to be updated after the review of the NZC in 2007. Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMA) was released in 2008, for full implementation in 2010, so references to it do not appear in the current Te Whāriki. These are further reasons to update the curriculum.

By clarifying the links between curricula, early childhood teachers, educators and kaiako can recognise where and how a child’s early learning connects with the key components of the NZC and TMA. At the same time, new entrant teachers and kaiako will have useful information about a child’s learning so they can deliberately build on the education foundations that have already been laid.

By working together, families, kaiako and new entrant teachers can ensure that children have the best opportunity to make strong transitions which support the child’s continuity of learning. We want all children to remain confident, engaged and eager to keep learning.

Te Whāriki continues to be a world-leading framework for delivering quality early childhood education. Updating it means it stays that way for years to come.
Consultation closes on Friday 16 December 2016 at 5pm.

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

Posted: 10:41 pm, 5 December 2016

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