Te Whāriki webinars | Ngā Kauhaurangi

As part of the Ministry of Education funded Te Whāriki implementation programme, CORE Education facilitated a series of 10 webinars from August 2017 – June 2018. Each one-hour webinar explores a different aspect of Te Whāriki.

This is intended to support services to weave their own curriculum design as they engage in critical inquiry around Te Whāriki 2017.

You can view recordings of the webinars and download the slides below.

  • Webinar 1 – The full promise of Te Whāriki

  • Webinar 2 – Deciding what matters here

  • Webinar 3 – Mana atua/Wellbeing – Can I trust you?

  • Webinar 4 – Mana whenua/Belonging

  • Webinar 5 – Mana tangata/Contribution – Is this place fair?

  • Webinar 6 – Communication/Mana reo – Do you hear me?

  • Webinar 7 – Exploration/Mana aotūroa – Do you let me fly?

  • Webinar 8 – Infants and toddlers

  • Webinar 9 – Pathways to school and kura

  • Webinar 10 – Leadership for learning


Webinar recordings

Webinar 1 – The full promise of Te Whāriki

Transcript

Kia ora. Welcome to the recording of Webinar 1 – The full promise of Te Whāriki, a rich curriculum for all children. We’ll begin with karakia.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

We were intentional about choosing this karakia to begin our mahi as it symbolises us working together. Mahi tahi, to engage, debate, and confront Te Whāriki 2017. This webinar in particular, poses a challenge to the sector to provide a rich curriculum for all children. So kia ora, warm Pasifika greetings to you all and welcome to the first in a series of 10 webinars on the implementation of Te Whāriki 2017. During this webinar, we will use the term, “kaiako”. This term conveys the reciprocal nature of teaching and learning and includes all teachers, educators, parents, and parent-led services, and other adults who have responsibility for the care and education of children in an early childhood setting. Kaiako is also used for tamariki. It is important to acknowledge that professional learning is a personal responsibility and that you will weave your own whāriki from your participation in this webinar. This webinar series will give you opportunities to have conversations with others and some useful tools, strategies, and stories of practice that will support you to reflect on your current practice. We would like to acknowledge the Te Whāriki team that surrounds us, and their support and contribution to the webinars. Take a moment to look at our kaupapa for this webinar. This whakataukī identifies the intent of a rich curriculum in Te Whāriki. Take some time to think about what a rich curriculum for every child looks like, feels like, and sounds like. You might like to pause the recording here and consider that question. What does a rich curriculum for every child look like, feel like, and sound like?

Take a look now at what ERO and Te Whāriki itself tell us about the promise of Te Whāriki. The quote on page 19 tells us that children need a broad, rich curriculum to enable them to reach their full potential. Kotahitanga, holistic development, reminds us that when we focus on a particular learning area with children, we also need to consider how this relates to other learning areas and how they support children’s interests. The promise of the full curriculum for every child, means that each and every child enrolled in an early childhood service should be able to experience all areas of Te Whāriki from the moment they begin.

Take a look through the bulleted list at the bottom of this slide. Where can you see your service’s strengths, and what is something you may need to strengthen? One of the features of a rich curriculum is that it is Tiriti based. Te Whāriki, the bicultural, and Te Whāriki a te Kohanga Reo, the indigenous curriculum, have equal status. This is a message of partnership. Honouring the principles and the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi has implications for both Tiriti partners and kaiako have a crucial role here. Providing tamariki with culturally responsive environments that support their learning, and by ensuring they are provided with equitable opportunities to learn, is critical. The articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi are embedded in the principles, strands, goals, and learning outcomes of Te Whāriki.

A rich curriculum supports all children to engage with the full complexity of the curriculum. It is kaiako responsibility to notice, recognise, and respond to children’s interests in a way that adds complexity to learning. We’re going to take some time now to consider the how and what of learning, and explore the revised learning outcomes. The image on this slide is from pages 24 and 25, the overview of the full promise of Te Whāriki, the rich curriculum. Here we see the learning outcomes, or taumata whakahirahira). Taumata, being the highest level or aspiration, and whakahirahira, being exciting, wonderful, or excellence. Look at the goals. They are the “how” of learning. How we go about providing learning, and include the kakaiako role, the environment, relationships, interactions, and resources. Now take a look at the learning outcomes. They are the “what” of learning. The learning that is most valued here in Aotearoa. Your curriculum design will support children to achieve these learning outcomes across time, place, and space. This approach to learning recognises the need to maintain a duel focus on the “how” and the “what” of learning.

Alongside the goals, the kaiako responsibilities are outlined on page 59 of Te Whāriki. These also align with the “how” of learning. On this slide, the red cards are the responsibilities of kaiako, and the blue cards are the learning outcomes. Both sets of cards are available to download as PDFs on Te Whāriki Online, or the link at the bottom of this slide. Te Whāriki 2017 gives clear and strong guidance as to the role of kaiako throughout the document. This is a good place to start considering the full complexity of the kaiako role. Te Whāriki puts the responsibility on kaiako to develop their skills and knowledge and encourages us not to be complacent about our teaching. We should always be looking for ways to strengthen our practice.

This example comes from ERO in 2016. Early Mathematics, a guide for improving teaching and learning and is an example of the depth and breadth of learning as teachers noticed a child’s interest in construction in a way that added complexity to the learning. A four-year-old in this service had seen a YouTube video about constructing with plastic cups and he had shared his excitement about making some similar constructions with his teachers. A series of assessment documentation show the development of his ideas and the deliberate extension of his mathematical exploration by his teachers which culminates in a long-term project. Not just for him, but for many children in his group.

In the mathematics example, you saw kaiako adding complexity to children’s learning. Not only around the domain of mathematics, but also across many principles and strands of Te Whāriki. Let’s focus in this slide on the breadth of the curriculum and the provision of opportunities and intentional pedagogy to insure all children have the opportunity to meet all learning outcomes over time. To support children to engage in the full complexity of Te Whāriki, it’s useful to delve deeper into the learning outcomes. The fact that they’ve been revised, is going to enable us to engage with the full breadth and depth of the curriculum.

Learning outcomes can be met and progress can be observed in many, many ways. Kaiako need multiple sources of evidence across time, place, and space to show progress. Let’s move beyond the surface into the depths of the curriculum. For example, if we look at the strand of mana whenua in the learning outcome, “Children taking a part in caring for this place”, this could be children putting things away after morning tea and wiping the tables. It could be children taking part in recycling and composting, or helping to maintain grounds and equipment, including gardening. It could be planting trees by the local river, or being kaitiaki of the local awa, or feeding the homeless because people are also a part of this place and place can be the wider community. We encourage you to move beyond the obvious, to think deeply, and consider the other layers of your whāriki.

This Samoan proverb invites us to look deeper. Let’s take some time to think about this learning outcome from the mana reo communication strand. On the right hand side of the slide is the learning outcome for mana reo around verbal communication skills. Remember the goal is on the left hand side, and the role of kaiako and the learning outcome are on the right hand side. This is the evidence, what you will see. So thinking about your own setting, how do you know that all children have an understanding of oral language and are using it for a range of purposes. What are you observing and how is this happening across all aspects of your curriculum over time, place, and space? You might like to pause the recording here to consider this question. So how do you know that all children have an understanding or oral language and are using it for a range of purposes? What are you observing, and how is this happening across all aspects of your curriculum? One of the features that remains in Te Whāriki 2017 is the examples of practice and reflective questions to guide us as we cast our net into deeper waters. This is an example of a service in the North Island that was sited in the recent ERO national publication, “Extending their language, expanding their world.” This service was demonstrating effective practice in supporting children’s oral language development. This service caters for tamariki aged three months to five years. This slide shows some of the evidence that was seen at the service that could be used to fulfil the learning outcome, children become increasingly capable of understanding oral language and using it for a range of purposes. Take a moment to read through these bullet points. Evidence was across the age ranges and also across the environment. Progress was regularly evaluated, identity, language, and culture were at the forefront, and inclusiveness was demonstrated.

We’ve directed you to kaiako responsibilities and engaging with the full curriculum. We’ve talked about depth and breadth. So what does that require of us?

A rich curriculum for every child also means looking at kaupapa whakahaere differently, and re-engaging with the principles of Te Whāriki as touchstones for curriculum implementation. This is a key area and the intention of the update. If we think about kaupapa whakahaere, kaupapa, in a weaving context, is the foundation, is the reason for doing what we do. Whakahaere are the actions or drivers that make it go or happen. Pages 60–62 of Te Whāriki describe the underpinning theories and approaches that are consistent with the four principles.

So we invite you to bring a principle into focus. For example, whakamana for empowerment. Consider more deeply the ways whakamana can be embedded across your programme. Remember to view this from multiple perspectives. Consider the experiences of children and whānau. Consider your environment, your interactions, your assessment practices, your transition processes and the ways you engage with families, whānau, and the wider community.

The primary responsibility of kaiako is to facilitate children’s learning and development through thoughtful and intentional pedagogy. You might like to pause the recording here and consider what thoughtful and intentional pedagogy means for you and your service. When teachers are intentional in their practice, they draw on their up-to-date knowledge of how children learn. They consider the service’s philosophy and reflect this philosophical approach through practice and curriculum processes. This includes both planned and spontaneous learning experiences. Kaiako need to act with purpose, with intention, and with awareness. You might like to pause the recording here and turn to page 59 of Te Whāriki and take a look through the kaiako responsibilities. Can you identify three areas of strength and three areas that you would like to strengthen? How we provide a rich curriculum is also about being critically reflective. Being critically reflective means investigating, scrutinising, and debating our practices and some of our long-held beliefs. Each section of Te Whāriki provides reflective questions for us to consider as we implement a rich curriculum. These were retained from Te Whāriki 1996. So take a moment to read this quote from Helen May, one of the original writers of Te Whāriki and think to yourself, “Why is Helen May asking these questions?”. Where do you see yourself and your team in terms of engagement and dialogue? A new perspective in Te Whāriki 2017 reminds us to challenge our assumptions and invest time in listening to others’ views. Whose knowledge is valued here? Whose lived experiences are reflected in our environment and our curriculum and whose aren’t? What types of debates are you having about your practice? How do you confront Te Whāriki? Take some time to look at these bullet points. Te Whāriki 2017 embeds inclusive practice and additional learning needs throughout the document. It requires us to deepen our considerations. One of the main emphases of Te Whāriki 2017 is a curriculum for all children and the addition of “a tōna wa” (in their own time). This is an acknowledgement that each child develops differently and in their own context. The empowerment principle states the rights of tamariki to be protected, to have equitable opportunities, not equal, equitable, for participation and learning.

We’re now going to look at the tools and practices that support us to revisit our curriculum and examine our implementation. To recap, we’re talking about curriculum design, and for many people this is seen as programme planning, however we’re engaging more deeply in the notion of the full and rich curriculum embedded and woven throughout the principles and strands. All tamariki, including infants and toddlers, children from culturally diverse backgrounds, and children with varying abilities have the right to access and experience the full promise of Te Whāriki. So how effectively are you using kaupapa whakahaere when you design and evaluate your curriculum? And how do you know? How do taumata whakahirahira feature in your curriculum design and evaluation? The curriculum acknowledges differing social and cultural expectations, broad patterns of development, and a pedagogy of care that balances secure and predictable with adventurous and challenging. One of the things that sets Te Whāriki apart from other curricula is that it includes infants, toddlers, and young children. All are able to access the whole curriculum. Communication and exploration may look different in our younger learners but they are nonetheless communicating and exploring. You might find the questions in this slide helpful to evaluate your curriculum design in terms of kaupapa whakahaere, the principles, and taumata whakahirahira, the strands.

In this slide, we invite you to bring a child to mind. You may think about a child who flies under the radar in your service. You might like to pause the recording here and turn to pages 24 and 25, the overview of the full curriculum. Consider the learning outcomes in relation to this child. How is this child demonstrating progress towards each learning outcome? How do you know, and what evidence do you have? What more do you need to find out about this child? What areas of the curriculum can this child fully access? Where do they access? Where might barriers need to be broken down or additional support provided for the child to access the full depth and breadth of the curriculum? One way of evaluating your practice in this area is to conduct an internal evaluation. A question might look like the one on this slide. How effectively are we providing a rich curriculum for every child at our service? The key word here is “every”. We can probably all say that yes, we’re providing a rich curriculum for some children at our service, but is this happening for every child and how do we know? You may have noticed when reading Te Whāriki 2017, that internal evaluation replaces the term self review. We want to introduce you to this booklet which is the result of a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the Education Review Office. It has been designed for use in all services and sectors. With an underlying goal of achieving equity and excellence in education. This evaluation model includes five interconnected learner focused processes as a tool for your curriculum inquiry. This resource is able to be downloaded from the ERO website, or you can use the link at the bottom of this slide.

It is important to shift from just reflecting on practice, to scrutinising, investigating, and taking action. Te Whāriki Online provides a wealth of information and resources to support you to take action. The link to Te Whāriki Online is at the top of this slide. You might look to bookmark this page in your internet browser. As we conclude this webinar, we challenge you to think about what surprised you. What challenged you? What do you want to find out more about? And most importantly, what will you do differently tomorrow? And we’ll finish with our karakia mutanga.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou. Ma te wā.


Webinar 2 – Deciding what matters here

Transcript

Kia ora. Welcome to the recording of Webinar 2 – Deciding what matters here. We’ll begin with karakia.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

We were intentional about choosing this karakia to begin our mahi as it symbolises us working together, mahitahi, to engage, debate, and confront Te Whāriki 2017. This webinar in particular poses a challenge to the sector on deciding what matters here. The learning that is valued in your community.

So kia ora and warm Pasifika greetings and welcome to the second in a series of 10, deciding what matters here. As in webinar 1, we will be using the term “kaiako”. This term conveys the reciprocal nature of teaching and learning and includes all teachers, educators, and other adults including parents and parent-led services who have responsibility for the care and education of children in an early childhood setting. Kaiako is also inclusive of tamariki.

There is an expectation that each early childhood service will use Te Whāriki as a basis for weaving with children, parents, and whānau, its own local curriculum of valued learning, considering the aspirations and learning priorities of hapu, iwi, and community.

These webinars have been designed as a jumping on point for all kaiako, whether you’re new to early childhood or vastly experienced. It’s important to acknowledge that professional learning is a personal responsibility and that you will weave your own whāriki in this webinar.

We would like to acknowledge the Te Whāriki team that surrounds us and their support and contributions to the webinar. You will see on the right hand side of this slide an image of the 2016 National ERO report, Early Learning Curriculum: What’s important and what works. This report brought together findings from 17 other national ERO reports over the last 10 years. This early learning curriculum report was used to inform Te Whāriki 2017. The five bullet points on this slide continue to be identified as areas the sector needs to strengthen through practice and curriculum implementation. The focus for this webinar is deciding what matters here. On page 7 of Te Whāriki it states that, this framework provides a basis for each early childhood setting to weave a local curriculum that reflects its own distinctive character and values.

This whakataukī represents the concept that the child cannot be separated from their context. This includes their whānau, wider community, and the early childhood service. In the introduction on page 6 of Te Whāriki, it states that each child is unique and on their own journey. They come into this world eager to learn and into family, whānau, or aiga that have high hopes for them. Kaiako in early childhood settings work together in partnership with families to realise these hopes. This concept is also embedded in kaupapa whakahaere, the principle of kotahitanga, holistic development, an approach that considers every aspect of the context of the child.

Take some time to read the kaupapa for this webinar. Take a look at the heading on this slide. How do we decide what matters here? You might like to pause the recording here and consider the questions on this slide. In May 2013, ERO released a document called priorities for children’s learning in early childhood services. The above quote comes from the overview of this document on page 1. Take some time to read it. Remember that internal evaluation is the new term for evaluating practice. There are very clear expectations in Te Whāriki 2017 that services will use Te Whāriki as a basis for weaving their localised curriculum of valued learning. Taking into consideration also the aspirations and learning priorities of hapu, iwi, and community.

The bullet points on this slide come from page 9 of Te Whāriki. Deciding what matters here contributes to the development of your local curriculum. Think about your service. What might be some of the factors that contribute to the distinctive character of your localised curriculum? We’d like to bring your attention to the point about environmental opportunities and constraints as it’s a new factor in Te Whāriki 2017. It’s highlighted in red on this slide. So what are the opportunities and constraints in your environment? You might like to take some time here to consider this question. So who do we actually involve in this collaborative process? You’ll see from the bullet points in this slide that undertaking the process of deciding what matters here for your service is both deep and wide, involving a variety of stakeholders and networks. You can think of this as a 360 degree perspective, and it will take time and planning to collaborate and develop, insuring all voices are heard. A curriculum that reflects the values, beliefs, and knowledge that are valued in your local community is one that starts with a vision and/or philosophy statement for its learners. It is defined by the knowledge, beliefs, aspirations, and values of kaiako, parents, whānau, and community. So while most services will have a vision for their children, this is often unwritten and assumed, rather than being discussed and agreed upon openly. The vision for children’s learning will be reflected in the service philosophy, however. And in developing this philosophy, centres might include: What do we want our children to be and become? What worlds do our children live in, and what worlds will they live in? What is important for children to know and do?

We invite you to think critically about the third bullet point. What is important for children to know and do? Take some time to think about this question and your community. Remember back to our first webinar about the rich curriculum for every child. Consider every child in your thinking. These are not just questions for kaiako, these are questions for your community. For instance, whānau might share that they believe it’s important for all tamariki to learn to count from 1–10, but let’s go a bit deeper and listen to the message from parents, whānau that this might convey. They’re saying to you, "I value mathematics, I value your part in teaching my children about mathematics". It’s important to understand where whānau and the community are coming from when they share their aspirations for their children. A localised curriculum is about weaving your curriculum according to what is valued in your local context. And in the context of home-based education and care, your home and the community in which you are located, is your local context. Think about the values that are important in your local community. For instance, your community might value the domains of literacy and mathematics, or building social competence. Some communities may also reflect some issues that are important for that community. For example, communities with high crime rates may have different learning priorities for their children than those with a greater focus on environmental sustainability.

The Christchurch earthquake became a major focus for services in this location as building resilience and managing shifts in the community demographic became priorities. Remember also that wider community may be your local kura or school. Have you considered this as part of your local context? In the previous slide, we spoke briefly about home-based education and care and what a localised curriculum might look like for them. We’re going to expand on this a little further as home-based services are unique in the fact that the place of education and care is most often a family home for home-based kaiako. So for a home-based kaiako, deciding what matters here is related the learning they, their children, and whānau value in their home and this is a good place for home-based kaiako and for visiting teachers who mentor home-based kaiako to start. What learning do home-based kaiako value at their place at this time? What learning do the children and whānau value at this time? The visiting teacher can discuss with the home-based kaiako the philosophy or vision of the home-based service they belong to and this could be represented by photos on a poster in the home-based kaiao home that they can discuss with whānau. If you’re a visiting teacher or home-based kaiako participating in this webinar, you might like to use this provocation as a jumping on point to consider what learning matters in your context.

This example from a kindergarten in South Canterbury, tells a story of collaboration. As this service developed a shared philosophy with their whānau, reflective of their whānau values. They decided to hold a hui with their community and they called it, “Together for success”. They sent invitations to the hui to all of their whānau and at the hui, they spoke briefly about the concepts of philosophy and values. They engaged everyone in a group task, brainstorming answers to four big questions they had written on pieces of paper around the room. Their questions are on this slide.

Some of the responses included, “When my child is a successful adult, this means they will be flexible and able to cope with change.” “They will be a person that others want to be with.” “They will have courage to try new things.” “They’ll be invested in their own culture.” "When my child finishes kindergarten, they will have positive relationships with adults and other children.” “They will love and value play.” “They will know how to ask questions and seek information about areas that interest them.” “They will be able to use words to resolve conflict, and they will be confident in their thoughts and contributions.” Kaiako took the large pieces of paper and displayed them in the kindergarten as a living document for whānau to continue adding to. They also asked children what they thought was important for them to learn at kindergarten.

These contributions have underpinned the development of a localised curriculum in this place, at this time, for these children, their whānau, and kaiako, and have formed the foundation of their teaching and learning through their philosophy statement, and their curriculum priorities. It is something they will revisit and renew as they continue on their journey. They are assured that their philosophy is connected strongly to the ideas, aspirations, and ambitions of their whānau, their children, and kaiako. It’s a shared understanding, a woven mat that they all stand on proudly.

In the next slide, we’ll look at how you can implement a localised curriculum incorporating a Te Ao Māori perspective. Take some time to look at this quote from page 33 of Te Whāriki within the mana whenua, belonging strand. Some practical ways of implementing a localised curriculum from a Te Ao Māori perspective in your service might include learning Ngā Pūrākau me Ngā Pakiwaitara of your rohe. Pūrākau means narratives of historical events and Pakiwaitara, are stories told for entertainment, to tell a cautionary tale and to support imagination. Visible representation and children visiting and knowing about the local landscape of awa, maunga, moana, iwi, and hapū within the service and excursion to significant areas in your rohe. This is a further example of a service identifying what matters to them and in this instance, it’s connections to the land. This example comes from the Early Childhood Leadership '5 out of 5’ project. This resource focused on five key areas for effective Early Childhood leadership, and it showcases five Early Childhood services, school leaders, kaiako, and parents, explaining how five out of five children become confident and competent in their Early Childhood context. In the video, connections to land, language, culture, and relationships are identified by whānau as the focus for what learning matters in this service and help design their local curriculum. A bicultural understanding for others to stand on enables us to be responsive to other ethnicities represented in our communities.

Take some time to read these two quotes. Focusing on what matters here involves honouring the principles and articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This is the message of partnership which is evoked when we collaborate with parents, whānau, iwi, and hapū to identify their aspirations. New Zealand is increasingly multicultural. Te Tiriti is seen to be inclusive of all immigrants to New Zealand, whose welcome comes in the context of this partnership, therefore weaving a bicultural whāriki that other ethnicities can stand upon is an important element in deciding what matters here.

So whose voices are you listening to? Remember back to the first webinar. If you’re considering a rich curriculum for every child, it is also a rich curriculum for all whānau. Consider whānau who you don’t naturally connect with, children whose voices are not as prominent. Consider the messages those voices might convey. For instance in 2013, ERO found a lack of responsiveness to Māori and Pasifika children in many services. Only ⅖ of services had thought about a curriculum that might support tamariki Māori to achieve success as Māori and about ⅕ of services had considered this for Pasifika children. A feature of Te Whāriki 2017 is the guidance in relation to Pasifika peoples and approaches. Even if you don’t have any children of Pasifika heritage, it is important to consider how you will respond. One of the responsibilities of kaiako, outlined on page 59, is the ability to support the cultural and linguistic diversity of all children as part of promoting an inclusive environment.

Take some time to look at this quote from the Early Learning Curriculum report. Again, one of the kaiako responsibilities on page 59 is about being able to engage in dialogue with parents, whānau, and communities to understand their priorities for curriculum and learning. Are you too reliant on one mode of communication with whānau in your community? Kaiako need to consider using alternative strategies to make connections. Thinking about different ways to share and build relationships and engage in that dialogue. So far in this webinar we’ve considered how we decide what matters here. Some of the information we’ve shared with you is included in this diagram and you might find it useful to follow as you move forward in deciding what matters here at your service.

Now we’re going to investigate how we ensure a shared understanding about what matters in our service. How is this led and enacting your philosophy.

Collaborating with your community to gather information and develop your localised curriculum does have to be led. It cannot be left to chance, but neither can it be left up to one positional leader to accomplish. As highlighted by the quote in this slide, pedagogical leadership is where everyone takes responsibility for learning together and constructing meaning and knowledge collaboratively.

To ensure all voices are considered, collaboration needs to be intentional and planned. Collaboration needs to go beyond parents and whānau and include team, iwi, other relevant communities, and of course children. You will remember in the kindergarten example earlier, we focused on their consultation with whānau. It’s important to let you know that kaiako also consulted with children and each other. Their next step may be to move beyond the gate and cast their net into deeper waters, engaging with community and hapū. They’ve laid the foundation first so are moving forward with knowledge and shared understanding.

These statements on this slide from Te Whāriki Online will be useful for leaders as they lead the process of “deciding what learning matters here” in their services.

We’d like you to focus here on the statement, “Being willing to confront longstanding ways we’ve always done this”. Many kaiako are saying the new Te Whāriki is affirming what we already do. Our challenge to you, is to confront the ways you’ve always done Te Whāriki and why Te Whāriki’s implemented in your service in the way that it is. Think about a longstanding practice in your service. For example, children don’t have access to the outdoor environment at all times. Think about who benefits from this practice. Adults? Children? You may not even know why you do it this way. As we said before, we see these webinars as jumping on points for you. These provocations are designed for you to revisit, and reflect on, after this webinar. One aspect you might like to also consider in deciding what matters here, is about including current research and professional knowledge. So when we think about deciding what matters here, we think about the ways children learn. What does research tell us? For example, attachment theory, brain research, inclusive practice.

Another way in which pedagogical leaders can gain support and ideas is use Te Whāriki Online. Under the tab “Weaving Te Whāriki”, there is a section on “Deciding what matters here”. You will find this useful in the planning and implementation of your process.

Perhaps one of the most important points in ensuring a shared understanding of “What matters here”, is, once it’s established, how is it then evident in your practice? How are you enacting your philosophy? In the next couple of slides, we’re going to consider these two bullet points.

Te Whāriki underpins your philosophy (not the other way around). So if you’re from a service with a strong philosophy already, such as Playcentre, Steiner, Montessori, you may want to consider how Te Whāriki is underpinning that philosophy. The main components, the aho and whenu, of our curriculum, must be Te Whāriki. Then other strands of philosophical underpinnings such as Playcentre, Steiner, or Montessori, can also be woven in. It’s important to ensure that the new strands don’t compromise the principles and strands of the Te Whāriki foundation.

What learning matters here should be reflected in everything that you see, hear, and do. For instance, in the examples provided in this webinar, the South Canterbury Kindergarten, and Deciding what matters here from the 5 out of 5 leadership series, have sought to establish relationships with whānau and/or the natural world to influence their curriculum decision making. Now that they’ve determined their priorities, these are reflected throughout all aspects of their practice. You might like to consider how your priorities, as reflected in your philosophy, are evident in your interactions with children, in your physical, spiritual, and emotional environments. And your documentation including assessment documentation, and in your communication with whānau. There should be evident links between what you say you value and what learning others can see happening. Leaders need to ensure that all kaiako have a shared understanding of their philosophy and what it might look like in practice. Let’s take some time to think more deeply about a statement that might be in your philosophy.

Whānau often identify social competency as important learning for their children. Many services have a statement like the one on this slide in their philosophy. It links to the strand of contribution, mana tangata. What would this priority look like in practice? Consider the rich curriculum for all tamariki. For infants, for toddlers, and for young children. What practices would you see in day-to-day interactions, in the environment, and documentation that evidence this philosophy statement?

Documentation provides an important piece of evidence as to how you know that your priorities for learning are evidenced in practice. Te Whāriki on page 65, under “Planning”, guides us in this. Planning involves deliberate decision making about the priorities for learning that have been identified by kaiako, parents, whānau, and community in Early Childhood Services. These bullet points provide a useful guide of documentation to consider, in terms of the way you are evidencing the learning priorities in your service. We’re going to share an example in the next slide, that illustrates how one Early Childhood Service’s documentation, made visible their learning priorities.

This playcentre on the West Coast of the South Island, caters for children aged from under 2 years to school age. The playcentre philosophy is underpinned by the strands of Te Whāriki and the children’s development of dispositions strongly influences their curriculum. Parents work together to identify the following priorities for children’s learning. To grow and develop positive and useful skills, knowledge, and attitudes. To be affirmed as individuals. To develop generosity of spirit, respect, endeavour, aroha, and integrity. Documentation at the playcentre reflects these priorities. You will see in the bullet points that assessment of children’s learning showed children’s involvement in the curriculum and highlights next steps. Links to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki and dispositions are included, along with notes about how these are being supported. All parents contribute to profiles and openly discuss children’s learning with other parents. Curriculum planning sheets bring together individual programmes and information from parents. Parents reflect on each session and discuss assessment information to inform future sessions. Information gathered from parents is useful to reflect on and revise their priorities for children’s learning. You might see these and say, “These are really familiar”, but how effectively are your priorities evidenced in documentation and what evidence do you have?

A point to consider here, is once you have established your curriculum priorities and they are evident in philosophy and practice, that they don’t just become all that you teach and learn about. This would contribute to a narrowing of the curriculum. Even though you have your learning priorities in place, it’s important to be noticing, recognising, and responding to the depth and breadth of the whole curriculum. Referring back to our first webinar, “The rich curriculum, the full promise of Te Whāriki”, we discussed all children having the right to experience the full depth and breadth of the curriculum from the moment they begin in early childhood.

Many of you will all be in different places with regards to deciding what matters here. For those services beginning the process, we’ve looked at how you decide what matters here, including who is involved, and what voices are being heard and listened to, with a challenge to the sector to make sure you involve all voices, especially children’s. This can sometimes mean thinking more deeply about intent from whānau. Remember back to the example, the numbers one from ten? We then discussed how you might go about facilitating a shared understanding of what matters here in your service, with a particular emphasis on pedagogical leadership, and enacting your philosophy, making sure that what matters here is reflected in your practice. If your service is satisfied, it has a robust and collaborative process, and has decided what matters here, this may be a jumping on point for you as you scrutinise and investigate to evaluate your learning priorities and how they are evidenced both in practice and in documentation, and how do you know?

As we have said throughout this webinar, we see these as a jumping on point for you, as you begin to engage, confront, and debate Te Whāriki 2017 and what it means in your service. So what action are you going to take as a result of engaging with this webinar today?

And we’ll finish with our karakia whakamutanga.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou. Ma te wā.


Webinar 3 – Mana atua/Wellbeing

Transcript

Kia ora. Welcome to webinar 3, Mana atua/Wellbeing – Can I trust you?

We’ll begin with karakia.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

So kia ora and warm Pasifika greetings and welcome to the third webinar in a series of 10, Mana atua/Wellbeing – Can I trust you? As Te Whāriki states on page 26, all children have the right to have their health and wellbeing promoted, and to protect their wellbeing from harm. You will also notice the title of this webinar, Mana atua/Wellbeing – Can I trust you? This question is one of 5 developed by Carr, May, and Podmore in 2001 and are designed for services to ask themselves within evaluation and assessment. When children are asking, Can I trust you? The actions and behaviours expected from kaiako is that they will meet the child’s daily needs with care and sensitive consideration, thereby building a sense of trust. We would like to remind you that webinar one, “Te Whāriki, a rich curriculum for all children”, and webinar two, “Deciding what matters here”, are the anchors to effective practice, so you may want to refer back to these, and keep asking yourselves, what has changed? What are you doing differently? We would like to acknowledge the wider Te Whāriki team that surrounds us, and their support and contributions to the webinars.

Take a moment to read the kaupapa for this webinar.

In this whakataukī from page 26, the health of the child is inseparable from its wellbeing, and the wellbeing of the child is also inseparable from the wellbeing of whānau. Wellbeing develops in a safe and trustworthy environment where all tamariki are valued and supported to actively contribute and participate. As Te Whāriki states on page 12, this curriculum acknowledges that all children have rights to protection and promotion of their health and wellbeing, to equitable access to learning opportunities, to recognition of their language, culture, and identity, and increasingly to agency over their own lives. These rights align closely with the concept of mana. Mana is a much deeper conversation beyond this webinar. Mana is inherent in, and underpins, all the strands of Te Whāriki. We encourage you to take the time to investigate understandings of mana for yourselves. Go beyond the document for your understandings. As we have mentioned, wellbeing is strongly evident in the principle of kotahitanga, holistic development. In her paper, Te Ira Atua, Lesley Rameka, one of the writers of Te Whāriki 2017, says that kotahitanga relates to reflecting the holistic way in which children learn and grow. Kotahitanga means oneness, singleness, and togetherness. This principle recognises the importance of the holistic aspects in the growth and development of tamariki. The Child’s wellbeing, how they are valued in a particular setting, needs to be viewed through a holistic lens.

For those of you who have not seen this before, these five bullet points capture areas that research shows makes the greatest difference for children’s learning. Accordingly, these areas have been strengthened in Te Whāriki 2017. An additional challenge for kaiako in the area of wellbeing, are the diverse understandings of wellbeing. This webinar may require us to step outside of our own personal values and beliefs. There may be tension and contradictions with your own personal views and those presented in this webinar. Part of being a professional, is the ability to look deeper and wider, beyond our own comfort zone. To challenge our thinking and practice. As we begin this webinar, we are aware that there are many aspects and interpretations of wellbeing, mana atua.

We are going to look at some of the topical aspects in this webinar. This rich and responsive curriculum enables children to live their potential, and your role as kaiako supports this. Kaupapa whakahaere kotahitanga, holistic development, reminds us that when we focus on a particular learning area with tamariki, for instance, mana atua, wellbeing, we also need to consider how this relates to other learning areas. It is important to consider mata atua in relation to the broad, rich whāriki, not in isolation.

On this slide, you’ll find the two new statements that articulate the intent of the wellbeing, mana atua strand from both western and Māori perspectives. You will find these statements at the bottom of page 26. These statements challenge us to think deeply about this strand and its implications and imperatives. Beyond the more obvious aspects of wellbeing such as hand washing and closing gates, you might like to pause this recording and reflect on what wellbeing, mana atua, might look like, feel like, and sound like in your service at the moment. We are mindful that this will be from your perspective at this time. Wellbeing is a complex concept and we’ll dig deeper into some aspects of it during this webinar. We’re now going to take a closer look at what Te Whāriki and other early childhood researchers have to say about mana atua.

Take some time to read through these bullet points. This is how Te Whāriki envisages a curriculum where children’s health and wellbeing are promoted and where they are protected from harm. This is what it will look like, feel like, and sound like. You will note the holistic view that Te Whāriki holds of wellbeing. You will see reference to physical, emotional, spiritual, and social wellbeing, as well as ensuring safety. It unpacks this vision even more in the evidence of learning and development, and the examples of practice sections, and in the learning outcomes of Te Whāriki which we’re going to look at now.

Te Whāriki talks about mana atua in three ways. Take a look at the goals and learning outcomes on this slide. The first goal and learning outcome relates to the child’s health. The second goal and learning outcome relates to the child’s emotional wellbeing. And the third goal and learning outcome relates to the safety of the child. These goals and learning outcomes will look familiar. New areas in Te Whāriki 2017 in the mana atua, wellbeing strand, place more emphasis on Māori and Pasifika wellbeing, including hauora and te taha wairua in the introduction of learning such as self-regulation, resilience, and risk taking, which feature in the evidence of the learning and development section of the strand. Our challenge today is to look beyond these three goals, and more deeply and widely into this strand. To make the familiar strange.

Digging deeper and making sense of the mana atua/wellbeing strand, will be the focus of the next part of this webinar.

Clear expectations are given for kaiako in Te Whāriki 2017 around Te Ao Māori perspectives and practices around mana atua. You might like to pause the recording here and turn to page 28 of Te Whāriki.

Take note of the headings on this page. Kaiako respect, kaiako develop, kaiako facilitate, and kaiako trust. These headings set out clear kaiako responsibilities and set expectations for children’s wellbeing.

Take some time to read the quotes on this slide. These come from an article in The First Years journal by Lesley Rameka and Rita Walker, Ma te huruhuru ka rere: birds require feathers to fly, This whakataukī symbolises that kaiako must invest time and effort to understand the context from which children come in order for them to realise their full potential. It highlights the importance of kaiako protecting and enhancing children’s mana, which is the driving force of Te Whāriki found in all the principles and strands, including mana atua. In this quote, mana atua is defined as the enduring, indestructible, and sacred power of the atua, or gods. Thinking about mana atua encourages kaiako to move beyond considerations of children’s physical and emotional wellbeing, and also consider their spiritual wellbeing, thereby acknowledging that children are competent and confident learners and communicators. Healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Children understanding their own uniqueness and spiritual connectedness. Specifically, Te Whāriki identifies that kaiako should have an understanding of Māori approaches to health and wellbeing and how these are applied in practice. Models such as te whare tapa whā emphasise the importance of te taha wairua to holistic wellbeing. Many of you will be familiar with this model from Mason Durie. It is important to note here the four pou. Each pou is of equal importance. In the next couple of slides, we’re going to look at the pou relating to taha wairua as this is highlighted in Te Whāriki 2017. Although we know spirituality is a very complex and contested subject, in the next few slides we’ll be looking at what spirituality in early childhood might look like.

Te taha wairua is emphasised in Te Whāriki 2017 in the principle of holistic development and the mana atua strand. Rameka challenges us to confront how we are meeting these imperatives. She believes that the whole topic of spirituality within the New Zealand early childhood context, tends to be unarticulated unless the service has a particular philosophy that acknowledges spirituality. This is possibly due to the secular nature of modern western society which leaves little room for ideas and beliefs of the sacred or spiritual. To find out more about this article, you can click on the link at the bottom of this slide. Because spirituality can not be proven scientifically, it is often viewed as illogical and unsophisticated and therefore has no place in educational theory or practice. However, the absence of the spiritual dimension denies an important facet of human existence. This has meant that examples of effective practice are difficult to find but it is an important area for early childhood services to consider.

The following slide discusses ways in which early childhood services can recognise and promote children’s taha wairua in a secular setting.

Take a moment to look at this slide. Early childhood researchers, Jane Bone, Joy Cullen, and Judith Loveridge, have introduced the concept “Everyday spirituality” which implies an appreciation of aspects of daily life which are often taken for granted. Everyday spirituality recognises that extraordinary in the ordinary and makes the familiar strange. It is central to meaning-making and the development of working theories. Spirituality has the power to introduce mystery and wonder into otherwise mundane events and resists definition. It means different things to different people. For many people, recognising the spiritual dimension is central to constructing a life worth living and may support them feeling whole, or complete. However, spirituality is not the same as religious doctoring and as an integral part of the early childhood curriculum, has the potential to connect, not divide, hence the emphasis on whole, holistic. On page 30, Te Whāriki asks kaiako to recognise the importance of spirituality in the development of the whole child. If your service is interested in exploring more about everyday spirituality, you might go to the link at the bottom of this slide and read the article. Or, as a starting point, you might like to take a closer look at the spirituality that already exists within the diverse communities in your service.

You will have noticed Te Whāriki includes Pasifika perspectives. On page 26 of Te Whāriki it states, “for Pasifika children, wellbeing is a multi-faceted concept that encompasses the child, the parent, aiga, and wider relationship”. This quote emphasises the importance for Pasifika peoples of family and interdependence between individuals.

In a Pasifika view of health, a positive and balanced relationship between the three elements of Atua (God), tagata (people), and laufanua (the environment), is required in order to maintain well-being.

Similar to Te Whare Tapa Whā, there are five dimensions of health surrounding the three elements as you can see on this slide. It is important to note that for Pasifika peoples, Christianity often plays an important part in their spirituality as well as traditional spirits and nature. For more fuller description of this fonofale model, the link is at the bottom of this slide.

This story is an example of a kaiako stepping beyond her own notion of spirituality to acknowledge the child’s.

A kaiako in a service in a rural South Island town noticed that on a Monday the Tongan children in her service would sing church songs in their play. She wasn't sure how to respond to these children and initially didn't pay much attention to their singing.

She was involved in a professional learning programme which gave her insight into the ways others responded to their pasifika communities. Through strengthening relationships with the Tongan families in her service, she began to understand her kaiako responsibilities in relation to validating and acknowledging these children’s expressions of cultural identity and spirituality. This is an example of the importance of knowing individual children and their context well, and responding in meaningful ways to their expressions of spirituality and cultural identity.

We have discussed how kaiako might understand mana atua with with particular emphasis on te taha wairua. Now we are going to look at how kaiako might understand wellbeing, with a particular focus on some of the new aspects regarding building self-regulation and resilience, and the ability to take risks.

As stated earlier, Te Whāriki 2017 places a more explicit focus on well being and resilience. The heading in this slide is one of the strand statements we mentioned earlier. Throughout the document there is a clear kaupapa given to kaiako about supporting the development of well being and resilience for infants, toddlers, and young children. A focus on self regulation and self control is also a feature of well being. The development of resilience and self regulation is a learnt skill and occurs over time through intentional and thoughtful pedagogy, and with active kaiako encouragement and support.

Self regulation and resilience contribute to well being. Research from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary study and the Gluckman reports in 2011 and 2017 have talked about developing self-control and resilience skills in Early Childhood leading to improved emotional and physical health and learning outcomes for children, young people, and adults. You will see some links to the research at the bottom of this slide.

This is why resilience and self-regulation are so important. Although we are probably all familiar with the term resilience, defining it can be complex and this is why we have included a couple of definitions here for you to consider.

Resilience is more that just getting through or coping with a challenging situation. It involves learning skills and strategies that enable children to deal effectively with challenges. Resilience is seen as dynamic in nature rather than a static way of being. So for instance, some families and children can be more or less resilient in different circumstances.

Self-regulation can be defined as being able to manage feelings and behaviour. We are now going to look at some ways in which kaiako can support children’s developing self-regulation and resilience.

Take a moment to read this slide. In 2011, the Education Review Office completed a national evaluation on how early childhood services were providing positive foundations for children’s learning. You will see the link to this report at the bottom of this slide. The report highlights the important roles of leaders and kaiako in the provision of an environment that supports children to become socially competent and resilient. Some of these are listed in this slide. You will notice we have highlighted, “are aware of practices that may disengage children, for example, long or highly teacher-directed mat times”. You might like to pause the recording here and consider, what practices in your service may disengage children?

If you have identified practices within your service that disengage children, we want to challenge you to confront your practice. What will you do differently tomorrow. These webinars are a jumping on point for you, they cannot be seen in isolation, rather the series is a whāriki for you to consolidate your weaving and take action for improvement. Internal evaluation for improvement will guide you to identify effective practices that ensure equity and excellence in your curriculum design.

In this example highlighted in the report, kaiako in this service draw on a range of strategies to effectively guide children’s social and emotional competence. Children have time and space to solve their own challenges. Kaiako are mindful of adapting the wide range of strategies required to support the development of skills according to the individual children’s needs. Take some time to read the strategies these kaiako used.

You will notice that we have highlighted some aspects in red. It is important that children are active contributors in these aspects to support their self-regulation and resilience through the development and testing of working theories. Kaiako need to give children time, space, and multiple opportunities to practice and rehearse. We want to bring your attention to the second bullet point, providing opportunities to identify and authentically discuss feelings. In order to discuss their emotions, children require the vocabulary of feelings and the ability to express these verbally.

The importance of children’s oral language impacts on their ability to think and to learn. The children's commissioner, Andrew Becroft, has recently been talking about the link between children's oral language and their well being. Oral language is a significant contributor to the development of self-regulation and resilience. Self-regulation and resilience can be linked to all three of the learning outcomes of Mana Atua. We encourage you to explore the notion of what self-regulation means in your service and how you are encouraging and strengthening children’s resilience. Over the next few slides we will be looking at some of the new emphases in the wellbeing strand in Te Whāriki 2017.

In particular we will be focusing on emotional wellbeing and taking risks. A service which has an emphasis on emotional wellbeing is one that supports children to build empathy, tolerance, and trust. These skills are essential components to respecting the tikanga and rules for not harming others and the environment. Te Whāriki provides a lot of guidance and support in the ways that kaiako can create a culture of empathy, tolerance, and trust.

Take some time to read these statements from Te Whāriki 2017. These provide just a few examples of this guidance. You may like to unpack these further as a team as you consider how effectively you provide this aspect of the curriculum in your service.

Another focus in Te Whāriki 2017 that we would like to highlight, is about children taking risks.

The heading in this slide encompasses the learning goal from Te Whāriki, “They are kept safe from harm”. Being safe is a value that encompasses physical, cultural, spiritual, and emotional safety and the idea that children should be able to “speak out” and be safe from exclusion.

The ability to take risks is an area for kaiako to consider in their curriculum design. Taking risks supports children to develop resilience. It is important to note though, that this is not just limited to physical risks, but also social and emotional risk taking.

We are now going to unpack the second strand statement at the bottom of page 26 in a little more depth, thinking about children’s mana atutatanga, their uniqueness and spiritual connectedness.

Te Whāriki on page 28 identifies the ways kaiako can support children to understand their own mana atuatanga. We ask you to think about what more you need to know and do to authentically support children to understand their own mana atuatanga. Go beyond the everyday and think about every child.

What are areas you are strong in and which areas could you strengthen? Remember confronting Te Whāriki 2017 requires kaiako to scrutinise their own practice.

In this slide we are going to explore diverse understandings of wellbeing. It is important to note that diversity is represented in many ways, not only ethnic diversity, but also diversity in family make-up, for example, same sex, blended, and extended families. Sometimes these differing understandings are religion-based but they can also come from other influences. Whānau of children with health needs, for example diabetes, will have specific requirements that you will need to consider to support the child’s wellbeing.

Think about the families represented in your service. How confident are you that you know, and can therefore acknowledge, the ways your families understand and seek to promote wellbeing. This might be something you can use as a jumping on point from this webinar. It’s important to ensure that ALL children can access the full depth and breadth of your curriculum.

A few years ago when a colleague was working in a service, a family from Scandinavia enrolled their baby and requested that she slept in a pram outdoors while at the service. This was a common practice in their homeland and the family felt strongly that sleeping outdoors contributed to their baby’s well being. This challenged our colleague and her teaching team because of the safety and regulatory elements of a baby sleeping outdoors in a pram. The teaching team believed they were supporting this baby’s well being from a safety perspective which was different to the families perspective of well being. One of the responsibilities of leadership outlined in Te Whāriki 2017 is to balance consideration for both children’s safety and parental aspirations. In the next slide we are going to look at these responsibilities in a little more depth.

Te Whāriki outlines a range of considerations for leadership, organisation, and practice on page 30. As well as what we have discussed previously in this webinar, in summary, strong pedagogical leadership requires leaders and kaiako to create a culture that values and promotes the health and wellbeing of children, kaiako, and whānau. To model positive attitudes, to develop policies, procedures, and practices that keep children health, safe, and secure. To recognise and act on signs of danger or abuse promptly. To ensure the social, sensory, and physical environments, and daily routines are responsive to individuals. To work in partnership with all those who work with children and whānau. To understand the progression of, and variations in children’s development. To provide an environment that is calm, friendly, and conducive to warm and intimate interactions.

These considerations provide some useful indicators of effective leadership and practice that could be used when evaluating your curriculum. We would like to draw your attention to the bullet point highlighted in red – work in partnership with all those who work with children and whānau.

In order to support children’s wellbeing, if we are considering the unique capabilities of each child, leaders need to establish active communication between adults who may be working with a child and family. For example, interprofessional work with Education Support Workers, Speech Language Therapists, Physios, etc.

In the kaiako responsibilities section on page 59 of Te Whāriki, one of the responsibilities of kaiako is about maintaining and establishing relationships that enable professional collaboration with others including other kaiako, school teachers, and specialist services.

More reflective questions can also be found on Te Whāriki Online which provides a repository of resources to widen and deepen kaiako understanding around Te Whāriki 2017. This website is being added to constantly and can be found in the Weaving Te Whāriki drop down box.

Another good place for your team to begin considering how effective your service is at delivering on the imperatives in the Wellbeing/Mana atua strand, are the questions for reflection, also on page 30.

So what action are you going to take away as a result of viewing this webinar today? We’ll conclude today with our karakia whakamutanga.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou. Ma te wā.


Webinar 4 – Mana whenua/Belonging

Transcript

Kia ora. Welcome to the recording of Webinar 4, Mana whenua/Belonging – Do you know me? We will begin with karakia.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

Kia ora and warm pasifika greetings, welcome to the fourth webinar in a series of 10 – Mana whenua/Belonging – Do you know me? These webinars have been designed as a jumping on point for all kaiako whether you are new to Early Childhood or vastly experienced.

It is important to acknowledge that professional learning is a personal responsibility and that you will weave your own whāriki from your participation in this webinar.

Our fourth webinar is about deepening our knowledge around the strand of Mana whenua/ Belonging. Te Whāriki states on page 31 that Early Childhood settings are safe and secure places where each child is treated with respect and diversity is valued. All children need to know that they are accepted for who they are and that they can make a difference.

You will note in the title of this webinar it asks the question – Do you know me? This question is one of 5 developed by Carr, May, and Podmore in 2001 and are designed for services to ask themselves within evaluation and assessment.

When children are asking “Do you know me?” the actions and behaviours expected from kaiako is that they will appreciate and understand their interests and those of their family.

We’d like to acknowledge the Te Whāriki team that surrounds us and their support and contributions to the webinars.

So take a minute to look at our kaupapa for this webinar.

For those of you who have not seen this slide before, these five bullet points capture areas that research shows make the greatest difference for children’s learning. Accordingly, these areas have been strengthened in Te Whāriki 2017. The notion of belonging can be complex and is contextual to each individual. Belonging can fluctuate. Think about a child who starts school or leaves to attend another service. In this webinar, we’re going to investigate some of the new aspects, including creating a space for belonging, children’s connection to Papatūānuku, cultural perspectives on belonging, a curriculum that is inclusive and accessible to all, and transitions into, within, across, and beyond Early Childhood Services.

You may have noticed that belonging is visible in the principles of Te Whāriki and is also emphasised in the strands of communication, contribution, and exploration.

This rich and responsive curriculum enables children to live their potential, and your role as kaiako supports this. It is important to consider Mana whenua in relation to the broad/rich whāriki, not in isolation.

This whakataukī from page 31 represents the concept that the child is inseparable from the family and tīpuna in feeling a sense of belonging.

Developing a sense of belonging for every child and family in an Early Childhood setting is challenging given that each child and family will have a different understanding of what belonging means for them.

Te Whāriki 2017 gives more explicit guidance in developing a “space” for belonging for every child and family. For instance, it states on page 31 that “Children are more likely to feel at home if they regularly see their own culture, language, and world views valued in an Early Childhood setting”. When we consider the notion of family, we need to think about the wider family of the child including siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunties, and whānau. Alongside that we need to consider the diversity of family structures including same sex, blended, single parent.

Our acknowledgement of diverse families (or not), can be represented in the language and systems within our Early Childhood Services. For example, often in newsletters we start out with, “Dear Parents..” So think about your enrolment forms, are there only spaces for two parents to document their names, or is space provided to include different family contexts and structures. Is there another way of doing this that would reflect a wider definition of family?

On this slide you will find the two “new” statements that articulate the intent of Mana whenua/Belonging from both Western and Māori perspectives. You will find these statements at the bottom of page 31.

These statements challenge us to think deeply about this strand and its implications and imperatives. This means moving beyond seeing belonging from our own perspective but also seeing it from other perspectives.

You might like to pause the recording and consider the following question, what do you notice if a child or whānau DON’T have a sense of belonging in your service? You might also like to consider this question, how might you promote a sense of belonging? We encourage you to consider your relationships, the environment, and curriculum. So again. You might like to pause the recording here and consider, how might you promote a sense of belonging?

We’re now going to look at mana whenua links to kaupapa whakahaere.

The stand of Mana Whenua/Belonging is evident in all of the principles of Te Whāriki. In particular, we would like to highlight the links between mana whenua and the principle of family and community/whānau tangata.

Belonging is evident in the principle of Whānau tangata through reinforcing a sense of identity of the child, making the service feel safe and familiar to the child and their family.

In the next couple of slides, we’re going to take a look at what Te Whāriki, ERO, and other people have to say.

Te Whāriki talks about belonging in four ways. Take a look at the goals and learning outcomes. You will see the first goal and learning outcome encompasses belonging to wider Early Childhood Learning Communities beyond the Early Childhood setting. In the second goal and learning outcome, belonging to a particular Early Childhood setting. In the third goal and learning outcome, belonging is situated in routines, customs, and regular events. And in the last goal and learning outcome, belonging is situated within rules, rights, and responsibilities.

Some of the new aspects of belonging in Te Whāriki 2017 include children’s relationship to Papatūānuku and kaitiaki of the land, children making sense of their world and being global citizens, a stronger focus on transitions into, within, and beyond the Early Childhood Service, and a more explicit focus on diversity and a curriculum that is inclusive of, and accessible to all, including a stronger focus on New Zealand Sign Language.

Take a minute to look through these bullet points.

Te Whāriki on page 31 gives guidance to kaiako on how to promote and support the wellbeing of children and whānau. You will notice we have highlighted in red, “whānau feel welcome and able to participate in curriculum decision making”. It is timely here to note a shift in expectation in Te Whāriki 2017 from relationships with parents and whānau to learning partnerships.

The notion of learning partnerships may be new terminology for some kaiako and relates to slide 6 that we showed earlier that had bullet points around “the challenge to the sector” that talk about ”Parents and whānau engaged in their child’s learning”.

ERO’s Early Learning Curriculum report on page 5 speaks of learning partnerships as moving beyond one-way communication and notions of just informing parents and whānau of what is going on in the service, to authentic learning partnerships that have the child and their progress as the focus.

You might like to pause the recording here and consider the ways you encourage learning partnerships that have the child and their progress as the focus? When whānau do provide input, think about the ways you acknowledge and respond to this?

We we talk about whānau participating in curriculum design, we are thinking of whānau having genuine input into your curriculum design, this is reflective of a learning partnership and is more than “thank you” or “we love it”.

Also in The Early Learning Curriculum document, it again reiterates the importance of a “learning partnership with parents” as contributing to a child and family’s sense of belonging.

Te Whāriki on page 35 in the “Consideration for Leadership, organisation and practice section” in the Belonging stand, gives guidance to kaiako in this when it says, “Kaiako take time to listen seriously to the views of parents and whānau about their children’s learning, and they share decision making with them”.

In the next slides we are going to talk about recognising and fostering children’s relationships to Papatūānuku which is based on whakapapa, respect, and aroha.

The images on this slide have been shared by a proud father, Hone, and in his words “as [his son] Hira crossed over from the spiritual and sacred house into this world”. At Hira’s birth, Hone and Kelly’s respective fathers are acknowledged and thanked for sending their son Hira to them and Hira is thanked for accepting them as parents. Soon after his birth, his whenua wairua (his placenta) and umbilical cord is returned to the tūrangawaewae of their tīpuna.

Mana whenua tells of the important connection that Māori have with the land. When a child is born the umbilical cord is cut and buried along with the placenta in its own ancestral land. The placenta and afterbirth in Māori is termed “whenua”. The spirit of the land alongside respect and love for Papatūānuku lives in the person.

Physical and emotional identity with the land are strengthened through waiata, dance, karakia, and purakau. This helps nurture a sense of identity and belonging.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Hone and Kelly for sharing their story with us. We’d like you to take a moment to consider the ways you would honour Hira’s whakapapa if he enrolled in your service tomorrow?

We are now going to take a look at fostering and supporting children's relationships with Papatūānuku through place-based education.

Part of understanding mana whenua is to support children in making sense of their connection to the land. On page 31 of Te Whāriki, respect is shown for Māori views of the world, the natural environment, and the child’s connection through time to whenua, atua Māori and tīpuna.

Place-based education aligns with Te Ao Māori perspectives of mokopuna being innately connected to Papatūānuku. Wally Penetito in his paper Place-Based Education: Catering for Curriculum, culture and Community asks us to answer two fundamental questions: "What is this place?" and "What is our relationship with it?"

He speaks about the objective of place-based education which is to develop in learners a love of the environment, of the place where they are living, of its social history, of the bio-diversity that exists there, and the way that people respond and continue to respond to the natural and social environments”. If you would like to explore this further the link is at the bottom of this slide [slide 16].

Practically this might look like kaiako sharing appropriate histories, kōrero, and waiata with tamariki to enhance their sense of identity and sense of belonging.

Knowing your awa, maunga, people who are important to your iwi and community, learning Ngā Pūrākau me Ngā Pakiwaitara of your rohe. You might like to start with the pūrākau and pakiwaitara of your local iwi and consider tamariki who might not have local iwi affiliations.

You might like to consider the concept of māramatanga and the seasonal changes within your local environment, and the funds of knowledge your local iwi has about this. For example, when the kōwhai flowers, the kina are fat, or if the pōhutukawa flower early, it’s going to be a hot summer.

In the next slide we are going to look at children taking a part in caring for this place.

As well as connecting to the land, children are learning to care and nurture Papatūānuku. Te Whāriki on page 35 talks about kaiako developing a sense of kaitiakitanga by providing children with regular opportunities to connect with the wider natural environment and material drawn by nature.

Kaitiakitanga can be defined as “guardianship, environment stewardship”. This links to the learning outcome for belonging of “Taking part in caring for this place”.

The Ngahere Project: Teaching and Learning possibilities in Nature Settings was an 18 month action research project involving Tauranga Region Kindergartens in the Bay of Plenty, Campus Crèche Trust in Hamilton, and the University of Waikato.

One of the key findings was that “Children, teachers, and Papatūānuku—the living earth—are partners in “place responsive” relationships, and agents in a curriculum that responds to the daily provocations of nature itself.” The relationship for children with Paptūānuku comes via discovery, investigation, wonder, and enjoyment as they both interact.

Children’s relationships with Papatūānuku are enhanced by emphasising the Māori values of kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga—guardianship of, and care for, Papatūānuku and her children. You can find out more information about the Ngahere Project by clicking on the link at the bottom of this slide [slide 17].

Barnardos Kidstart Childcare Centre in Hastings won the New Zealand Prime Minister's award in 2015. Kaiako in this service faced a challenging situation. Many children had learning and behavioural difficulties, the teachers were not working well as a team, and there was little engagement with parents and the community. There was very little sense of mana whenua/belonging. The teachers had always dreamed of a place where children could have meaningful learning experiences and a place where they feel loved, appreciated, and respected.

Kaiako embarked on a journey which involved working with parents and the community to develop a vision and a philosophy that reflected what they wanted for their tamariki. Kaiako looked at their own practices and beliefs and how these impacted on what was happening for children.

Kaiako who are concerned about belonging will interrogate their actions or responses for judgements and assumptions. They have the ability and curiosity to see things from different perspectives.

This service has gone from being a stressful environment for children, families, and teachers, to a place of beauty and serenity with high quality teaching practices. There is a demonstrated culture of respectful relationships, nature-based play, and cultural responsiveness.

We have looked at how kaiako might deepen their understandings of mana whenua. Now we’re going to deepen our understandings of belonging.

The recognition of Māori as tangata whenua form the basis of your whāriki and in addition, services have a responsibility to acknowledge, value, and support the different cultures represented in their settings. A place for all to stand. Remember culture is not just ethnically based, consider the full diversity of the families in your service.

When we think about belonging, and cultural perspectives, and children making connections to others, page 62 of Te Whāriki, the critical theories section reminds us consider, who truly belongs here? Who is privileged and who isn’t? How are you promoting equitable practices and opportunities for all children and whānau to develop a sense of belonging?

A practical example of this is books in your service. Whose stories are you privileging? Do you have stories that represent the diversity within your service, and how are they used, or not?

When whānau enter your service what can they connect with and recognise that says “you belong here?”.

In the next slide we will show you an example of a service who is connecting with their wider whānau to support their belonging.

This education and care service in Auckland has shared the ways they support the belonging of their extended whānau. Over 60% of their community are from the continent of Asia and over 50% of children are dropped off by members of their extended family.

When we developed this webinar, a member of our team challenged us to consider the the word “Asian” and the ways it promotes a sense of belonging to families from Asia. Asia is a very large place and encompasses many countries, India, China, North Korea, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, to name a few. It’s important to acknowledge the country’s children and their whānau whakapapa to authentically promote their sense of belonging.

Kaiako had noticed that when their Chinese and Korean grandparents dropped children at the centre, they would sneak in and out with their heads bowed and smile shyly at teachers as if to say, “I have no idea what I am doing but here is my grandchild for you to look after”. This demonstrated to kaiako that the grandparents did not have a sense of belonging in their place.

This got kaiako thinking about the ways they could connect with their Chinese and Korean grandparents. In the next slide we will share some of the strategies this service used to strengthen these grandparent’s sense of belonging.

If you’ve watched Webinar 2, we discussed the ways you make your philosophy visible in practice. A feature of this service’s philosophy is a personalised curriculum for all children. Kaiako were mindful that knowing children well cannot happen in isolation, they needed to get to know their children's whānau to be able to connect and interact in meaningful ways with children. They had already had a coffee machine in the service for parents, so they started to provide Chinese and Korean tea and crackers and invited grandparents to stay for morning tea

Kaiako are intentional about greeting their grandparents and physically invite them into the centre.

The local school principal and junior teachers also come and made connections with the grandparents and the grandparents have the confidence to join centre visits to the school.

This service also deliberately employs kaiako from diverse backgrounds and the Mandarin speaking teachers are able to engage Chinese grandparents in conversations in their first language.

Grandparents now enter the centre with their heads held high and confidently speak their first language, even to the English speaking teachers. They share their wonderings, seek clarification about things they don't understand, and share details about their grandchildren that enable kaiako to know and understand their children's family’s context in more depth.

Outcomes for the children in this service include the way they engage and interact with grandparents as part of their localised curriculum, involving them in the daily experiences in the service. Children's strengths and interests and lives beyond the service are being responded to in meaningful ways because of the knowledge the teachers have gained from their conversations with grandparents.

We have been discussing adding richness to belonging through cultural perspectives. Part of our mahi in the Te Whāriki implementation programme is to support kaiako to confront their practice, to go beyond the everyday.

Many services support cultural diversity by acknowledging and taking part in cultural celebrations. Acknowledging celebrations needs to be authentically connected to your community, not an isolated event.

So we’re going to invite you to go beyond cultural celebrations, to the next level, in terms of supporting diversity in your service. You might like to pause the recording here and consider this question, in what other ways can children see their own culture, language, and world views valued in the Early Childhood setting?

In the next slides we will be focusing on transitions into, within, across, and beyond Early Childhood settings. This is an area that has been strengthened in the belonging/mana whenua strand in Te Whāriki 2017.

In the 2011 literature review of transitions, Associate Professor, Sally Peters, who is also one of the contributing writers to Te Whāriki 2017, emphasises the idea that transitions are not an event but a process. Sally also discusses that the transition process includes children developing a sense of belonging in their new environment and spans the time between preparing for the move to a new environment, to when the child and family are more fully established members of the new community.

In the above quote you will see highlighted in red the emphasis on transitions being intentional and thoughtfully planned, and also just not involving the child but the parents and whānau. This is linked to the learning outcome “Understanding how things work here and adapting to change”. Remember also that transitions that kaiako might need to support can also be when kaiako or children’s friends or whānau member start or leave the service.

The link at the bottom of this slide [slide 24] might be useful for you if you want to read more about Sally Peter’s Transitions Review.

We are now going to focus on the child’s voice in relation to transitions with an emphasis on belonging.

A child does not adapt to, and cope with, transition in isolation. Parents, whānau, families, siblings, peers, and kaiako in the children’s world all play an important part in facilitating the process of change with children. Kaiako have a crucial role to play in supporting and scaffolding both the child and whānau as they navigate their way into unfamiliar environments. This enables them to belong.

The questions on this slide are from a child’s perspective, they might be a useful jumping on point for you to consider as you scrutinise your transition practices and the ways they contribute to children and whānau belonging.

In the next slide we will be looking at transitions beyond early childhood. We are going to focus on resources in Te Whāriki and Te Whāriki Online that will be useful when you investigate your transition to school processes.

Transitions beyond early childhood are complex and individual to each child and their whānau, and for some children transitions are not an issue at all. Sally Peters says that friendships, peer relationships, and relationships with teachers are central to transition. Children and whānau need to feel a sense of “belonging” to the school or kura community in order to successfully transition.

Te Whāriki on page 51 states that kaiako and new entrants teachers support children by affirming their identity and culture, connecting with and building on their funds of knowledge, and having positive expectations for learning.

The purple section, of Te Whāriki 2017, pages 51 to 58 focuses on pathways to school and kura. This section connects the vision of Te Whāriki with The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. It begins to give us a shared language with our primary colleagues.

There is also additional information available about pathways and transitions to schools and kura on Te Whāriki Online in the “Transitions” section.

We have been discussing how children know they belong and have a sense of connection to others throughout transitions. Now we are going to focus on children and whānau knowing they belong and connecting with others through a curriculum that is inclusive and accessible to all.

On page 31 of Te Whāriki 2017 it states, “Children experience an accessible and inclusive curriculum that offers meaning and purpose”. In this section we are going to be taking a closer look at a curriculum that is inclusive and accessible to all. These ideas have two different meanings so you might find it useful to take a look at the definitions on this slide [slide 27].

On the Inclusive Education website on TKI it states, “Barriers to learning can be created, even by those with the best of intentions. They can be embedded in teaching methods, learning materials, assessment processes, options for expression, and even in the physical or online environment itself”. Often barriers to learning can be hidden rather than explicit. This is why it’s important for kaiako to scrutinise and investigate their practices and environments so that everyone feels a sense of belonging.

We are now going to share a story from a kaiako who is using New Zealand Sign Language to provide a curriculum that is inclusive and accessible to all.

As we have just discussed, all children have a right to belong. If we think widely about belonging, we see that it goes beyond culture and this is woven throughout Te Whāriki 2017. Belonging is about removing barriers and providing additional support where needed, this is about equity.

We are going to share a story now about a kaiako who is removing barriers for learning for all children through the use and promotion of New Zealand Sign Language. An aspect we would like to highlight in Te Whāriki 2017 is the inclusion and promotion of New Zealand Sign Language. In Te Whāriki 2017 on page 12 it says, “It is desirable that children in Early Childhood settings should also have the opportunity to learn New Zealand Sign Language, an official language of New Zealand, and to learn about Deaf culture”. For some children, New Zealand Sign Language is their first language, and services have a responsibility to support its use and development.

Kayla is a kaiako from a service based in Christchurch and she has been learning and using New Zealand Sign Language for six years. Although she has not taught any children with a specific hearing loss, she has taken professional responsibility for sharing and leading her passion within centres that she has taught in. Kayla believes that if every person could sign then all barriers would be removed.

Kayla introduces New Zealand Sign Language into the services she has worked in, starting with labelling objects and basic phrases. She feels that the greatest learning outcome for children when they sign is that they feel they are making connections between the spoken word and sign, making connections between people, places, and things in their world.

Kayla says the children feel truly connected to the signs they are making and that they are confident they will be “heard” by kaiako. Children who might not have the oral language to communicate can contribute and a space of belonging is created for them.

She also says, “as the child learns the signs, you can see their confidence grow and you can almost see the connections being made. The sense of fulfilment Kayla feels as a kaiako when they sign back to her is immense.

Kayla has been most surprised by the way the children take ownership of “their signs”. She says, ”I always have many kaiako (the children) helping me at mat time, making sure I am doing it right! They also know that I have a New Zealand Sign Language dictionary on my iPad and phone so they can ask me any word and I will do my best to find it.”

The links at the bottom of this slide [slide 28] provide kaiako with many resources to strengthen their understandings about the deaf community and New Zealand Sign.

In the next slide, we’ll look at supporting all children to belong.

An inclusive curriculum is a curriculum for all children and whānau. Take a look at this quote. In this article “Developing a space for belonging” the author discusses how some families feel more welcome and acknowledged than others. They can easily fill in forms, ask questions of kaiako, they see images on the wall that reflect their family makeup and culture.

But for some families and children the Early Childhood setting can feel very unfamiliar and far less welcoming. Forms can be confusing, there is nothing in the environment that is familiar, and they find it difficult to communicate with kaiako.

We have highlighted a section of this quote in red. We invite you to think about a child at your service. You might like to pause the recording here and consider this question, how can kaiako actively support children’s hard work to fit in and belong to the Early Childhood Service?

Now we are going to investigate the role of leadership in relation to belonging/mana whenua.

In this section of the webinar we are going to dig a little deeper into considerations for leadership around:

creating a space for kaiako to belong belonging is caught as much as taught.

Nurturing a sense of belonging isn’t just for children and whānau. Kaiako need it to, to function at their best.

Te Whāriki on page 35 states that kaiako foster harmonious working relationships with each other. Positional leaders need to create the space for kaiako to establish a sense of identity within the teaching team and service. They need to appreciate and respect kaiako cultural and social connections. They need to take the time to listen seriously to the views of all kaiako and be consistent, reliable, and realistic in their expectations and responses towards each other.

A good way to begin this process is by facilitating strategies at team meetings whereby teachers can share who they are, where they come from, and who they bring with them to this place.

The questions in this slide [slide 31] might be a starting point for kaiako to share with each other in a team meeting so that team members can share their stories of who they are and why they teach. Remember it’s important that kaiako only share what they feel comfortable about sharing.

In the last slide we talked about the role of the leader in creating a space that teachers feel that they belong to. This slide builds on that idea. When kaiako feel a sense of belonging, that their identities are affirmed, then they will be ready, willing, and able to be a role model of belonging/mana whenua for children.

Children need access to good models of belonging. Take a look at these bullet points [slide 32]. Consider your team, and in the case of home based kaiako, consider the other kaiako and visiting teachers you work alongside. You might like to pause the recording here and note down the areas that you are strong in and an area you would like to strengthen.

At the beginning of the webinar, we talked about webinars as a jumping on point for you as you begin to engage, confront, and debate Te Whāriki 2017 and what it means in your service.

You might like to pause the recording here and take some time to record an action from this webinar.

And we’ll conclude with our karakia whakamutanga.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!


Webinar 5 – Mana tangata/Contribution

Transcript

Kia ora. Welcome to the recording of Webinar 5 Mana Tangata/Contribution – Is this place fair? We will begin with karakia.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

Kia ora and warm Pasifika greetings to you all and welcome to the 5th in a series of 10 webinars on the implementation of Te Whāriki 2017.

These webinars have been designed as a jumping on point for all kaiako, whether you are new to early childhood or vastly experienced. It is important to acknowledge that professional learning is a personal responsibility and that you will weave your own whāriki from your participation in this webinar.

This webinar series will give you opportunities to have conversations with others, and provide you with some useful tools, strategies, and stories of practice that will support you to reflect on your current practice. We encourage you to engage with the webinar series in its entirety.

We would like to acknowledge the Te Whāriki team that surrounds us and their support and contributions to webinars

This whakataukī on page 36 represents a Kaupapa Māori world view of what contribution means. It is not the same as the English, Pākehā statement. The whakataukī represents an aspiration for mokopuna to stand tall, knowing that they are connected through whakapapa to the past, present, and future.

Essentially, when we think about mana tangata/contribution, we need to take into account a broader, wider, and deeper understanding of this as a concept in relation to the broad/rich whāriki, not in isolation.

So take some time to look at our kaupapa for this webinar. In this webinar, we aim to challenge you to engage more deeply with, and scrutinise your practice, into the strand of contribution mana tangata. Like we have said in previous webinars, “to make the familiar strange”.

For those of you who have not seen this before, these five bullet points capture areas that research shows make the greatest difference for children’s learning. Accordingly, these areas have been strengthened in Te Whāriki 2017.

Each of these challenges is significant to deepening our understanding about Contribution/Mana Tangata and what that means for all children and their parents and whānau.

As it says on page 36 of Te Whariki, “the whāriki woven by each service recognises and builds on each child’s strengths allowing them to make their own unique contribution, every child has the right to equitable opportunities to participate actively in the learning community”.

In response to the challenges in this webinar, our focus is on inclusion and equity. To do this, we are going to investigate some of the new aspects of Contribution/Mana tangata including children having a strong sense of themselves as a link between past, present, and future, children’s rights, diversity, inclusion, and fairness, children’s agency, and children as members of society.

We have several foundational documents to guide our understandings about contribution which we will come to later but it all begins with Te Tiriti o Waitangi (look at page 3) where the concept of partnership between Māori and the Crown was expressed in its articles.

When we think about partnerships, we also need to think about contributions to these relationships. Our history illustrates what happens when contributions from one partner, Māori, are not represented or respected equally. Progress towards redressing historic and ongoing inequalities acknowledge that contributions need to be equitable and valued.

Early childhood education services play “a crucial role … by providing mokopuna with culturally responsive environments that support their learning and by ensuring that they are provided with equitable opportunities to learn” (Ministry of Education, 2017, page 3).

The illustration on this slide [slide 8] is revealing. At one Tiriti signing between the Crown and Māori a child, most likely a whanaunga of the rangatira, is there, present at the signing, reluctantly (look at the way the kaumatua is holding onto the child’s wrist) but nonetheless, part of an historic hui.

On this slide [slide 9] you will find the two “new” statements about the Contribution/Mana tangata strand from both Western and Māori perspectives. You will find these statements at the bottom of page 36.

These statements challenge us to think deeply about this strand, it’s implications and imperatives, and consider not just how children learn with and alongside others, but also, how their identity and sense of themselves is connected to the past, the present, and the future. This means that we need to think about the people, places, and things beyond the settings we work in.

You might like to pause the recording here to consider these quite different perspectives. In the next couple of slides we are going to take a look at what Te Whāriki, ERO, and others have to say.

The Mana tangata/Contribution strand is evident in all the principles of Te Whāriki. In particular, we would like to highlight the links between mana tangata and the principle of empowerment/whakamana.

The explanation of whakamana encompasses some very big ideas. The quote on this slide [slide 10] implies mana tangata is not just about the individual’s mana, but also about the kaiako responsibilities to enhance the mana of others.

This means kaiako have an important role to play in children’s development and learning by providing an environment that supports children’s competence in ways that enable them to participate with and alongside others.

Implicit to empowerment, and to mana tangata, are inclusive practices which are responsive to whānau. Curriculum design should reflect culturally located perspectives, and to do that in a genuine way, requires active, responsive relationships. These can be between children as they begin to take responsibility for standing up for themselves and others.

You can see how, when you start to think about the principles in relation to the strands, the metaphor of a whāriki takes on a deeper meaning.

As you will see in this slide [slide 11], the actual goals have not changed from the original Te Whāriki. What has changed is how these are now articulated as learning outcomes with examples of evidence. Let’s look more closely at the three learning outcomes; one for each goal.

The first goal is about equitable opportunities for learning and a child’s fundamental right to live free from discrimination. The Learning Outcome focuses on fairness and inclusion.

In the second goal, children are affirmed as individuals who are able to recognise and appreciate their own rangatiratanga, their ability to learn.

As kaiako, we need to really know the child and support metacognitive strategies, strategies that support children to identify thinking skills like questioning, and problem solving, and of course, reflecting on what they know and can bring to their current interest.

In the last goal they are encouraged to learn with and alongside others, and the associated Learning Outcome – using a range of strategies and skills to play and learn. Take a look at the phrase “te ngākau aroha”. This is at the bottom of the slide. It implies that kaiako reflect on their strategies and skills to ensure all children experience a rich curriculum. Kaiko have a responsibility for their ongoing professional learning.

You might like to pause the recording here to think about the ways you support children to treat others fairly and to respect others’ points of view. Take a moment to read the words under each image [slide 12] and think about what image you find yourself connecting to.

Some of you will be familiar with this image. Note the addition of the third image which talks about systematic barriers being removed. This is something you might like to revisit with colleagues.

Equity and equal do not mean the same thing. This webinar refers to equitable opportunities to learn, promoting equitable practice and equitable opportunities to access the full depth and breadth of the curriculum.

Apart from working with children with additional needs, many services think this means “we treat everybody the same” and find it a challenge to understand government priorities in education and what they mean in practice. Equity is central to a rights-based pedagogy which is clear in the Contribution/Mana tangata strand.

Take some time to read this quote from the examples of practice within the Contribution/Mana tangata strand. In the next slide we’re going to critically examine the implications of this statement.

Asking questions about what is fair, and thinking about what you need to do to support children to be fair, are part of a larger discussion about equity. Thinking critically about the curriculum promotes equitable practices with children, parents, and whānau.

We are all pretty good at modelling respectful relationships. We invite you to pause the recording here to think about how you model disagreement or conflict.

These questions on this slide [slide 14] could be a jumping on point for you and your team to engage with this concept more deeply, based on Contribution/Mana tangata.

Take some time to read this quote [slide 15].

Working with Te Whāriki (ERO, 2013) found that 80% of services were implementing a curriculum that linked to the principles, strands, and goals of Te Whāriki, but that many services were also selective about how they used them. One of the strands identified as needing to be strengthened was Contribution. A criticism in the report suggested that just referencing Te Whāriki was not the same as implementing it, and services needed to explore the thinking and practice behind the words”.

If you are interested in reading this Report, the link is at the bottom of this slide [slide 15].

On pages 60–62 of Te Whāriki 2017, in “The underpinning theories and approaches” section, you will see that the principles set out the theoretical framework for Te Whāriki. The concepts underpinning Te Whāriki are drawn from traditional Māori thinking and sociocultural theorising.

One of our responsibilities as kaiako is to understand how children learn and develop so they reach their full potential. In sociocultural theories, learning leads development, which, using the theoretical language, transforms the ways in which children participate in cultural processes. In other words, how they join in with the day-to-day routines and activities contributes to the culture of a place and is important to their learning and development.

Have a look at the quote on this slide [slide 17]. This quote suggests that early education is about learning to understand, developing mind and identity by engaging in a setting, and through that engagement, or participation, transforming, or changing the ways in which children join in with the day-to-day experiences. It’s about increasing competence.

But what exactly does that mean? We think this links with Goal 4 – they are encouraged to learn with and alongside others.

When a child starts at an early childhood service, they don’t necessarily know or understand the rules, or the values that make a service what it is. It takes time to understand the culture of a place. Over time, and by joining in the day-to-day practices of a particular community, or the cultural processes, children become part of the place, and and are able to take responsibility for how things keep working.

You might like to pause the recording here to the identify cultural processes and practices in your service. For example, when you share kai, do you sit together? How are visitors welcomed? Again, you might like to pause the recording here to identify cultural processes and practices in your service.

Take some time to read this quote from Anne Smith [slide 18]. Something very important to remember is that infants, toddlers, and young children all learn with and alongside others. It is through experiences with others that children begin to understand what it means to be a member of society. Experiences like being listened to, where their views are respected and acknowledged as valuable, make Mana tangata/Contribution real. The onus is on kaiako to ensure that they make this visible in meaningful ways.

We have looked at the ways kaiako might deepen their understandings about contribution. Now we are going to look at deepening our understandings of Mana tangata – children have a strong sense of themselves as a link between their past, present, and future.

Clear expectations are given for kaiako in Te Whāriki 2017 around Te Ao Māori perspectives and practices that promote Mana tangata. For instance, on page 38 it states, “Kaiako recognise mokopuna as connected across time and space and as a link between past, present, and future, ‘He purapura i ruia mai i Rangiātea’. They celebrate and share appropriate kōrero and waiata that support mokopuna to maintain this link”.

Sir Apirana Ngata’s famous quote on page 3 of Te Whāriki looks both to the past and the future, urging Māori to confront the world of Pakeha but never lose or forget their wairua, ngā taonga tuku iho, the knowledge handed down from tipuna.

In webinars 3 and 4 we talked about providing a local curriculum and the ways we share pakiwaitara and pūrakau (local iwi stories and legends that are usually place-based). These strengthen children’s sense of well being and belonging and that in turn strengthens their sense of being part of the culture of this place. Remember we discussed children learning through understanding cultural processes. These tools and artefacts, stories, waiata, legends, support children’s active participation, and contribution in the setting.

One story told in the Wellington region is about Ngake and Whataitai. The pictures represents the taniwha who fought and created Wellington Harbour. There are lots of places you can find stories about mana whenua which develop mana tangata and contribute to mokopuna maintaining links between the present, the past, and the future.

One of the new features in the Contribution/Mana tangata strand focuses on children’s ability to use memory and to make links between the past, present, and future. Memories of the past contribute to children’s sense of belonging, based on shared experiences.

Mrs Hei Hei, Otaki Kindergarten’s hen, was about to lay and she was looking for a nest. The tamariki had been in a state of great excitement. In the image on this slide [slide 21], you can see the young boy in the cape. He is holding Mrs Hei Hei and his friend is showing her the photo of her nesting.

This story is recorded by kaiako in the Term Book, a scrapbook of events used to document learning. It is on display in the kindergarten and is accessible to children to revisit as a way to enhance metacognition – thinking about thinking.

What we see in this slide [slide 21] is how children use the Term Book as a tool for learning and for remembering an event. The interesting point here is that the boys are utilising a cultural artefact, the Term Book, familiar to them at the Kindergarten. This story is an example of children’s agency. They are determining their own experience, albeit with a chicken.

In the next few slides we are going to look at children as members of society, children’s agency, inclusion, and diversity and what these concepts mean in relation to ensuring all children can make a valued contribution to your service’s curriculum. As we said at the beginning of this webinar, these are concepts we invite you to reflect on more deeply in your own time.

You may have noticed that children’s rights are much more visible in Te Whāriki 2017, particularly in the contribution strand. They were always there but some of the language associated with rights was not as explicit. Now we have rights foregrounded. On page 39 under examples of practice that support the contribution learning outcomes for young children it says, “All children have rights of access to all learning experiences”.

So what are rights? The main reference point is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and in 2018, New Zealand Aotearoa will have been a signatory to this human rights treaty for 25 years, almost as long as we have had Te Whāriki. Te Whāriki 2017 is one important way that our Government is making children’s rights a reality.

When we think about children’s rights, there are two important points for us to remember. All children are rights holders, and all adults working with children are responsible for upholding children’s rights. Basically, the key message is that, like adults, children are members of society and because they are children, they have a special set of rights. So, all rights are for all children, all the time. There is a link to the Children’s Convention at the bottom of this slide.

In the next two slides, we explore the notion of agency and what it means to be an agentic child.

Te Whāriki states that increasingly, children have rights to agency over their own lives (page 12). It also says that these rights are aligned to the mana of the child. Agency means that children are recognised as capable and competent, and able to influence their own experiences.

The implication is that there are equitable opportunities for all children to access all the experiences offered through a rich curriculum.

So, in terms of the Contribution/Mana tangata strand, kaiako should be aware of how important experiences are to supporting children’s agency. Children express their agency through their actions which reveal how they actively construct their their social world. When a child exercises agency, he or she is being self-determining. Voice is regarded as the way children express their agency. Bearing in mind “the 100 languages of children”, the implications for kaiako are not just to listen with ears and eyes, but to facilitate the ways children express their voice.

In the next slide [slide 25], we are going to share a story about the ways kaiako intentionally encourage children’s agency. This story of practice is from Te Puna Whakatupu o Whare Amai where their philosophy supports the infants and toddlers to develop tuākana/tēina relationships, roles, and responsibilities. At times kaiako plan activities to embed tuākana/tēina practices in everyday routines.

At other times, children’s natural desires to show affection, love, and care are fostered, valued, and further supported by kaiako and whānau. This is how children’s agency is incorporated into the tikanga of the Puna and the bullet points here show the learning outcomes for their mokopuna.

This story and many others can be accessed through Te Whāriki Online in the ”infants and toddlers” section. The link is at the bottom of this slide.

Now let’s look at inclusion. Te Whāriki is an inclusive curriculum, a curriculum for all children. One of the enduring purposes of education is to prepare people for life in a participatory democracy. Day-to-day experiences in an early childhood service mirror life in the community and in society at large.

Inclusive education is the starting point for understanding democratic education, a point where social justice issues can be introduced as part of life in an early childhood service. That puts a lot of responsibility on kaiako to grab hold of teachable moments for socially just outcomes.

Kaiako need to acknowledge how children learn in their own way. Kaiako have to ensure that children do learn “a tona wā”, by removing barriers and providing additional support where necessary so children can access, and contribute to, the full depth and breadth of the curriculum.

Overall, there is a lot of policy support for inclusive practices in early learning. Check out the link on this slide [slide 26] to the Inclusion page on Te Whāriki Online where you can find links to two human rights treaties ratified by New Zealand and the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Now let’s think about our practices. How do you understand inclusion?

The questions in this slide might be useful for you to reflect on after this webinar, but for now, think about the question highlighted in red.

You might like to pause the recording here to consider who is on the margins in your early childhood service? For example, can a child with physical disabilities in a wheelchair get into the sandpit or access the family corner? So again, you might like to pause the recording here to consider who is on the margins in your early childhood service?

Another consideration is your role in working alongside other professionals that come to your service to work with individual children.

We have looked at children as members of society, children’s agency, and inclusion. Now we will look at diversity.

There is a fundamental expectation in Te Whāriki that each service will offer a curriculum that recognises and respects diversity. Think about diversity in your community, beyond the walls of your service. Is that diversity visible in your service? Remember diversity is not just ethnically based. Consider the diverse family structures that may be in your communities, including same sex, blended, single parent.

Te Whāriki 2017 (pages 37 and 39) makes it explicit that children’s family background be viewed positively in the early childhood setting and that language and resources are inclusive of each child’s gender, ability, ethnicity and background.

Another point to reflect on is how diversity and fairness are linked. To be fair means you need to be inclusive, tolerant, and respectful of the diversity not just in your service, and but in your community and in society at large.

In the next slide we are going to share a story about welcoming and valuing all children.

Botany Downs Kindergarten kaiako have a commitment to welcoming and valuing all children, their families, and the wider community. They open their doors to all children whose parents enrol them at the kindergarten. When a child who enrols has additional needs they don't say, "Yes, but only if x, y and z are in place …".

Many people assumed that the kindergarten would provide specific help, equipment, and materials only for children with “difficulties” or “impairments”. Instead, kaiako focus on the whole environment and identify aspects of teaching that enhance participation and learning for all children. Botany Downs Kindergarten has prioritised inclusion of all children, including those with disabilities. They made changes that are beneficial for all at the same time as reducing barriers for children with disabilities so they can actively contribute to the service’s curriculum design and implementation.

For all situations in which challenges arise, they engage in possibility thinking (Cremin, Burnard, & Craft, 2006). This approach aligns with the creative ways in which the Kindergarten thinks of as developing a sense of belonging for all children as they join from diverse backgrounds. Possibility thinking foregrounds inclusive strategies and focuses on how to empower all children and whānau to contribute. Some children, and maybe their parents, just happen to have some different and additional needs.

Think back to the third image on the equity slide. This is an example of systematic barriers being removed and example of universal design for learning which is a 21st century principle.

An important responsibility of kaiako is to listen deeply to children and recognise that children, just like grown ups, need time to make up their minds, or as Anne Smith noted, to form a point of view. For a child or parent or another kaiako to be able to contribute to the setting means listening, in a pedagogical sense, to their ideas, concerns, and considerations.

This means being aware of how to listen, to really listen! Remember, agency is how children express their voice. As kaiako we need to be aware of where we listen to children, do we have time to listen? What is the space like? Are there others around? Does that impact on what the child wants to say or how they can say it? And what will you do with what you have heard?

So, have a think about the questions on this slide. How do you listen? Where do you listen? Who do you listen to? Who might you not hear from? Talk to? Listen to? How do you know?

You might like to pause the recording here and think about why you listen. Each of these questions are about the relationships you have with others in your learning community. You might even like to take one question and unpack it at a staff hui or within internal evaluation to deepen your understanding and awareness of equitable opportunities for learning, the basis of Contribution/Mana tangata.

It is also important to move beyond listening to action. What are you going to do with the knowledge you gain from listening?

On page 40, Te Whāriki outlines a range of considerations for leadership, organisation, and practice in relation to Contribution/Mana tangata. Take some time to read the bullet points on this slide.

These practices support cooperative, socially just outcomes for children and whānau. The onus is on kaiako to build respectful, inclusive, and reciprocal relationships with an individual child, small groups of children and beyond, with community. Relationships that are responsive to children’s varied abilities, strengths, interests, and learning trajectories.

Leaders have overall responsibility to ensure all children can access the full depth and breadth of the early learning setting’s curriculum, enabling all children to learn with and alongside their peers.

The considerations in this slide [slide 32] provide some useful indicators of effective leadership and practice that could be used when evaluating your curriculum.

The whole point of Te Whāriki is to weave understanding between and across the principles and strands. Webinar 3 was about Well being/Mana atua, and acknowledging children’s sense of wellbeing in a safe and trustworthy environment where all children are valued and supported to actively contribute and participate. Webinar 4 was about Belonging/Mana whenua and developing a “space” for belonging for every child and family. And in this, webinar 5, we have explored how active participation that supports children’s agency is influenced by their sense of wellbeing and belonging in a community of learners.

Once again, to reiterate from earlier in the webinar, when you start to think about the principles in relation to the strands, the metaphor of a whāriki takes on a deeper meaning.

You might like to pause the recording here and consider, what action are you going to take from this webinar?

And we’ll conclude today with our karakia whakamutanga.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!


Webinar 6 – Communication/Mana reo

Transcript

Kia ora. Welcome to webinar 6, Mana Reo/Communication – Do you hear me? We will begin with karakia.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

Do you hear me? Asks the child. Do you invite me to communicate? And do you respond to my particular efforts? Do you hear me?

In our last webinar Mana tangata/Contribution we invited participants to think about children who may have found themselves or their interests being relegated to the margins of their early childhood services – English language learners, children with autism, new children, children who have turned 5, children who attend irregularly, who have all been identified as being marginalised on occasion. We would like to invite you to pause the recording here and bring to mind any such child who may have had such an experience while in your care. Write their name at the top of your notes.

Now ask yourself the question developed by Carr, May, and Podmore, what actions do you need to take to respond to their particular efforts to communicate? Pause the recording here and take some time to write this down.

Some of these actions could include engaging or re-engaging with the child.

We would like to acknowledge the Te Whāriki team that surrounds us and their support and contributions to these webinars.

This webinar, Mana reo/Communication, is about early childhood services strengthening their understandings around Mana reo/Communication with a focus on oral language. Take a moment to look at our kaupapa.

The opening statement in Te Whāriki Mana reo states, “Languages are the means by which we think and communicate with each other”, this includes all languages including non-verbal languages.

Mana reo/Communication particularly highlights the domains of literacy, mathematics, and the creative arts. It is easy for kaiako to say, “literacy and mathematics are everywhere”, however this is not necessarily the case.

Claire McLachlan (one of the writers of Te Whāriki 2017), Marilyn Fleer, and Susan Edwards in their book Early Childhood Curriculum, state that children require an adult or another more capable child to support their learning of these concepts... to draw attention to them, to model their use, or orient them to practices within a meaningful social context" that is, to support children’s learning through intentional pedagogies.

Now let’s look at some challenges to the sector through the lens of Mana reo/Communication. These five bullet points capture areas that research shows make the greatest difference for children’s learning. Accordingly, these areas have been strengthened in Te Whāriki 2017.

The first bullet point challenges us to ensure rich conversations are happening with every child when we scrutinise our oral language practices.

Think about the second bullet point and what learning you have identified matters at your service. Mana reo/Communication is likely to be strongly featured in some of the aspirations of your whānau/community and kaiako.

The third point says that language is inseparable from identity and culture. Te Whāriki 2017 makes a strong commitment to te reo and tikanga Māori.

This translation on page 41 of Te Whāriki tells us we must promote and protect the languages and symbols of children’s own and other cultures.

Te Whāriki states that all kaiako have the responsibility to support the cultural and linguistic diversity of all children. The languages and symbols of children’s cultures should be visible inside and outside.

You might like to pause the recording here to consider how language and symbol rich your inside and outside environments are in resources other than English. What could you strengthen? You might like to pause the recording here to consider this.

The strand of Mana reo/Communication is evident in all of the principles of Te Whāriki. In particular, we would like to highlight the links between mana reo and the principles of Whakamana/empowerment and Ngā Hononga/relationships. Empowerment is visible through children being able to communicate their aspirations, strengths, and interests to find out what they want to know and take responsibility for their own learning.

Take a moment to look through these bullet points. This is what Te Whāriki 2017 says are some key concepts within the Mana reo/Communication strand. You will see in the first bullet point a wider, more holistic view of language including the language of sign, mathematics, visual imagery, and performance arts.

The second point relates to meaningful and rich contexts that support children to communicate. And the third bullet point reiterates the importance of using, and correctly pronouncing, te reo Māori in services. We will be discussing some of these key concepts later in the webinar. We are now going to take a deeper look at some of the new emphases in Te Whāriki 2017.

The image on this slide [slide 10] comes from page 42 of Te Whāriki. On Page 7 of Te Whāriki it states, “This revision is the first in 20 years. It reflects societal changes, shifts in policy, and considerable educational research around curriculum, assessment, pedagogy, and practice”.

Think about the changes we have witnessed in communication/mana reo in the last 20 years. What we now know about brain development and language acquisition, the importance of first languages thriving, and the rise of digital literacies. Some of the shifts in Te Whāriki 2017 from 1996 reflect a view of learning and learners in the 21st century, including their global citizenship.

These bullet points highlight some new aspects of the Mana reo/Communication strand. The areas we are going to particularly focus on today are highlighted in red.

You will notice that all of these relate to the domain of literacy and more explicitly to oral language, which has increased in emphasis in the 2017 revision in comparison to 1996. Te Whāriki defines oral language as encompassing any method of communication the child uses as a first language including NZSL and for children who are nonverbal, alternative, and augmentative communication.

In the next slide we highlight the new strand statements for Mana reo/Communication.

Like the other strand statements of Te Whāriki, on the bottom of page 41 there are the two “new” statements that articulate the intent of Mana reo/Communication from both Western and Māori perspectives.

The mana reo statement focuses on the use of te reo Māori to enhance mokopuna identity, belonging, wellbeing, and agency. The communication statement looks at “Children being strong and effective communicators in order to enhance their identity, belonging, and wellbeing”. These statements complement each other and it is important that they both feature in your service’s curriculum design.

The goals and learning outcomes for Mana reo/Communication provide us with tools and signposts to help us to do this.

Mana reo/Communication is the biggest and widest strand of Te Whāriki with the most learning outcomes. Note the third goal has three learning outcomes associated with it. This the only time this happens in Te Whāriki and denotes the breadth of the desired learning Te Whāriki holds for tamariki.

As a result of this recording, you might like to take a closer look at this goal and the learning outcomes associated with it.

Although the goals remain the same as in the 1996 version of the curriculum, the revised Te Whāriki contains a more explicit focus on domain knowledge associated with Mana reo/Communication in the learning outcomes and kaiako responsibilities. Domain knowledge means subject content knowledge. In this strand the domains of literacy, mathematics, and the arts are to the fore.

It is up to kaiako and pedagogical leaders to delve deeply beneath the surface of these domains of the arts, literacy, and mathematics and stretch and widen their own specific domain knowledge so they can support children’s learning. Te Whāriki gives us a mandate for this when it states kaiako are “able to integrate domain knowledge into the curriculum” .

We have looked at what Te Whāriki says about Mana reo/Communication and some of the new aspects of the strand. We are now going to take a closer look at what other people have to say about Mana Reo/Communication, in particular the importance and development of oral language which, as mentioned earlier, has an increased focus in Te Whāriki 2017.

“Much More than Words” was updated in 2011, and is a resource available to you that provides information to support the communication development of young children. It includes information about communication development in young children and ideas for supporting it. The link to this resource is at the bottom of this slide.

Take a look the diagram in this slide. Speech, language, social interaction, and early literacy skills are all parts of a child’s communication repertoire. It has been said that “reading and writing float on a sea of talk”. You cannot read or write without oral language, note that this includes sign, alternative, and augmentative communication.

ERO recommended in their report “Extending their language, expanding their world” published in 2017, that all Early Learning leaders and kaiako make better use of “Much More than Words” to promote and support children’s oral language use. You can download both ERO’s report and the “Much more than Words” resource using the links at the bottom of this slide.

One of the oral languages that is used and heard in early learning services is te reo Māori. In the next few slides we will look more deeply at our shared obligation to protect and promote te reo Māori, and a call to action to pronounce Māori words correctly.

Deepening our understanding of Mana reo is the focus for this part of the webinar. The strand statement says that through te reo Māori children’s identity, belongin,g and wellbeing are enhanced. Te Whāriki also states on page 12 that all children should be able to access te reo Māori in their Early Childhood settings in the everyday curriculum. In this next section we are going to take a closer look at this strand statement through these bullet points.

There is a stronger and more explicit emphasis in Te Whāriki on the use of te reo Māori. Kaiako enhance the sense of identity, belonging, and wellbeing of mokopuna by actively promoting te reo and tikanga Māori. This is reiterated in the quote on this slide and links to the second article of Te Tiriti o Waitangi – under this article, te reo Māori is a taonga of Aotearoa.

We have moved from the language of “acknowledge” and “appreciate” in the 1996 version to actively promoting te reo Māori in Te Whāriki 2017. This means kaiako have a responsibility to learn and use te reo Māori in their work with children and whānau.

Note that we have highlighted a part of the quote on this slide in red. Part of the role of these webinars is to challenge you to scrutinise your practice. Often waiata, karakia, and directions are a useful starting point to begin to learn te reo Māori, however part of our professional responsibility, as articulated on page 51, is to “develop increasing competence in the use of te reo and tikanga Māori”. We need to move beyond waiata, karakia, and directions and put the mana back in te reo.

The new Māori Language Commissioner, Ngahiwi Apanui supports the saying, “My position on te reo Māori is that it’s a responsibility that every New Zealander should carry and share. It’s our responsibility to save our language, it’s unique to this country... in order for you to speak Māori everywhere, everyone needs to be able to speak Māori. So it makes sense to actually promote the language to everybody”.

You might like to pause the recording here and think about the ways you are ensuring that te reo Māori not only survives but thrives in your service?

For instance some services have developed a Māori language action plan. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa provides free courses. Or you might like to weave te reo into your planning and learn and use kupu and sentences that are relevant to whatever interest or focus your service is currently sharing with the children.

The use of language enhances the mana of the language and the person. Part of using te reo is ensuring you pronounce it correctly. Te Whāriki gives us explicit guidance about this when it states, “Kaiako pronounce Māori words correctly and promote te reo Māori using a range of strategies based on relevant language learning theories”.

We know this is an area for strengthening in the sector, that many of us need to work on. This call to action requires kaiako to show evidence of an authentic, long term commitment to speaking and using Māori language in a contextual manner in your daily practice.

Some of the ways we can support correct pronunciation are to enrol in a te reo Māori course, use online tools such as Te Whanake, listen to Māori television, tune into a te reo station on the radio, or use a te reo Māori dictionary app. Some of these are linked to Te Whāriki Online under the Language, culture, and identity section, the link is at the bottom of this slide [slide 18].

We need to acknowledge that many kaiako lack confidence in speaking te reo Māori. Gaining confidence will require commitment, practise, and support. It is important that we encourage and support our colleagues when they are giving it a go.

In the next slide we are are going to take a look at how one team worked together to make te reo Māori a living and relevant language in their service.

This privately owned urban service is licensed for 25 children aged 0–5 years of age. The three kaiako who are pākehā lacked confidence in using te reo Māori with the children. Very little te reo Māori was spoken in the service.

Upon reading Te Whāriki 2017 they saw it was their professional responsibility to ensure that te reo Māori was a living language in their service. By collaborating and supporting each other they each set small te reo Māori goals for themselves. The children responded enthusiastically to learning te reo Māori. Kaiako used an online Māori dictionary with the children to look up words and to support with pronunciation.

As the kaiako confidence grew they made posters for themselves and the children with sentences in te reo Māori that they could use in their programme. The kaiako also worked really hard when speaking te reo to not translate it into english but used non-verbal communication and repeating te reo if the children did not understand. They write new words and phrases in te reo up on a board so they and the children can learn them all together.

Outcomes for children included learning te reo Māori, linking print and the spoken words, and decoding and using language, all literacy and communication practices that express their culture, language, and identity.

The kaiako now have the confidence to keep on increasing their te reo vocabulary and learn alongside their children.

Immersion is the quickest way to learn a new language, by not translating what you are saying into English and by repeating the kupu, using gestures to support you, you are encouraging your children to widen and deepen their listening and memory skills.

While the new strand statement specifically mentions te reo Māori, it is important that kaiako pay attention to the ways they support all children’s language, culture, and identity. As Te Whāriki says, “one of the major cultural tasks for children in the early years is to develop competence in and understanding of language” (page 41) in particular, their first or home language.

Children’s identity, language, and culture is expressed through language, this contributes to their ability to navigate between familiar and unfamiliar worlds. The quote on this slide highlights the importance of keeping language alive from a Samoan perspective.

In the next slide we are going to share an example of how one team did this through song or pese.

A palagi group of kaiako had been attending a literacy workshop where they had just learnt a new pese/song in Samoan, Pusi Nofo. They were aware that a new child had started at their service, coming previously from a Samoan speaking service. They decided to sing the song they had just learnt with all the children.

When the children had gathered they began to sing, the boy listened for a moment and then he stood up and said in a loud voice “that’s me, that’s my song”. He was delighted that the kaiako had sung a familiar song to him. By hearing his home language in the service his identity was affirmed.

Song is an expression of oral language that supports children to be strong and and effective communicators. We are now going to explore the importance of oral language and ways to extend this in your service.

In the last few slides we explored the new mana reo strand statement. We are now moving on to dig into the new strand statement on communication, particularly in relation to oral language. Children require a strong oral language base to be strong and effective communicators.

As the Talking Matters website states, “Language is an engine for learning, thinking, literacy, and life”. The Talking Matters website is an excellent resource for finding out more about oral language and you can find the link to it at the bottom of this slide [slide 22].

In the next few slides we are going to look at oral language teaching and learning in early childhood through exploring these three bullet points more deeply and sharing some useful resources with you.

“Extending their language, expanding their world” was published by ERO in 2017. This evaluation investigated how effectively young children’s oral language learning and development were supported in their early years of education.

Some key findings of this report are shown in the bullet points. This report can help you strengthen some of the knowledge you need around the acquisition and development of oral language from 0–8 years and also provides some stories of effective practice. The report can be downloaded on the link at the bottom of this slide.

Another report published by ERO “Infants and toddlers as capable communicators and explorers” found that in 44% of services, although kaiako usually responded to infants’ verbal and nonverbal communication, they did not build on these opportunities for rich, extended conversations or oral language development. 0–3 years is an optimal period for language development.

You will note we have highlighted in red, “Kaiako gave children time to respond”. With toddlers this can sometimes mean up to 7–11 seconds. That can seem like a long time and can be a challenge for some kaiako. Listening is an important part of being in a conversation. You might like to think about whether or not you are giving children enough wait time when you are conversing with them.

If you are interested in exploring this document further, the link is at the bottom of this slide [slide 24].

Providing oral language experiences are not just important for infant and toddlers, having strong oral language is imperative to the learning of all children.

A helpful strategy is to think of a child’s vocabulary as like a bank. Every time you introduce a new word and children use it in meaningful and authentic contexts, it is deposited into their word bank. New words are learnt through rich and varied conversations and experiences, for example, you are much more likely to understand and use the word “snow” if you have experienced snow and someone has talked with you about it.

Not all children have access to rich experiences and conversations in their home life. An important role of kaiako is to “deposit” vocabulary to a child’s word bank. You might like to pause the recording here to think about how you maximise opportunities to add to a child’s word bank.

We are now going to look at the development of oral language.

This oral language awareness resource has been produced by the Ministry of Education. It gives a synopsis of the development of oral language for infants and toddlers through to young children.

When combined with the Much More than Words resource mentioned earlier in this webinar, it will support kaiako with a clear understanding of how infants/toddlers and young children acquire and develop oral language.

You might like to download this poster to discuss at a team meeting or put it in a prominent place in your service as a jumping on point to beginning a conversation about oral language. There are also parent pamphlets for use with whānau. All of these resources can be accessed using the link at the bottom of the slide [slide 26].

Talking with children is a key strategy to support their oral language acquisition. Not only is quantity important, but also the quality of the language spoken.

Talking and the quality of talking is key to brain development and stimulation. When kaiako provide infants, toddlers, and young children with higher levels of language stimulation they have better language skills. You will notice we have highlighted in red the quality of talk, lavishing rich oral language experiences on children and using a rich and varied vocabulary are crucial to supporting children's’ oral language.

You will hear the term “Rich language” used frequently in oral language pedagogy, this means building upon what children are saying, talking about interesting words, modelling how to use language correctly, answering children’s questions, and intentionally introducing new vocabulary with children.

Rich conversations with children are a key strategy that we use to support oral language development. Te Whāriki gives us a mandate for this throughout the “examples of practices that promote learning section” when it talks about “Kaiako modelling new words or phrases and extending toddlers’ oral language, “a language rich environment” and young children having sustained conversations that use complex language”.

But as kaiako we all talk don’t we? It is important to note here the difference between talk and a conversation. Talking can be one-directional, a command, praise, a comment directed at nobody in particular and it can last for seconds. A conversation on the other hand is a two-way process of communicating that involves the sharing of power. It goes back and forth and involves complex language structures such as past and future tense, prediction, asking and answering questions, and describing.

It is our professional responsibility to critique and scrutinise our own oral language practises with children. Even if we think we have excellent conversations with children, is it all children or just the articulate children? And what is the nature of our communication, is it just talk or a conversation?

One way to gather accurate data about how effectively we communicate with children is to video or audio record ourselves conversing with them and then scrutinising it. You might like to consider this as a professional goal after this webinar. You might also like to talk with other kaiako about the question on this slide from the reflective questions Mana reo/Communication strand.

We are now going to look at some other strategies to promote oral language.

Pre-recorded audio stories are commonly used in many early childhood services. Take a moment to think about their use in your early childhood service.

You might like to pause the recording here to think about what might children be missing out on if they are listening to audiobooks as opposed to having kaiako read a story with them? So again, pause the recording here to think about what children might be missing out on if they are listening to audiobooks as opposed to having a kaiako read a story with them?

When kaiako are reading or telling a story, they are using an accent that is familiar to the children. The children can see how their mouths form words, how they use facial expression to convey meaning, and how they run their eyes and fingers along the written words. The kaiako can alter the pace of the story to suit the audience, this is particularly relevant to toddlers. If a child has a comment or question about the story the kaiako can stop and listen to them. They can also see the reader use facial expression and gesture.

By drawing attention to the limitations of audiobooks in early childhood settings, we are not saying technology is bad, we would just like kaiako to consider whether it is always the best choice.

You might also like to consider this also for background music, particularly in infant and toddler areas. What might be lost for children when the radio or background music is played? What is its role in your curriculum design? You might like pause the recording here and think about these questions.

Who has ever had a child walk away from them because you over questioned them? Open-ended questions are something kaiako are taught to use with children. However we can over question children. Page 25 of ERO’s “Extending their language, expanding their world” resource gives us a mandate to scrutinise this practice further when it asks us to, give priority to modelling new language and complex conversations before using questioning techniques.

Te Whāriki 2017 also speaks about children using a large vocabulary and complex syntax, and being encouraged by kaiako to initiate conversations and to be listened to attentively.

It might be argued that when we ask a child a question we have the power, and we are “withdrawing” from their word bank. However, when we make a comment or paraphrase what they have said, we are “depositing into” their word bank and the power of the conversation is with them.

So take look at your hand. Spread out your fingers and thumb.

Rather than questioning children straight away, try making four comments, one for each finger, before you ask a question. This strategy is called the one hand strategy and will support you in giving priority to new language and complex conversations.

Using accurate language with children is another strategy we can use to support children’s oral language.

This example highlights the importance of providing experiences for children that not only grow their understanding, but also their vocabulary. It links to Te Whāriki through the learning goal of “developing verbal communication skills for a range of purposes”, it also encourages kaiako to use domain-specific language in their work.

First Years Preschool in Dannevirke was a successful applicant for the Centres of Innovation programme because of their innovative and “fearless” approach to science learning. They believe that using accurate, scientific language when talking with children supports understanding and specific vocabulary and language development.

Kaiako break complex concepts down into scientifically accurate language that all can understand, for example, if a child is working with ramps, kaiako don’t talk about “work done = Force x distance over which force is applied”, but they will say, “do you need to use more or less force to get that car up the slope?”. “What happens if we change the angle of the slope?”.

One of their strengths is recognising the science learning that is happening and sharing the relevant concepts and language with children. Blocks are not just farms and towers, they’re about ramps, balance, and pivots. Manipulating interlocking blocks is recognised and discussed in relation to the force needed to pull these blocks apart. An eggbeater becomes a simple machine, where children discover the technology and language behind the movement. Sand and water play offers wonderful opportunities for science language.

Another important way to support children’s oral language development is to strengthen their phonological awareness.

The heading in this slide is from the evidence of learning and development in the Mana reo/Communication strand on page 42. Phonological awareness, the ability to hear and manipulate sounds, has been recognised as one of the important factors for literacy learning and is part of Mana reo/Communication.

Understanding that words can be broken down into syllables and smaller sounds, and that letters correspond to certain sounds is a feature of early literacy.

Jane Carroll’s 2016 doctoral thesis “Oral language and literacy“ researched typical storybook reading practices of ten early childhood teachers reading to small groups of four-year-old children.

The results showed that the early childhood teachers predominantly focused on story content and meaning, with significantly fewer comments that drew children’s attention to the print on the page or emphasised developing early phonological awareness skills important to word reading.

There was little evidence of the phonological awareness content knowledge that early childhood teachers have, and how they may use this knowledge to facilitate children’s phonological awareness development within early childhood centres. The link to Jane’s research is at the bottom of this slide [slide 32].

When we are thinking of introducing phonological awareness into our curriculum, we are thinking about Te Whāriki, we are thinking about early childhood pedagogy and the best ways children learn.

Wise practice in early childhood would have teachers maximising the opportunities in a play-based curriculum to support and extend children’s phonological awareness. This integrated approach is reflective of quality Early Childhood practice.

In the next slide we will identify some ways kaiako might like to introduce phonological awareness into their curriculum.

Throughout Te Whāriki 2017, it talks about learning taking place through meaningful, authentic, and play-based pedagogy that is culturally located. Take a minute to read through these bullet points. Kaiako might like to consider these play-based ideas to support children learning about phonological awareness and letter sound knowledge.

We would encourage kaiako to try these out with children in the day-to-day curriculum rather than formal mat times, because we know from research that children learn better when they are actively involved in the conversation that it is meaningful to them.

We are now going to take a look at how we respond to linguistically diverse learners. This question at the top of the slide, from the reflective questions section in the Mana reo/Communication strand, challenges services to learn more about second language acquisition as our children become global citizens.

Sometimes whānau are not wanting children’s home language to be spoken within the early childhood service. It is important that kaiako consider what whānau are really telling them. It is likely that they want their children to learn English, and they value your role in supporting this, but they maybe do not understand the importance of their home language being used to develop English language skills. If kaiako take time to research and find out more about linguistically diverse learners, they will be better positioned to have conversations with English language learners’ whānau.

Take a look at these bullet points on this slide [slide 34] as a starting point. Page 16 of ERO’s “Expanding their language resource” might also be useful. Some of these bullet points come from this resource.

Other resources you may find useful in relation to linguistically diverse learners, is a podcast by Wellington Speech and language therapist, Christian Wright. It’s called “Bilingualism in preschoolers” and the link is at the bottom of this slide.

Another resource you can use to help strengthen your knowledge and understanding is Te Whāriki Online. It provides kaiako with additional resources and support to guide you as you widen and deepen your thinking about Mana reo/Communication. There is a section on language and literacies and you can use this link at the bottom of this slide [slide 35] to access it. We have discussed in this webinar the importance of kaiako growing knowledge around Mana reo/Communication and in particular around oral language including te reo Māori. Take a look at this slide [slide 36]. These are some of the areas that we have covered.

Think about your particular context, what do you need to grow your own professional learning knowledge about. You might also like to look at the child’s name at the top of the page that you wrote at the beginning of this webinar. In relation to their learning, was there anything in this webinar that you could use or learn more about? You might like to pause the recording here to take a moment to write down what you are going to find out more about.

We will finish with our karakia whakamutanga.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou. Ma te wā.


Webinar 7 – Exploration/Mana aotūroa

Transcript

Kia ora. Welcome to webinar 7 Mana aotūroa/Exploration – Do you let me fly? We will begin with karakia.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

Kia ora and warm Pasifika greetings to you all and welcome to the seventh in a series of ten webinars on the implementation of Te Whāriki 2017.

This is the final webinar that specifically unpacks a strand of Te Whāriki. We have three further webinars around Infants and toddlers, Pathways to school and kura, and Leadership for learning that make up the last part of this series.

Carr, May, and Podmore ask us to consider Mana aotūroa/Exploration from the child’s perspective in assessment and evaluation – Do you let me fly? Do you engage my mind, offer me challenges and extend my world?

We would like to acknowledge the Te Whāriki team that surrounds us and their support and contributions to these webinars.

Let’s look at these translations from page 46 that represent the crucial role children's active exploration of the environment plays in their learning. Mana Aotūroa is the development of curiosity, a search for answers.

This translation encourages us to think about what past generations tell us about protecting the land, water, air, and nature and all that is in our environment, including the place of Papatūānuku in te ao Māori. Active exploration will support generations to protect and look after our environment.

The mana aotūroa/Exploration strand is about supporting infants, toddlers, and young children to explore, learn from, respect, and make sense of the world and the Universe. As it states on page 46, their exploration involves all aspects of the environment, the natural, social, physical, spiritual, and human-made aspects.

The notion of a rich and responsive curriculum holds the promise that children will be provided with flexible, familiar experiences alongside new opportunities for exploration and challenge.

Take some time to look at our kaupapa for this webinar.

For those of you who have not seen this before, these five bullet points capture areas that research shows make the greatest difference for children’s learning.

The strand of Mana aotūroa connects strongly to the importance of providing a rich curriculum through offering a variety of exploratory experiences for children. For kaiako, this means understanding the ways children and their whānau make sense of their world as they make decisions about the learning that matters here.

To begin unpacking the new emphases in Te Whāriki 2017, we will look at the two “new strand statements” for Mana aotūroa/Exploration.

The two “new statements” articulate the intent of the Exploration/Mana aotūroa strand from both Western and Māori perspectives. You will find these statements at the bottom of page 46.

Consider both of these “new statements”. You might like to pause the recording here to consider, what Exploration/Mana aotūroa might look like in your setting. What might it sound like? What might it feel like? In your setting, what might Mana aotūroa, look like, sound like, and feel like. You might like to pause the recording here.

We are now going to take a closer look at Exploration/Mana aotūroa through the lens of ngā kaupapa whakahaere.

Mana aotūroa/Exploration is visible in the principles of Te Whāriki, particularly in Holistic Development and Empowerment. It is also woven through the strands of well being and belonging as exploratory experiences can be used to enhance children’s self-worth, identity, confidence, and enjoyment, and builds on what children bring with them.

This is one of the strands where the subject content knowledge in Te Whāriki is most explicit, challenging kaiako to become explorers and learners themselves about these areas. Take a moment to think about the ways you model being an explorer and learner in your role as kaiako?

You may want to keep these in mind, and possibly add to them, as we dig deeper into Mana aotūroa over the next few slides.

Like Mana Reo/Communication, Mana aotūroa/Exploration is another deep and wide strand in Te Whāriki encompassing everything from play and physical literacy to strategies for reasoning, problem solving, and sense making. This illustrates the breadth and depth of desired learning Te Whāriki and the exploration strand holds for tamariki.

The learning outcomes in this strand are rich and encourage teachers to think about how children’s learning grows deeper and more complex over time.

Looking at the first two learning outcomes, you will notice that they focus on playing, imagining, inventing, experimenting and children moving confidently and challenging themselves, te wero ā tinana. Physical activity improves bone density, aerobic fitness, and motor skills.

In relation to the learning outcome, children moving confidently and challenging themselves physically, pause the recording here to consider this. What are some of the ways you provide opportunities for vigorous physical activity in your settings? You might like to pause the recording here to consider this.

As children are spending longer hours in early childhood, kaiako have to take increasing responsibility to ensure that there are opportunities for vigorous physical activity. One of the factors in Te Whāriki 2017 that may contribute to the distinctive character of your local curriculum, is the environmental opportunities and constraints.

Think about your own environments, both in the licensed area and in the wider community. What are the opportunities and constraints in these?

Many services have very little room for children to have opportunities to progress in vigorous physical activity. Thinking about resources in the community, how could you use these to extend learning opportunities? What opportunities are there for children to be physically active? You may want to pause the recording here and consider these questions.

Just to repeat them for you:

What are the opportunities and constraints in your space?

Thinking about resources in the community, how could you use these to extend learning opportunities?

What opportunities are there for children to be physically active?

You might like to pause the recording here.

Alongside the goals and learning outcomes of this strand sits the “Evidence of Learning and Development” column. This identifies key indicators that may be observed over time of the child engaging with these learning outcomes. There have been some subtle changes to this column in this Exploration/Mana aotūroa strand which we will look at now.

These changes help to deepen and widen our thinking about Mana aotūroa/Exploration. There has been a shift to a stronger emphasis on collaboration in Te Whāriki 2017, as well as increased emphasis on children taking risks and physical challenges to gain increasing confidence and control over their bodies. The notion of “puzzling over” in relation to using a range of strategies for active exploration is highlighted, as is the idea of children pursuing an interest or a project for a sustained period of time.

These bullet points support children’s cognitive development and learning, take a look at the third bullet point “puzzling over”.

You might like to pause the recording here to consider what experiences you provide for children to puzzle over, people, places, and things in their world?

We would like you to really think about people and places, it’s easy to puzzle over things. You might like to pause the recording here to do so. What experiences do you provide for children to puzzle over people, places, and things in their world?

An integrated approach to science in the curriculum supports children’ to puzzle over or pursue an interest. Our responsibility as kaiako is to encourage children to use a range of strategies for reasoning and problem solving.

An example of a scientific process is on the right of the screen.

“It’s a Bug’s life: How to help young children do science” was co-created by Te Papa with three Wellington region early childhood services, Raumati South Kindergarten, Kiwi Kids Childcare Centre, and Imagine Childcare in 2015. This resource looks at exploration with a scientific lens and provides kaiako with an repository of ideas and resources to support children in their scientific investigations. The link to this resource is at the bottom of this slide [slide 14].

In the next slide [slide 15] we share an example from the resource.

In this excerpt from the Te Papa resource, imagine Childcare goes on a whānau excursion to Rimutaka Forest Park.

Whānau and children found centipedes, sand flies, worms, spiders, and hoppers. Discussions were encouraged around questioning (“I wonder …”) and the making of hypotheses (“I think …”) during the excursion.

One child asked the question, “Why slugs were under rocks?” and then proposed an answer, “Because that’s where they sleep. That’s where they live. The bugs like hiding under rocks”. This child was hypothesising. “Hypothesis” is a big word with a simple meaning. Children often make hypotheses naturally when they come up with an answer to their scientific question by making an educated guess. Making and testing hypotheses is a big part of what scientists do, it’s the starting point for scientific investigation.

This excerpt provides an example of Mana aotūroa/Exploration in action as the children are demonstrating recognition of different domains of knowledge and how they relate to people, places, and things.

In 2015, the ERO report, Infants and toddlers competent and confident communicators and explorers, identified kaiako as a key resource when progressing Mana aotūroa/Exploration. Strengthening this area in our practice as kaiako can be a challenge to us all, particularly those working with infants and toddlers.

As Te Whāriki states on page 46, Children learn through play, by doing, asking questions, interacting with others, devising theories about how things work and then trying them out, and by making purposeful use of resources. This ERO report reinforces this imperative and provides examples of what this can look like in practice.

Take some time to look at the bullet points on this slide [slide 17]. These bullet points provide examples of the teaching and learning strategies used to support exploration in the early childhood services deemed “most responsive” by ERO in the national report on infant and toddler care and education in 2015.

These strategies are applicable for all children. You will notice the bullet point highlighted in red. In the next slide [slide 18] we are going to share a story with you that demonstrates the way one service intentionally encouraged their children and their community to explore different environments.

This kindergarten is located in the heart of Murihiku/Bluff, a small fishing community at the bottom of Te Waipounamu. Kaiako in this kindergarten aspired to raise the awareness and confidence of mathematical concepts in everyday experiences in their community during their participation in a mathematics professional development programme.

Kaiako created community “I spy” backpacks for whānau to use after kindergarten and at the weekends. Photos of different community places and landmarks were included. Whānau and children were asked to search for pattern, shape, number, locating, and measurement whilst visiting the landmarks and places.

To ensure children and their whānau had equitable access to the adventure packs, kaiako created one for whānau that had a vehicle and one for whānau that did not have access to a vehicle.

By developing the adventure packs with mathematics in mind, kaiako were supporting children to develop competence in recognising different domains of knowledge (in this case mathematics) and how it relates to understanding people, places, and things. If you are interested in watching this video, the link is in the bottom of this slide [slide 18].

This story highlights the way one service encouraged exploration beyond the early childhood service. Consideration of the environment within the early childhood service is also a feature of Mana aotūroa/Exploration.

The physical environment impacts on children’s ability to explore. Te Whāriki states on page 50 that the whole environment is used as a resource and is accessible to ALL children, furthermore environments that provide challenge along with familiarity encourage children to develop confidence.

As mentioned earlier, children learn through active exploration. The organisation and aesthetics of both the indoor and outdoor environment, and access to equipment and resources, facilitate children's ability to participate and explore in meaningful ways. This enables them to use all of their senses and physical abilities to make sense of the world. It might be useful to think here about how your environment provides space for infants and toddlers to discover, and indeed what “discovering” looks like, sounds like, and feels like for an infant or toddler.

Consider also other aspects of the environment that are lesser known, for example the sense of temperature and how the space and aesthetics might affect one’s sense of balance. Some children may be highly sensitive to such elements in the environment.

Many of you will have read Lisa Terreni and Ann Pairmans article, If the environment is the third teacher what language does she speak? But if you haven’t, it’s available to read online, the link is at the bottom of this slide

We are now we are going to dig deeper into Mana aotūroa by unpacking the new strand statement and what it may mean for services. Aotūroa can be translated as “light of day or this world” (Williams, page 12). When "ao-tū-roa" is divided into its three separate sections, it relates to the infinity of the universe, and implies an extensive breadth of all the elements that make up the universe.

Te Whāriki 2017 (page 47) speaks of children's exploration involving all aspects of the environment, including the spiritual aspect.

This holistic view of the environment should be considered in your local curriculum when planning how to enhance children's Mana aoturoa/Exploration. If you’ve viewed webinar four, you will remember we discussed some strategies for doing this. You might like to revisit this webinar to reconnect with this mahi.

One of the new aspects of Mana aotūroa/Exploration includes the imperative for kaiako to be aware of the history of Māori exploration and navigation and an increased emphasis on kaitiakitanga.

Traditionally, being involved in exploration and navigation of the world enhanced an individual's mana. Mana aotūroa, in the context of Te Whāriki, is the development of a sense of exploration, of curiosity, of a search for answers as children construct understandings of all aspects of this world.

On page 48 of Te Whāriki it states, “kaiako encourage mokopuna to connect to this legacy by providing safe and challenging environments and experiences”.

In this slide [slide 22] are some strategies you might like to consider to strengthen your knowledge of Māori history and navigation, and how you can support children to connect to this legacy.

Te Whatu Pōkeka, the kaupapa Māori approach to assessment recognises what and who mokopuna bring to the early childhood context, including their inherent strengths, traditions, histories, whānau, and whakapapa.

You might like to pause the recording here and use this as a jumping on point to discuss with your team the ways you acknowledge and validate what and who mokopuna bring to your context.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the foundation upon which Māori and Pakeha have built their relationship as citizens of Aotearoa. Article two acknowledges the strong and unique relationship Māori have with whenua/the land. Te Whāriki 2017 explicitly acknowledges this unique connection and recognises Māori as Tangata Whenua on page 2.

Part of this relationship includes the responsibility of kaitiakitanga. Kaitiakitanga, as defined in the glossary of Te Whāriki 2017, can be described as “guardianship, environmental stewardship.

The repeated recognition of the importance of kaitiakitanga in Te Whāriki brings to life the weaving metaphor of Te Whāriki and makes clear the responsibility of ensuring we care for the land for future generations and to support children in their innate knowing of the connection they have to the environment. This is emphasised on page 48 in the statement on this slide [slide 23].

Te Whāriki positions children as confident and competent learners from birth. They learn by engaging in meaningful interactions with not only people, but also places and things.

You might like to pause the recording here to unpack one of the questions for reflection on page 50 of Te Whāriki. How might you encourage children to connect with and care for their worlds in ways that are responsive to Māori values? You might like to pause the recording here to unpack how you might you encourage children to connect with and care for their worlds in ways that are responsive to Māori values.

Complementing the Mana aotūroa strand statement we have just explored, this strand statement focuses more on the individual child. As we look deeper into this strand statement, we are going to focus on working theories, future focused learning, and developing a culture of inquiry in your service.

Learning dispositions and working theories are closely interwoven and work in parallel. They have been described by Keryn Davis and Sally Peters as two sides of the same coin. Te Whāriki also acknowledges this close interrelationship, when it states on page 22, The learning outcomes of Te Whāriki include knowledge, skills, and attitudes which combine as dispositions and working theories.

Learning dispositions support children to develop, refine, and extend working theories. Building on research and development in this space over the last 10 years or more, Te Whāriki 2017 reflects the knowledge and insights gained. It provides more explicit guidance for kaiako to understand their role in supporting children's working theories to become more connected, applicable, useful, and at times more creative and imaginative.

You may be familiar with the learning dispositions associated with Te Whāriki (courage and curiosity, trust and playfulness, perseverance, confidence, and responsibility). Te Whāriki 2017 expands our understanding of these dispositions and adds others known to support children’s learning, in particular reciprocity, creativity, imagination, and resilience.

Valued dispositions from a te ao Māori perspective including rangatiratanga, whakatoi, manaakitanga, aroha, hūmarie and whakahī are also introduced. The glossary on page 66 defines these. Some of these dispositions may be new to you and would be useful to unpack with your teams to explore how you can facilitate learning environments that encourage these

The early childhood sector has tended to focus on learning dispositions, particularly in assessment documentation. While Te Whāriki discusses both learning dispositions and working theories, the concept of dispositions has been developed much more fully, while working theories has tended to be as Helen Hedges describes it, “the neglected sibling of the popular big sister, dispositions”.

For this reason, we have chosen to focus on working theories in this webinar.

Te Whāriki on page 23 defines working theories as, “the evolving ideas and understandings that children develop as they use their existing knowledge to try and make sense of new experiences”.

It might be helpful to unpack the word “working” here. You might like to pause the recording and consider the words that come to mind when you think about “working”. What words come to mind when you think about working? You might like to pause the recording here to consider this.

You might have thought about being busy, it’s hard and so you can see the idea of working theories implies that it’s a doing word, a work in progress. Working theories are therefore always evolving as thinking and learning progresses, where changes and connections are made over time.

Following on from the quote on this slide, Te Whāriki goes on to say that, “Children are most likely to generate and refine working theories in learning environments where uncertainty is valued, inquiry is modelled, and making meaning is the goal”. Kaiako are responsible for creating these environments.

If you are interested in finding out more about the pedagogy around working theories, the link at the bottom of this slide [slide 27] will take you to the working theories section of Te Whāriki Online.

When children are engaged with others in complex thinking, they are forming and strengthening their working theories. But what is the role of the kaiako? Take a look at these bullet points of suggested strategies.

Keryn Davis and Sally Peters’ TLRI (Teaching and Learning Research Initiative) project in 2011, discusses the importance of kaiako deeply listening to what children have to say and observing their actions in order to recognise and respond to their working theories. This means kaiako can avoid hijacking the direction of the learning. The link to Keryn and Sally’s project is at the bottom of this slide.

By stepping back and listening deeply, a culture of trust that an individual’s theories will be taken seriously is created. This also fosters an environment where critical thought, wondering, and creativity is encouraged and accepted.

One of the mana aotūroa learning outcomes is that children make sense of their world by generating and refining working theories. The bullet points on this slide [slide 28] come from the working theories section of Te Whāriki Online and identify the ways in which kaiako might effectively support children to refine and expand successful working theories with intentionality.

We are thinking about the role kaiako play in facilitating working theories. Ruta McKenzie alongside Keryn Davis have been involved in a TLRI (Teaching and Learning Research Initiative) project since 2014 that focuses on understanding how young children express their working theories about identity, language, and culture. The link to their project is on this slide [slide 29]. Talia’s story is from this project.

Talia, regularly creates visual representations of her extended family, using symbols such as shapes or lines of different sizes and lengths to represent the family order. During one observation, Talia was busy drawing a rainbow with many colours. She turned to Ruta and said, “O le nuanua lea” (this is my rainbow).

After completing most of the bands of the colourful rainbow, Talia explained to Ruta that each colour was a member of her family. Talia made two small marks beside her rainbow, one longer than the other. She laughed and said, “This is Nickson. He is little and this is Talia, “I’m big”.

In this example Talia uses a rainbow to represent her thinking and ideas about her family.

When Talia announced that this was her family and that each colour represented a member of her family, Ruta gained some insight into the complexity of Talia’s thinking and the ways she makes meaning about her whānau.

Ruta could have easily hijacked Talia’s learning by commenting about the colours she had used, instead she waited and observed carefully for longer. This positioned her to build on and extend Talia’s thinking about her whānau and her identity.

When looking at this, you could interpret Talia’s ideas in many ways, for example, that she thinks her family is a rainbow, or even that her ancestors that have passed away are in the rainbow looking over her.

Because there are many interpretations to this picture it is important that we initially hold children’s working theories lightly, as we do not live in their heads. By authentically listening to children and their whānau, our insights into their theories are deepened which therefore deepens our understanding of the child. This understanding strengthens our response as kaiako so we can extend children’s learning and support the development of their working theories.

Alongside the increased emphasis on working theories in Te Whāriki 2017, you will also notice a greater focus on providing children with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and dispositions to engage with a world that is, as yet, unknown.

On page 51 of Te Whāriki it states that learning is a journey that begins before birth and continues throughout life. Each part of the education system has a responsibility for supporting children (and the adults they become) on this lifelong journey of exploration. Future focused teaching and learning is about supporting learners to recognise that they have a stake in the future, and a role and responsibility as citizens to take action to help shape that future.

Within the strand of Mana aotūroa this is further emphasised when it states, “As they engage in exploration they begin to develop attitudes and expectations that will continue to influence their learning throughout life”. Some of the attributes that children use when generating and refining working theories are features of future focused learning including thinking, reasoning, inquiry, and problem solving.

This whakataukī, from page 22 of Te Whāriki, refers to wisdom coming from being able to prepare opportunities for the future. We are almost in the third decade of the 21st century, this has been described as the knowledge age.

Te Whāriki reflects these ideas of the “knowledge age” explicitly on Page 7 when it says, “they need to ‘learn how to learn’ so that they can engage with new contexts, opportunities and challenges with optimism and resourcefulness”. For these reasons, Te Whāriki emphasises the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and dispositions that support lifelong learning.

You might like to pause the recording here and consider the ways you support children to learn how to learn.

The quote on the right hand side of this slide [slide 31] comes from a report to the Ministry of Education, Supporting Future oriented learning and teaching a New Zealand perspective. The link to this report is at the bottom of this slide.

A resource has been developed using the whakataukī in Te Whāriki. There is an image of one on the left hand side of this slide. Each one has a series of reflective questions on the reverse and are available to download from the professional learning and development section of Te Whāriki Online.

Kaiako at Northcote Baptist Community Preschool intentionally designed the beginning of a project that would contribute to children developing critical thinking, reasoning, inquiry, and problem solving strategies all key concepts for future focused learning.

The Gingerbread man fairytale is a favourite story in the service.

One morning after re-telling the story, a kaiako posed the question, “I wonder if there is another way the gingerbread man can get across the river without riding on the fox’s nose?”.

This led to the children to deciding that building bridges across a river might be a good alternative. Kaiako responded by providing trays of water to make the river so the children could test their ideas And test they did, floating bridges, sturdy bridges, beautiful bridges, and bridges tall enough to get boats underneath!

Kaiako have considered possible next steps for children. They have noticed that children worked collaboratively in their problem solving. The children posed questions and gave directions in their exploration. The children quickly identified certain steps had to be followed in constructing a sturdy bridge.

Kaiako then considered how they might continue to challenge children in their learning and have decided to focus on the storytelling aspect and link this to the use of coding robots. This kind of experience will continue to build on children’s developing ability to problem solve and engage in critical thinking.

We are now going to look at the third bullet point around deepening our understanding of Exploration/Mana aotūroa – Building and maintaining a culture of inquiry.

You might like to pause the recording here to think about how you build and maintain a culture of inquiry both to support children's learning and in your own professional practice.

In the next slide we are going to discuss some more strategies you might like to consider around building and maintaining a culture of inquiry in your service.

Take some time to read the bullet points on this slide [slide 34].

Take a look at the last bullet point in particular. In Webinar 5 Mana tangata/Contribution, you may remember the slide about whose voices are included and listened to and whose aren’t. It is important to consider whether all children and whānau are involved in constructing the rich curriculum that the Mana aotūroa/Exploration strand implies.

As a result of this webinar recording, you might like to delve deeper and take action around building and maintaining a culture of inquiry at your place of learning.

At the end of each strand of Te Whāriki you will find a questions for reflection page. Kaiako are invited to use the reflective questions to support robust learning dialogue around Te Whāriki 2017. Some of the reflective questions in the Mana aotūroa strand from page 50 are on this slide [slide 35]. You might like to use these with your team or educators to widen and deepen their thinking about Mana aotūroa/Exploration.

We have discussed in this webinar the importance of kaiako growing knowledge around Mana aotūroa/Exploration. Take a look at this slide, these are some of the areas we have covered.

Think about your particular context, what do you need to grow your own professional learning knowledge about? You might like to pause the recording here and write down what you’re going to find out more about.

And we’ll finish with our karakia whakamutanga.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou.


Webinar 8 – Infants and toddlers

Transcript

Kia ora, welcome to webinar 8, Infants and toddlers, specialised knowledge, specialised practice. We will begin with karakia.

Tutawa mai i runga

Tutawa mai i raro

Tutawa mai i roto

Tutawa mai i waho

Kia tau ai te mauri tū, te mauri ora ki te katoa

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e

I summon from above

I summon from below

I summon from within and the surrounding environment

The universal vitality and energy to infuse and enrich all present

Unified, connected, and blessed.

Kia ora and warm Pasifika greetings to you all. Welcome to the eighth in a series of ten webinars on the implementation of Te Whāriki 2017.

Te Whāriki is an inclusive curriculum, a curriculum for all children, and holds the promise that all children experience the full breadth and depth that it offers.

This webinar is designed to strengthen kaiako knowledge and practice in relation to the care and education of infants and toddlers.

We would like to acknowledge the Te Whāriki team that surrounds us and their support and contributions to webinars.

Take a moment to look at our kaupapa for this webinar. Te Whāriki can be viewed as a framework which outlines infants’ and toddlers’ rights to high quality education and care, as well as their rights to be taken seriously as active members of society.

On page 14 of Te Whāriki it says that the care and education for infants requires specialised knowledge and practice. For toddlers, the curriculum needs to be responsive to their rapidly growing capabilities. At the same time, we need to acknowledge and respect infants and toddler rights to exercise agency through the ways they explore, communicate, and contribute in day-to-day activities and experiences.

For these reasons, in this webinar, we are going to focus on the concepts of kaiako applying specialised knowledge and specialised practice in relation to the care and education of infants and toddlers.

In Māori tradition, the child is a valued member of the Māori world before conception, before birth, and before time. Mokopuna began their journey in Rangiātea, homeland of the gods. Born into this world, they are nurtured like a precious seed to ensure their survival and instilled with an understanding of their own importance.

Infants and toddlers bring with them their inherent strengths and capabilities, and funds of knowledge from their families. This means kaiako have a responsibility to establish authentic partnerships with infants and toddlers and their whānau. Noticing, recognising, and responding to each mokopuna are part of that responsibility.

You might like to pause here to think about the strategies you use to find out where children are from and who they bring with them. And how successful these strategies are in terms of strengthening your knowledge about the child.

You can use the bullet points on this slide to support you. You might like to pause the recording now and think about the strategies you use to find out where children are from and what they bring with them using the questions on this slide [slide 6] as a guide.

Take a moment to read this paragraph which is a quote from an article by Lesley Rameka and Rita Walker. The importance of knowing individual children’s whakapapa and heritage and knowing their ways of being and doing are woven throughout Te Whāriki 2017.

On page 13 of Te Whāriki it says, “kaiako seek to develop mutually positive relationships with mokopuna and to work with whānau to realise high expectations”. This grandmother is clear about her expectations and aspirations for her mokopuna.

Lesley and Rita challenge kaiako to go beyond just building relationships with children and their whānau. They urge kaiako to think carefully about the responsibilities implicit within that reciprocal relationship, including a responsibility to truly know the child and consider the ways they support them to make a valued contribution to society.

In order to realise high expectations, we need to have high expectations for infants and toddlers. Jean Rockel, a well-known advocate for infants and toddlers, suggests that the way we see a child reflects our own values and beliefs. These influence our interactions, our responses to infant’s and toddler’s ideas, and our responses to their behaviour.

In Te Whāriki, it’s clear all children are considered capable and confident learners and communicators.

We know that kaiako bring a mix of personal and professional learning to their work.

You might like to pause the recording here and think about the words you use to describe infants and toddlers. This might be in your planning, assessment, it might be in your conversations with them or with whānau, or talking with other kaiako. You might like to pause the recording now to think about those words.

The challenge here is for us all is to think of infants and toddlers as capable and competent across the depth and breadth of the whole curriculum, whilst at the same time acknowledging their interdependence with others in their world. So they are storytellers, explorers, investigators, risk takers, they demonstrate hūmaire, whakatoi, and whakahī.

The bullet points on this slide [slide 9] come from pages 13 and 14 of Te Whāriki. The focus is on infants’ and toddlers’ growing interests and capabilities. Infants and toddlers are able communicators, capable of rapidly acquiring new knowledge, and who actively seek to make sense of their wider world. Infants and toddlers take on leadership roles, they understand their everyday world.

Kaiako who are intentional in their practice, who are thoughtful and reflective, will ask themselves and their communities, what do we want the infants and toddlers to learn to be and become? How do we support their enjoyment of learning? What does that mean in terms of the choices infants and toddlers can make?

In the next slide, we’ll look at how kaiako trust that infants and toddlers are capable and competent.

Daisy's is an education and care setting in Wellington. Their philosophy and teaching practices value investigation by children and adults. Their localised curriculum provides infants and toddlers in this setting with opportunities to explore the environment beyond the service. Their youngest children are given opportunities to explore the natural environment with all of their senses.

Every week, a mixed age group of children are involved in an excursion to explore the stream and bush of their local significant maunga.

The toddler in this image [slide 10] has been exploring this stream for a few months now, beginning before she could even walk. The kaiako initially had to curb their instincts to remove the child from the water, or try to help her to navigate the water flow and rocks.

Instead, they trusted that she was competent and capable to fully explore the natural environment around her with the presence of kaiako. By trusting her, and observing her over time, kaiako recognise she has become very skilled at navigating her way in this place. Kaiako have allowed her “to fly”.

Visiting your local maunga, ngahere, awa, moana reflects a localised curriculum and provides opportunities for infants and toddlers to make connections to papatūānuku. This nurtures their wairua, their spirituality.

Although the previous example involves many principles and strands of Te Whāriki, we would like to highlight Mana aotūroa/Exploration. One of the learning outcomes of this strand is toddlers moving confidently and challenging themselves physically.

Te Whāriki 2017 suggests that one of the roles kaiako play is to support, but not interfere, when toddlers are exploring. It also asks kaiako to wait for toddlers to indicate when they need support rather than assuming they do.

Te Whāriki 2017 is more explicit about the role of kaiako. There is a key message in the update: be deliberate, purposeful, and thoughtful in decision making and actions. A phrase used to describe this pedagogical approach is “Intentional teaching”. Kaiako will notice what is going on and then, working collaboratively, will make sense of what they observe. This collaborative sense-making forms the basis of responses to support what infants and toddlers value as they engage with the curriculum.

We have discussed the image of the child, now we are going to explore with you the image of kaiako.

Te Whāriki on page 14 says that the care and education of infants requires specialised knowledge and practice. Many kaiako are strong advocates for the rights of infants, toddlers, and whānau in early childhood education.

You might like to pause the recording here to consider the concept of specialised knowledge. What do you think is the specialised knowledge infant and toddler kaiako need to be aware of?

Specialised knowledge for kaiako working with infants and toddlers demands kaiako think about their practice and what strategies they bring to their mahi. For example, paying attention to the pedagogical and relational elements of care moments requires kaiako to slow down and work with and alongside infants and toddlers during their care moments.

We are now going to unpack some of the specialist knowledge that is woven throughout Te Whāriki 2017.

Take some time to read these bullet points [slide 13]. These are some features of specialised knowledge woven throughout Te Whāriki 2017. We will be investigating these further in the next few slides.

We know that specialised knowledge around the theories that underpin effective pedagogy is a kaiako responsibility.

On page 62. It says, “effective curriculum and pedagogy are underpinned by evidence informed theories about how children learn and how adults can play a role in facilitating this process”. Early childhood services in New Zealand are diverse, so kaiako will be influenced by a range of educational ideas and philosophies as they design their local curriculum.

Take a look at the theories and approaches on this slide. These underpin Te Whāriki. Are you familiar with what they have to say about the ways infants and toddlers learn and the kaiako role in this? You might like pause the recording here to take note of the theories and approaches you would like to strengthen.

In line with Te Whāriki, new and emerging research from fields like neuroscience is providing new insights into brain development and how the brain changes in response to learning experiences. Over time the pedagogical implications of new brain research may help us understand more about learning and development in infancy and childhood.

You will notice that we have highlighted Critical theories in red as we are going to take a closer look at critical theories in the next slide.

Take a moment to read this slide [slide 15]. Critical theories seek to challenge disparities and dominant or exclusionary norms as you reflect on the influences on your localised curriculum. Critical theory can help kaiako become mindful of unconscious bias and the way it impacts on our practice.

In addition to the theories and approaches on page 60, there are also a range of ideas, philosophies, and theories that influence the way people work with infants and toddlers. These include but are not limited to RIE, Pikler, Attachment theory, Reggio, etc., none of which have been specifically designed for a New Zealand context. We are influenced by all of these approaches, but, kaiako have a responsibility to critically examine aspects that are useful to integrate into their localised curriculum.

Te Whāriki positions children as having rights to exercise agency over their own lives. It also says that these rights are aligned to the mana of the child. Agency means that children are recognised as capable and competent, and able to influence their own experiences. This includes our youngest children.

There is more to agency for infants and toddlers than simply being able to make a choice.

You might like to pause the recording here to think about some examples of children’s agency at your service. Remembering that agency is about self determination, taking increased responsibility for your actions, and making decisions about what you will and won’t do. You might like to pause the recording now, and think about some examples of children’s agency at your service.

In her blog post “Empowering Children through Empowering choices”, Freya Lucas asks us to look deeply into the common practice of offering infants and toddlers choices and ask ourselves, is this really agency?

Te Whāriki talks about agency and mana being closely aligned. In the Empowerment/Whakamana principle, mana is the power of being and must be upheld and enhanced. The curriculum enhances children's mana and supports them to enhance the mana of others.

Take a look at these bullet points [slide 17]. These are some strategies that can support children’s agency. You will note that we have highlighted the last bullet point in red. Often as kaiako, we can feel as if we are controlled by rosters. Start times, finish times, breaks, and non-contact times. Take a moment to consider how much less powerful the children in our care can feel.

You might like to think about the opportunities that exist in your service for infants and toddlers to feel powerful, to have control over their explorations and discoveries. You might like to pause the recording here and consider what opportunities exist in your service for infants and toddlers to feel powerful?

Kaiako who know infants’ individual care needs, and understand toddlers’ desires to explore and know their world, will recognise and respond to their unique pace. These kaiako affirm their growing identities as capable, competent learners.

Another strategy we can use to support infants’ and toddlers’ rights is to acknowledge that all children are different and their learning trajectories are influenced by the social and cultural context.

On page 13, Te Whāriki says that each child learns in their own way and there can be a wide variation in the rate and timing of learning, and in children’s developing capacity to apply new knowledge and skills in different contexts.

A new concept introduced in Te Whāriki 2017 is “ā tōna wā”, in their own time. This phrase acknowledges the uniqueness of each child and their growing capabilities. Examples of practices that support “ā tōnā wā” can be found in the wellbeing and exploration strands.

Kaiako still have an active role in facilitating infants and toddlers’ learning. In a socio-cultural environment the kaiako is intentional, not sitting back. This can be by guiding their participation in increasingly complex experiences and by removing barriers to their engagement in the full depth and breadth of the curriculum.

We have been discussing the ways children learn, ā tōnā wā. Take a moment to look at this slide [slide 20]. We would like to draw your attention to a te ao Māori perspective of phases in the development of mokopuna, a new feature of Te Whāriki 2017. You can find this on page 13.

Historically, infants and toddlers was not a concept in te ao Māori. Rather than the developmental milestones used in the Western world, in te ao Māori, children are grouped according to their dietary needs and mobility.

Phases in the development of mokopuna have been introduced to Te Whāriki 2017 to provide kaiako with a bicultural perspective and to support them to think more deeply and widely about the characteristics and patterns of all children in their early years.

In their article, “A Māori and Pasifika lens on infant and toddler provision in early childhood education”, Lesley Rameka and Ali Glasgow say that the key to educational success for Māori and Pasifika children is the acknowledgement that children’s learning is culturally located and that effective education must embrace culture.”

All children have the right to be raised in culturally and linguistically responsive communities. Learning about and within culture happens through participating in the culture.

Kaiako might question themselves and each other in a critical way and ask, how is this practice, or this change, or this resource contributing positively to children’s identity and cultural wellbeing?

You will notice that two of the bullets are highlighted in red. In the next slide we are going to share a story of practice that provides a strong example of these bullet points in action.

Te Puna Whakatupu o Raroera Te Puawai is situated on Te Wananga o Aotearoa campus in Te Rapa, Hamilton. This story is an example from a TLRI project, kaiako involved in this project worked alongside Lesley Rameka.

In line with the puna’s commitment to uphold Waikato/Tainui tikanga within their programme, a specific focus for kaiako has been working with pēpi/tēina to explore the importance of wai to the people of Waikato/Tainui and to give recognition to the status of the Waikato awa to the people of the rohe.

The significance of water to the education and learning of pēpi/tēina is also reflected in practices such as “whakarite”, or utilising water and karakia to physically, spiritually, and emotionally heal and support wellbeing. This involves placing a “oko wai koiora” or water bowl in a central place, within the centre and encouraging toddlers to sprinkle water on themselves when feeling sad, lonely, or hurt.

Small groups of toddlers also take trips to the Waikato awa, as a way of acknowledging their tūpuna/ancestors, whakapapa, and spiritual connectedness. This practice is unique to this service and their rohe and reflects a localised curriculum. The link to this story is on Te Whāriki Online.

Infant and toddler learning occurs when they have the freedom to engage in their own way with wai, and grow to understand its spiritual and physical dimensions. This supports understandings of the connectedness of the tamaiti Māori to their spiritual and physical worlds (Ira Atuatanga).

The link to this story and other stories of practice in relation to infants and toddlers is at the bottom of this slide [slide 22].

The practice of communal and intergenerational caregiving is based on the input of the extended family, including grandparents and elders and reflects particular world views, identities, and cultures.

The Family and community/Whānau tangata principle affirms this, “all cultural groups have beliefs, traditions and child rearing practices that place value on specific skills attitudes and dispositions”.

For some whānau collective caregiving is a valued child rearing practice.

In November 2017 the Asia NZ foundation released a report, “Starting strong, nurturing the potential of our Asian under 5s”. At the time of this report’s release, just over 18 percent of all children under five years of age were of an Asian ethnicity. The report highlights the need for kaiako to recognise the different Asian cultures represented in their services.

The report suggests to support children’s heritage language and culture in early childhood services, an essential strategy is to work with parents and members of the extended family, such as grandparents.

It also says bilingual teachers can help bridge language barriers and acknowledges that parents may have different views about the role of early childhood education that differ from the service’s values and beliefs.

The Family and community/Whānau tangata principle, emphasises the significant role that the family and community play in a child’s early education.

We know from research that “nurturing a culture of care” is essential for developing relationships between infants and parents, infants and kaiako, and kaiako and parents.

One of the points we need to think about when caring for infants and toddlers in early childhood, is the relationship between the caregivers, the ones who love and adore this pepe and the service.

The service can become the nana, koro, whaea, or the friend you call when you are worried about the baby. Developing a trusting relationship with caregivers is vital. Kaiako need to think about their roles and responsibilities as advocates for the child as well as the support people for the caregivers of the child.

The link to the Centres of Innovation report about “Nurturing a culture of care”, can be found at the bottom of this slide [slide 25].

In the next slide, we share a story about Harry and partnerships with his whānau.

Kaiako at Darfield Nursery and Preschool were interested in the ways they lived their philosophy in practice. One aspect of their philosophy acknowledges the significance of partnerships with whānau.

They observed one of their toddlers, Harry, and tried to make visible the connections between Harry’s interests and capabilities at home and the ways they responded to these in the service.

Harry’s whānau shared his interests at home, and their aspirations for him with kaiako. For Harry’s whānau, it was important for him to, “love the outdoors, to respect the environment and all animals”.

The trusting relationships with Harry’s whānau enabled kaiako to build a climate of trust. There were numerous in-depth conversations with his parents and wider whānau and stories and photos between home and the service, are shared regularly. It is a reciprocal, respectful partnership where the expertise of all involved is encouraged. Harry has a voice, his whānau have a voice, and kaiako have voice.

This rich and holistic view of Harry supports kaiako to respond to Harry’s interests and capabilities intentionally. This is documented in Harry’s assessment portfolio. For example, Harry is taking a real interest in birds at home so kaiako take time to spot birds with Harry in the garden. He feeds the birds at nursery and kaiako talk about the birds he sees in his garden at home.

Because Harry’s whānau can see the ways their aspirations and conversations with kaiako are being valued and integrated into the curriculum, they have a deeper understanding about the ways kaiako support Harry’s learning.

We have been investigating kaiako specialist knowledge in relation to the care and education of infants and toddlers. We are now going to take a closer look at specialised practice.

When we think about specialised practice, we are thinking about our actions and behaviours. Often there is a tension between what we say we believe and the things we do in practice. Agryis and Schon’s work discusses espoused theory (what you say you do) and theory-in-use (what you actually do).

Unless we critically examine our beliefs and values, challenging them with our specialist knowledge, our practices will continue to reflect these beliefs, even if they have been “debunked” through research. Take a look at the examples in this slide [slide 28].

It is only through experiences with scissors and real tools that toddlers learn to use them and use them expertly. If we say we see toddlers as capable, kaiako need to allow them opportunities to practice and master new skills.

How we may unintentionally limit children’s mastery of new learning through our “theories-in-use” is important for us to consider as we move through the rest of this webinar you might be thinking we have infants and toddlers as capable in our philosophy already. We do this, but do you really, and how do you know?

There have been significant shifts in emphasis in relation to our work with infants and toddlers between the 1996 and 2017 versions of Te Whāriki and we are going to take a look at these now.

In relation to the care and education of infants and toddlers, Te Whāriki 2017 reflects the knowledge and insights gained over the last ten years or more. It provides more explicit guidance for kaiako to understand their role in supporting infants and toddlers as capable and competent learners.

On this slide, we have drawn together some examples of this from throughout Te Whāriki. These might be a jumping on point for you to reflect on with your team.

You will notice that for the first time, the notion of love is introduced to the curriculum, “through care-giving practices infants learn they are worthy of love”.

Toni Christie, in her article, “Te Whāriki 2017 what’s new for our infants and toddlers?” suggests that when scrutinising practices into infant and toddler programmes, routines and practices, if we ask the question, “who is it for?”, and if the answer is not the child, then the programme, routine, or practice needs to change. Sometimes our practices with infants and toddlers, particularly care routines, can be more about teacher convenience rather than giving children agency.

An enriching physical and emotional environment is important.

Take a look at these bullet points. These are updated concepts in Te Whāriki 2017 related to environmental considerations. The use of natural resources and materials is explicitly mentioned in Te Whāriki 2017.

Again, underpinning all of these environmental considerations is the notion of intentional pedagogy whereby kaiako are critically reflective of the environments that they create for infants and toddlers.

Open ended and sensory rich environments provide opportunities for kaiako to engage in two way conversations with infants and toddlers and promote a rich and extensive vocabulary.

One of the goals of the Mana reo/Communication strand of Te Whāriki is for children to develop verbal and non-verbal communication skills for a range of purposes. Infants learn to communicate by having reciprocal conversations involving facial expression, gesture, voice, and tone and by having their interactions responded to. Kaiako need to carefully observe in order to recognise gestures of assent and dissent in infants. Kaiako must trust infants’ abilities to communicate these.

Being attuned to infants is a specialised practice. Wait time is an important part of this, as we said in the Mana reo webinar, it can take 7–11 seconds for an infant or toddler to respond to you.

The bottom quote on this slide [slide 31] highlights the importance of kaiako having conversations with infants and toddlers because this is believed to be a peak brain development time.

Some of the ways to do this will be unpacked in the next slide.

Take a look at some of these strategies for supporting infants’ and toddlers’ language development with rich talk. A joint Harvard–MIT study has found that it's more important to engage young children in back-and-forth conversation for developing their language skills, rather than just learning new vocabulary.

You will notice we have highlighted this strategy in red.

This study tells us that, yes, we must introduce new vocabulary, but that it is important for this vocabulary to be introduced in meaningful and authentic contexts through conversations with children. The brain's response to language correlates to the previous number of conversation turns children have been involved in. For infants and toddler this means responding to sounds, cues, and gestures.

For kaiako this means spending longer periods of time engaging with infants and toddlers, having sustained “conversations”. How often are you doing this?

The link to this study is at the bottom of this slide [slide 32].

There is also an increased emphasis on self-regulation in Te Whāriki 2017.

Developing self-regulation is essential to social competency, a child’s growing capacity to interact with others appropriately, respecting the rights of others, and with some self-awareness of how their behaviour impacts on those around them. How kaiako can best encourage infants and toddlers to develop self-regulation can be found in Te Whāriki.

Infants begin learning about self-regulation as people close to them interpret their nonverbal or verbal cues.

Toddlers are more able to communicate their emotional needs through labelling thoughts, emotions, and intentions. For instance, learning to take turns is often an aspiration that whānau may have for a toddler. But turn-taking is really difficult. Before you take turns, you need to learn how to wait, and how to suspend your own wishes whilst at the same time being aware of others. For example, someone else wants that thing that I want. Children need respectful and empathetic guidance to learn these important skills. They don’t just happen.

Take a look at the quote on this slide [slide 33] from Te Whāriki. “Toddlers are learning to self-regulate, amidst feelings that are sometimes intense and unpredictable”. You might like to pause the recording here and consider, “how do you support toddlers growing self-regulation when they have feelings that are sometimes intense and unpredictable?”.

“It is important that children are given time, space, and multiple opportunities to practice and rehearse, to build their competence, “ā tōna wā” (in their own time). Early childhood services need to be safe and secure places for this to happen”.

So take some time to read through these strategies [slide 34]. The bullet points on this slide come from the examples of practice that promote the learning outcomes within Te Whāriki 2017. You might like to come back to these later as a team.

Bear in mind when using these strategies, that toddlers can become bored or frustrated if learning experiences are set too low or too high. And also remember, “Safe, stable, and responsive environments support the development of self-worth, identity, confidence and enjoyment, together with emotional regulation and self-control”.

One of the times when infants or toddlers may need the most support from kaiako with self-regulation, is when they are transitioning into or within the early childhood setting.

Between 2000 and 2013, the number of children up to the age of 2 years enrolled in early childhood services has increased by 53%. Many children now enrol in early childhood settings as infants, and this is a significant transition for them, their parents, and whānau.

For kaiako, this means ensuring transitions into and within early childhood settings are thoughtfully planned. This means recognising what children bring with them. Children need to know their early childhood setting is part of their wider world and inclusive of their parents and whānau.

In webinar 4, Mana whenua/Belonging, you will remember we discussed creating a “space” for belonging for every child and family. The belonging strand begins with, “children and their families feel a sense of belonging”.

The process of transitions into and within early childhood services, brings to life once again the weaving metaphor of Te Whāriki. Kaiako have a clear responsibility to work in partnership with whānau to support smooth transitions for infants into the early childhood service and to ensure toddlers’ strengths and interests are built on when they transition into a new space.

You might like to consider the ways your policies and practices promote smooth transitions for children, parents, and whānau as they transition into and within your service.

Knowing the extended family well and good communication enable kaiako to make deeper connections to children’s learning. In this example, the educator and mother used their collective knowledge of Henry to speculate what prompted his curiosity and interest?

Toddlers are not only developing social and emotional skills, they are also learning about the world around them and have a strong sense of curiosity.

Henry loves yellow, it’s his favourite colour he tells people. He likes to wear yellow clothes and sit on a yellow chair. Both his home-based educator and his whānau have noticed his interest in yellow.

Over several months they puzzle about this until conversations with his Mum reveals that one of Henry’s favourite things is when his grandad comes around to mow the lawns. Henry sits inside with his Mum watching his grandad go up and down with the lawnmower and they always talk about Grandad’s old yellow hat. This photo [slide 36] captures one of the proudest moments of Henry’s life, here he is with his Grandad’s yellow hat on.

In response to this, when Henry goes to his home-based playgroup near his Grandad’s house, his educator often talks with him about his Grandad and they say hello if they see Grandad out walking.

By asking themselves, “What is really going on here?”, Henry’s educator and his Mum are able to recognise that, maybe it isn’t the colour yellow, but the relationship he has with his Grandad and the lawn mowing that Henry is truly interested in.

Very often, because we are complex human beings, there is more than one working theory operating, there is more than one disposition at play.

We have discussed in this webinar some ideas about specialised knowledge and practice in relation to the care and education of infants and toddlers in the context of Te Whāriki.

Take a look at this slide [slide 37] and think about your particular context. You might like to pause the recording here and write down what you plan to do to grow your own professional learning knowledge.

We will finish with our karakia whakamutanga.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou. Ma te wā.


Webinar 9 – Pathways to school and kura

Transcript

Kia ora. Welcome to webinar 9 – Pathways to school and kura. We will begin with karakia.

Tutawa mai i runga

Tutawa mai i raro

Tutawa mai i roto

Tutawa mai i waho

Kia tau ai te mauri tū, te mauri ora ki te katoa

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e

I summon from above

I summon from below

I summon from within and the surrounding environment

The universal vitality and energy to infuse and enrich all present

Unified, connected, and blessed.

Kia ora and warm Pasifika greetings to you all. Welcome to the 9th in a series of 10 webinars on the implementation of Te Whāriki 2017.

This webinar is about learning pathways – continuity of learning between early childhood services and schools and kura, and why this is so important. All Kaiako and new entrant teachers have a responsibility to ensure that learning pathways to school and kura, are inclusive and build on the strengths of tamariki, affirming their identity and culture, and have positive expectations for their learning.

Schools have a responsibility to be ready for each and every child and their whānau, and early childhood services have a responsibility to support them in this.

Continuity and coherence during the early years is recognised as crucial for children’s learning.

We would like to acknowledge the Te Whāriki team that surrounds us and their support and contribution to the webinars.

Take a moment to look at the kaupapa for this webinar.

Throughout this webinar series, we have encouraged kaiako to debate and confront Te Whāriki 2017. In this webinar we challenge you to go beyond “affirming your practise”. We urge you to critically examine your pathways to school and kura processes and ask yourselves, “How effective is this practice in supporting pathways to school and kura? And how do you know?”

Unless we critically examine and challenge our beliefs and values, our practices will continue to reflect these, even if they have been “debunked” through research.

One of the features of a rich curriculum is that it is Tiriti-based and this is intentional in Te Whāriki 2017. The ideas in this slide are fundamental to kaupapa Māori pedagogy outlined on page 61 of Te Whāriki, where Māori ways of knowing, being, and doing are the norm.

At the core of Kaupapa Māori theory is the retention of Māori language and culture. Research is clear, that when this is part of everyday practice, it supports educational success for tamariki Māori.

In Māori tradition, tamariki are born rich in potential with a connection to their tīpuna. Descended from lines that stretch back to the beginning of time, they are important living links between the past, present, and future, and a reflection of their ancestors.

One of the benefits of Tiriti partnerships is access to whakataukī. This whakataukī tells us that education is a lifelong journey. The whakataukī cards help us navigate children’s cultural backpacks, or in other words, what they bring with them to our early childhood services.

Take a look at the question on this slide on the right [slide 7] which is from the back of this whakataukī card. It is a new question that focuses on three ideas. 1. That the child’s voice is important. 2. That kaiako in both sectors need to get to know the child, what their interests are, and how they learn. And 3. Kaiako in both sectors have responsibilities to think about how records of learning are shared between early childhood and school.

If we are thinking critically, we need to go deeper and ask ourselves, how effective is this sharing of information, and how do you know? For instance, if you are sharing children's profile books or online portfolios with schools, how do you know if the teachers are reading or receiving them and how useful are they in finding the information that they contain?

Te Whāriki 2017 in the kaiako responsibilities section on page 59 moves beyond “just relationships” to “relationships that enable professional collaboration”.

We are mindful here that some early childhood services have lots of schools they feed into and schools receive children from many early childhood services. We know this can be a challenge.

We ask you also to consider the other professionals who might be involved. For example, the Education Support Workers and child health professionals. What do they contribute to the pathway?

Helen May (2011) in her book “I am five and I go to school” said starting school is a significant cultural milestone. It can be exciting and terrifying for children and parents alike. ERO in their 2015 report “Continuity of learning” talk about “… effective transitions being critical to the development of children’s self-worth, confidence and resilience, and their ongoing success at school” (Education Review Office 2015, p. 1). Take a look at the questions on this slide [slide 9].

Remember back to your first days at school. You might like to pause the recording here and think about what it felt like, what it sounded like, and what it looked like.

The experience of starting school is different for each of us.

Most young children look forward to going to school or kura. They expect it to be different from their early childhood service, but they do not always anticipate how different the expectations, structures, and routines may affect them.

A deputy principal of a large urban school takes a lead role in the transition process. The quote on this slide [slide 10] is her guiding philosophy.

She is part of the leadership team at the school and is laying the foundation for success for children and whānau. She is emphasising it is the school’s responsibility to maintain and sustain the sparkle in the five-year-old’s eyes.

Positive experiences as children move between early childhood education and school, sets the stage for learning. So, ideally, there are no big interruptions. As we said in our Belonging webinar, creating a space of belonging for every child and their whānau.

Research continues to shape our understandings about the importance of smooth transitions for children and their families. It is important to consider whānau, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunties, uncles, and cousins who all have a role to play in learning pathways as well as kaiako.

Continuity of learning and what we already know, and in particular these bullet points, will be investigated in the next few slides.

Transitions between early childhood and school or kura are considered a journey and not just a one-off event. The transition process is not complete until the child has developed a sense of belonging in their new setting.

The section in Te Whāriki 2017 on Pathways to school and kura on pages 51–58 inform our practice.

A way to conceptualise the important messages in Te Whāriki 2017 can be distilled into four points. Collaboration, communication, continuity, and coherence.

Establishing effective pathways to school or kura requires collaboration between the sectors, but also between kaiako and the child, his or her whānau, and the wider community.

To collaborate effectively assumes we communicate respectfully with all who have an interest in the child’s learning. So to ensure a sense of continuity in learning, we also need to think about how all our conversations, our policies (or systems), and our documentation make sense together. This is what we mean by coherence.

The concept of coherence may be new for some of you. Coherence in the context of education is about connecting links in learning and continuity of learning pathways.

There is a strong connection between the principle of coherence in The New Zealand Curriculum and Kotahitanga/Holistic development in Te Whāriki.

When considering coherence in relation to transitions between school and kura, it can be helpful to consider the ways the “whole experience”, which includes what happens at home, what happens in the early childhood service, and what happens in the new entrant classroom, make sense for the child and their whānau.

Take a moment to look at the bullet points on this slide [slide 14].

There is a synergy in the ways The New Zealand Curriculum Online suggests teachers demonstrate coherent policies and practices and the points which come from the Assessment, planning, and evaluation sections on pages 63–65 of Te Whāriki.

Now look at the bullet points highlighted in red.

The space in between is the ways the early childhood curriculum is made visible, through assessment, enabling learning pathways and progressions to be identified. The question both sectors need to ask themselves is how well are we making visible continuity and progressions, and how do we know?

If we are thinking deeply and widely about pathways to school and kura and assessment practices, how are the learning outcomes around the domain of mathematics, for example, linking with the learning area of mathematics and statistics in year 1. If you are a school teacher what do you know about mathematical learning outcomes in Te Whāriki and how are these pushing up into your mathematics curriculum.

Take a moment to read this quote [slide 15]. The two curriculums are based on similar principles and have similar approaches to valued learning. Like Te Whāriki weaves principles and strands, The New Zealand Curriculum also weaves principles with key competencies and learning areas.

Kaiako have a responsibility to understand one another’s curriculum documents. If we are thinking about this critically, we need to move beyond a functional relationship which is about enrolment forms, towards a partnership where pedagogy is discussed and debated.

This is what we think a split-screen pedagogy (mentioned on page 52 of Te Whāriki) means. We all need to share the “what” and the “how” of learning in our respective contexts. What does learning look like, feel like, and sound like in an early childhood service and new entrant classroom? Spending time in each other’s contexts is great way to begin professional collaboration.

The final message in this quote focuses on the child. The space between refers to the Early Childhood service or school and what the child brings into that space. So, like we mentioned earlier, the child, the whānau, and kaiako as well as others are all part of this “space”.

Te Whāriki, The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa all have a similar vision for young people. The vision statement of Te Whāriki is well known and has been mostly retained from the original Te Whāriki and foregrounded. This was a strong message in the consultation and feedback on the update. The sector strongly feel this is visionary and the essence of the curriculum.

What has changed however, is the stem. Instead of “children grow up as” it is now “children are” – strengthening the positioning of children and their agency in the curriculum.

Take some time to read the aspirations and vision of all three curriculum. You might like to pause the recording and think about the similarities you see and the differences you see.

You can see an alignment across the curriculums. This is intentional as the Ministry of Education aspires to a pathways approach to learning.

This notion of children as competent and confident acknowledges what they bring and who they are (already competent and confident). It is important that early childhood services and our colleagues in the school sector consider the aspirations in their entirety.

A new feature to note in Te Whāriki 2017 is the inclusion of links between each principle of Te Whāriki and the eight principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. They embody beliefs about what is important and desirable in school curriculum nationally and locally.

Let's take a closer look at the Whakamana/Empowerment principle. Within this principle which is about enhancing mana and supporting children to enhance the mana of others, you can see strong links with high expectations, Treaty of Waitangi, inclusion and the learning to learn principle.

We are now going to take a deeper look at the key competencies in The New Zealand Curriculum and their links with Te Whāriki.

Key competencies are capabilities for living and lifelong learning. They are more complex than skills and draw on knowledge, attitudes, and values. Key competencies are not separate or stand-alone and they are the key to learning in every learning area.

Opportunities to develop competencies occur in social contexts. Key competencies continue to develop over time, shaped by interactions with people, places, ideas, and things.

As you listen to these words that I’ve just read, you can hear the synergies between the key competencies and Te Whāriki. Knowledge, attitudes, and values are drawn upon, the competencies weave together like a whāriki, they occur in a socio-cultural context, and are shaped by interactions with people, places, ideas, and things.

Take a look at the key competencies on this slide [slide 18]. What are the strands of Te Whāriki that you can see? For example, you can see the connections between thinking and the strand of Exploration/Mana Aotūroa and using language, symbols, and text, and mana reo/communication.

In the same way as strands and dispositions, key competencies and learning areas are used by children to live, work, learn, and be active members of society.

There are strong links between the learning outcomes of Te Whāriki and the learning areas and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum. Take a look at the image on this slide about Contribution/Mana Tangata. You will see the learning outcomes for Mana Tangata on the left hand side and the link to The New Zealand Curriculum on the right.

Treating each other fairly and including them in their play is the learning outcome. You will see how this links to the key competency of “Relating to others” – “Students interacting effectively with a diverse range of peoples in a variety of contexts”. All of the strands and key competencies are linked in this way. In order to develop working pedagogical relationships, we need to know each other’s curricula. You might find these pages a useful starting point.

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa is the Māori medium parallel to The New Zealand Curriculum. Both Te Whāriki and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa envisage a culturally competent child who is able to move confidently between te ao Māori and te ao Pākehā.

As in Te Whāriki, the principles of Te Marautanga o Aoteaora emphasise attributes that complete the whole child, te tinana, te hinengaro, te wairua, and te whatumanawa.

You will see woven through these bullet points kaupapa Māori theory and te ao Māori where tamariki are born rich in potential with a connection to their tīpuna. These ideas are fundamental to how Māori understand teaching and learning.

The strands of Te Whāriki correspond to the values and learning areas of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Again, take a look at the image on this slide [slide 19] about Contribution/Mana Tangata. You will see the learning outcomes for Mana Tangata on the left hand side and the link to the value in Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. “Individual learners develop values and attitudes which lead to a desire to participate in all school learning activities, whether by contributing ideas, reading or listening”.

All of the strands of Te Whāriki, and the values and learning areas in Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, are linked in this way in Te Whāriki 2017. Once again, in order to develop working pedagogical relationships, we need to know each other’s curricula. You might find these pages a useful starting point particularly if children are transitioning to bilingual or full immersion kura.

In 2010 Sally Peters was commissioned by the Ministry of Education to undertake a literature review on transitions from early childhood to school to both deepen the sector’s understanding of the process and inform policy and practice.

One of the key findings of Sally’s review was that successful transitions depend on relationships. For children their friendships, peer relationships, and the relationship with their teachers were central to successful transitions. Relationships amongst the adults involved in the transition were also a key feature.

One thing to bear in mind for children is how their whānau may feel about school. Not everyone has good memories about school. Reducing the negative consequences of not having friends, considering children’s whole experience of school, including lunchtimes, and using the toilets, can lessen children’s anxiety as they familiarise themselves with a new cultural experience, the experience of going to school.

You might like to pause the recording here and think about what strategies you have in place to promote successful transitions to school. So what strategies do you have in place to promote successful transitions to school? You might like to pause the recording here to consider this.

There is no recipe for successful transition processes, rather these should reflect local contexts, be planned and then evaluated by all involved. What works in one place may not work in another. What works for one child, may not work for another. As well as emphasising the importance of relationships, Sally’s literature review identified a number of strategies teachers in both sectors could use to support successful transitions. These are on this slide.

We have highlighted in red the qualities of the teachers. Teachers’ personal qualities have a vital impact on their relationships with children and families.

Kaiako also need to be proactive in exploring barriers to successful transitions? These findings apply equally to kaiako in both sectors and by thinking carefully about how you are proactive in exploring barriers to successful transitions, you are looking critically at your practices.

You might like to pause the recording here and think about this. What are some of the barriers in your setting to successful transitions?

You can access the literature review by using the link at the bottom of this slide [slide 23].

In 2015, ERO published their national report on Continuity of Learning – Transitions from early childhood to school. It confirmed a lot of what previous research had revealed.

Transition to school from an early childhood service is a critical time for children as it sets them on their learning pathway for life.

Children who experienced a smooth transition gained confidence in themselves as learners able to manage change. They experienced a consistent educational experience when early childhood services and schools shared a common vision and worked closely with parents and whānau to actively support the child’s learning. The importance of this is very evident for priority learners but no less critical for each and every child to succeed as a learner.

Overall the report found that early childhood services and schools needed to do similar things to support children moving to school. We are going to take a look at these more closely in the following slide [slide 25].

So take a moment to read these bullet points. These bullet points come from the ERO report.

Think about your context, whether you are an early childhood service or a school. What area could you think more critically about? This area may be the same area that you have identified as a strength so how do we know we are strong in this area?

You might like to pause the recording here and write this down as an action from this webinar recording. What are your strengths and what areas could you think more critically about?

You will see we have highlighted sharing assessments to support children’s learning, we will be taking a deeper look at this in the next slide.

Kaiako can ensure continuity by sharing information about children’s learning with the school or kura, and by providing parents and whānau with useful information to share.

When done well, pedagogical documentation, such as that documented in portfolios, empowers children, enhances their identity as learners, is a resource to connect knowledge from home and their service with their new learning at school, and fosters a sense of belonging and engagement.

There are a range of ways that kaiako are endeavouring to share information with schools.

In the next slide we talk about how a centre of innovation, Mangere Bridge Kindergarten, shared information. As you will hear, this was much more than sharing portfolios or assessment data.

Mangere Bridge Kindergarten is leading nationally and globally in practice around transitions. This kindergarten is based in a very diverse community and has two ongoing objectives. 1. To improve learning outcomes for children and 2. To support children and families as they transition between early childhood and school.

They set out to build relationships that allow school and kindergarten kaiako to share information with the goal of learning more about each other’s practices. They used reciprocal visits between the early childhood service and the school and a buddy programme with schools to help kindergarten children settle in. The kindergarten also developed specific transition portfolios to accompany kindergarten children when they started school, as well as parent information pamphlets.

The result has been positive transitions between the kindergarten and school, continued contact by kindergarten kaiako with the children and their whānau, and increased engagement with whānau.

In 2015 the teaching team won the education focus Prime Minister’s award. They have recently published a book ‘Crossing the Borders’ which can be purchased from NZCER.

An important perspective to consider in any conversation about pathways to school and kura is the child’s voice. Take a look at the questions from the child’s perspective on this slide [slide 28]. What are children telling you about school? What do they want to find out?

Again, this is a way to support the mana of the child. Including children’s voices supports their agency. After all, they are the ones transitioning. Their experiences will influence how they feel about school and, if we listen and act, we can fulfil our responsibilities as kaiako.

At Taitoko Kindergarten, part of their transition process is the creation of a transition portfolio, a collection of learning stories that illustrate a child’s learning journey. This is aligned with Te Whāriki domains and the school key competencies.

The children also compose a letter to their teacher which sits at the front of the transition portfolio alongside information about their interests and wider family life.

Children have an active role in the creation of this portfolio and it goes from the kindergarten to the school where it is displayed in the classroom. It becomes a treasured language and literacy artefact in the classroom that children revisit often. Because children are involved in compiling the portfolio, their sense of agency is enhanced, they are able to determine their learner identity. They have a voice.

For the new entrant teachers, the transition portfolio supports them to get to know the children. It also supports them in their planning because they know about children's prior learning, their interests, and their wider whanau.

If you would like to find out more about this process, you can use the link at the bottom of this slide [slide 29].

We are now going to look more widely and deeply into the ways we put our knowledge into practice using these bullet points as a guide. It is important that all practices that contribute to learning pathways to school and kura are underpinned by Te Whāriki and are informed by current research and theories of learning.

As we said at the beginning of this webinar, we encourage you to go beyond “affirming your practice” and urge you to critically scrutinise your practices, moving beyond “we do this” to “how effective is this for our children and whānau”?

If you remember back to the “Deciding what matters here” webinar, we spoke about our children being and becoming and our aspirations alongside parents and whānau.

Therefore, what is the shared vision for the child who will be transitioning? Consider your philosophy, your decision making processes, the local curriculum and assessment practices. How effective are these processes in ensuring a personalised pathway that upholds the mana of the individual and how do these processes reflect the full depth and breadth of a rich curriculum for every child?

You might like to pause the recording here and consider these questions. What is the shared vision for the child who will be transitioning? How effective are your transition processes in ensuring a personalised pathway that upholds the mana of the individual, and how do these processes reflect the full depth and breadth of a rich curriculum for every child.

Take a look at this quote from the ERO continuity of learning report.

Throughout Te Whāriki 2017 it talks about learning taking place through meaningful, authentic, and play-based pedagogy that is culturally located.

ERO urges us to carefully consider the content of any formal transition to school programmes.

What lens do you place on your transition practices? How do you embrace the new elements in Te Whāriki for example, critical theory, that is to question your own assumptions and values.

Using an internal evaluation process will allow you to delve deeper into your own assumptions about transitions and consider whose perspectives are valued. Like we said earlier, it is important that all practices that contribute to learning pathways to school and kura are underpinned by Te Whāriki and are informed by current research and theories of learning.

This slide [slide 32] comes from the 5 out of 5 leadership resource.

The reflective questions on the right might be useful for you in terms of thinking critically about all children who are transitioning to school from both an early childhood perspective and a school perspective.

Remember Te Whāriki is a curriculum for all children. Part of deciding what matters here is about deciding what is important for all children and families during transitions to school or kura.

You will note we have highlighted a question in red. In the next slide [slide 33], we are going to share a story about the transition experience from kōhanga to kura and what was important for Mihimarino and her whānau.

For this whānau, their transition was a success. The strategies are well known. Whānau are included, there are regular visits, and the classroom is familiar. Listen to this whānau voice.

“Having a good transition from kohanga to kura was so important. Not just for Mihimarino but also for us! The school was really good in that there were regular opportunities for visits weeks before we started which was really great for us and for her. It meant that when she started she knew the routines to an extent and we knew what to expect from the school, her teachers, and her friends. It was a hugely nervous time for us starting kura but that transition period and the support we got from the principal, the teachers, and other family members that we knew, who were already at the school, was vital”.

Two years after the transition, Mihimarino reflected, and her reflection is in te reo Māori on this slide [slide 33] but I’m going to read it for you in English. “I like the playground and especially the flying fox. When I first started I was a bit worried because I couldn't skip a bar on the monkey bars and other kids could but then I learnt how to do it”.

Remembering is an important part of learning for children. Two years out, most will remember what starting school felt like. For Mihimarino, you can see what was important for her, her competence in the playground.

This is an example of the ways one school transformed the nature of teaching and learning for children transitioning between early childhood and school.

The new entrant team at Mairehau Primary School, Christchurch were interested in how they might provide greater continuity for children transitioning from early childhood to school. They designed a play-based programme called, “Relating to Others Time”, to run each morning from 8.30 am, when children started arriving at school, until 10.15 am.

The familiarity of the play-based programme for children, with its emphasis on relationships, provided children with real choices about who they wanted to play with, and where and what they wanted to play.

Children were excited about coming to school. Having a fun, relaxed start to the day, children settled quickly. Teachers were frequently surprised and inspired by the children’s creativity and noticed how when children were left to pursue their interests, they saw themselves as successful learners.

This supported successful transitions by strengthening the bridge between the sectors, creating a space of belonging for children and supporting children’s agency so they could become successful in their pursuits and interests. For kaiako, this meant they were trusting children's abilities to create, imagine, dream, and think.

You can find out more about this story on Te Whāriki Online. The link is at the bottom of this slide [slide 34].

In a Teacher-led Innovation Fund project that was completed last year, the Petone Basin Transitions to School Network teacher researchers from both sectors, found that starting the process for transitioning early was really helpful.

They called this process “Testing the waters”. For parents with a child with diverse learning needs, navigating the transition process can be really stressful. Funding for the Education Support Workers ceases and new funding for a teacher aid is not always seamless. The physical, emotional, and social environments are new and unfamiliar which can impact on the child’s learning.

There are lots of examples of how children and their families can familiarise themselves with school. For Leo, as well as the relationship between some key adults in his life, there was also a regular starting school club that ran once a week. All prospective new entrants were invited to attend. This was held in the classroom and the New Entrant teacher had release time to spend with parents and children.

One of the guiding principles of this project was the view that transitions are a journey. The findings from this project that underpin this principle include taking a long term view of transitions, that the transition process should start early especially for priority learners, and that flexible approaches to transitions should be incorporated into the process.

To access an article with more information about this project you can use the link at the bottom of this slide [slide 35].

It is clear from this statement in Te Whāriki that we have a shared responsibility to support children’s learning throughout life. Moving from one learning setting to another is something we do throughout our lives, so going to school is but one of many pathways children will navigate on their lifelong journeys.

If we think critically about pathways to school and kura, we can start to unpack the assumption that early childhood education prepares children for school. Rather, we need to think about the ways education prepares all children for life. In other words, rather than the child being ready for school, it’s about schools being ready for children and whānau and the responsibility that early childhood services have in supporting that to happen.

For some services this may be a shift in thinking about what transitions looks like, sound like, and feel like, and the implications for your localised curriculum. Kaiako have a responsibility to support pathways to kura and, at the same time, schools have a responsibility to be ready for each and every child and their whānau.

The quote says, “each part of the education system has a responsibility for supporting children and that means all children and whānau who walk through their door.” Each and every child has rights to education and Te Whāriki is saying that because learning is a lifelong journey, education systems need to consider how and what they do to support children.

A Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako is intended to promote working together as a more inclusive educational community to promote positive outcomes to help children reach their full potential.

Some early childhood services across Aotearoa are engaging in their local Kāhui Ako. Inglewood Playcentre belongs to Kāhui Ako o te Kōhanga Moa and is one of the five early learning services included in that Kāhui Ako. Each Kāhui Ako are asked to set an achievement challenge. The early childhood services in this Kāhui Ako embrace Te Whārki and its value of empowering children. At Inglewood Playcentre work was undertaken to support parents’ understanding of the purpose and value of seeking children’s perspectives.

Parents were encouraged to ask their children two questions, what children believed they needed to learn well to go to school and what they wanted to be when they grew up. The children’s responses were collated across the Kāhui Ako and alongside other data it supported the development of the achievement challenge. This focus fed into the goal to enhance transitions.

This Kāhui Ako has considered both Te Whāriki and The New Zealand Curriculum. As a result, the early learning services within this Kāhui Ako are working with schools to plan for successful transitions.

We have discussed in this webinar some ideas about learning pathways to school and kura, what we already know, and how we put this into practice.

So think about your own context. We are encouraging you to think critically about your existing practices. You might like to choose a bullet point from this slide to scrutinise in more depth. How effective is this in supporting pathways to school and kura and how do you know?

You might like to pause the recording here and consider how you will further your own professional learning knowledge in relation to learning pathways.

And we will finish with our karakia whakamutanga.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou. Ma te wā.


Webinar 10 – Leadership for learning

Transcript

Kia ora. Welcome to the recording of webinar 10 – Leadership for learning. We will begin with karakia.

Tutawa mai i runga

Tutawa mai i raro

Tutawa mai i roto

Tutawa mai i waho

Kia tau ai te mauri tū, te mauri ora ki te katoa

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e

I summon from above

I summon from below

I summon from within and the surrounding environment

The universal vitality and energy to infuse and enrich all present

Unified, connected, and blessed.

So kia ora and warm Pasifika greetings. Welcome to Webinar 10 – Leadership for Learning, the final webinar in the Te Whāriki implementation series.

The phrase, “leadership for learning” is a move away from traditional hierarchical models of leadership. This phrase encompasses a broad definition of leadership which involves shared collective responsibility. This means that all kaiako need to have clear focus on how they lead learning for all children, lead the learning of other kaiako, and, by implication, whānau too.

Throughout this webinar series as a whole, we have encouraged kaiako to think about Te Whāriki 2017 and how the changes influence their practice. We urge you to critically examine leadership for learning in your context using Te Whāriki as a guide.

We would like to acknowledge the Te Whāriki team that surrounds us and their support and contributions to webinars.

This whakataukī encapsulates whanaungatanga and collective responsibility.

We chose this whakataukī to begin our webinar because it acknowledges that to be effective, leaders need others.

The role of leaders in any learning context is too big for one person alone. Leadership for learning is a shared effort. Leaders are essential but they need to have strong teams with them, supporting the kaupapa of this service.

In this webinar we will be asking you to think about what this whakataukī might look like in practice, and how kaiako are taking responsibility for leadership for learning in your service.

Take a moment to look at the kaupapa for this webinar. As we progress, we will be talking about the practice of leadership as a shared responsibility.

We will focus on the leader’s role in creating a culturally responsive environment that supports all kaiako to participate in leadership for learning, as well as the responsibility for kaiako to “step up” and take on this wero or challenge.

We are now going to take a look at the qualities of a person who is responsible for leadership for learning. You might like to pause the recording here and think of a leader you admire and reflect on the qualities they have.

We ask you to keep these ideas in your mind as we take a closer look at what we mean by leadership for learning. You may also like to consider the implications for you in your setting.

Sir Apirana Ngata’s famous quote on page 3 of Te Whāriki looks both to the past and the future, urging Maori to confront the world of the Pākehā but never lose or forget their wairua, ngā taonga tuku iho, the knowledge handed down from tīpuna.

Effective early childhood leaders are committed to Te Tiriti based practices including the promotion of the language, culture, and identity of Māori children, both in the service curriculum and in the policies and procedures that guide the service’s operation.

The principle of partnership needs to be reflected in the practices of leadership for learning. Working in partnership includes collective and inclusive practices which embrace Te Ao Māori values of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, kotahitanga, aroha, and ako. Leadership for learning includes not only working as a collective with kaiako, but also alongside whānau, tamariki, and the community where you are located to support Māori ways of knowing, being, and doing.

Te Whāriki states that Te Tiriti o Waitangi has implications for our education system, particularly in terms of achieving equitable outcomes for Māori and ensuring that te reo Māori not only survives but thrives.

A leader therefore leads this commitment in ensuring that equitable opportunities to learn are provided and Te Reo Māori thrives.

Picking up on the concept of culturally competent leaders, Associate Professor Sonja Macfarlane and Melissa Derby from Canterbury University challenge leaders to think critically about Te Ao Māori in their contexts. This image is from their article “From Rākau to Ngākau: Exploring authentic approaches to leadership, policy and pedagogy”.

They ask whether Māori values such as whanaungatanga, mana, and ako that are often seen in documentation stem from rākau, to tick the culturally responsive to Māori box, or do they come from the “heart”, ngākau where they are authentically experienced in aspects of the setting by all children, whānau, and, kaiako?

Sonja and Melissa see a rākau approach as teaching about kaupapa Māori. A ngākau approach ensures that Māori cultural content, including the use of te reo Māori, is infused within all curriculum areas.

So are we merely using the kupu or the words from Te Whāriki such as whakamana and kotahitanga, or are we living these principles?

Take some time to read this quote [slide 9].

The Education Council, an organisation that provides guidance to the profession around leadership, is in the process of developing a unifying leadership strategy with the overall vision of growing a biculturally capable, confident, and connected teaching profession.

We share this with you for its relevance to some of the key messages and conversations about leadership and our unique context of Aotearoa.

In the draft strategy, the Education Council adopted a broad definition of leadership using the concept of “networked leadership”. This metaphor represents the interplay between many leaders or a web of leadership.

Networked leadership requires the capability to work effectively with colleagues, whānau, and other adults to support learning and create new solutions and knowledge together. We will revisit this concept of networked leadership later in the webinar.

We acknowledge that whilst this material is relevant to kaiako in teacher-led services, it represents sector-wide consultation and consolidates a lot of information about the dynamic and complex nature of leadership.

If you want to find out more about the Education Council’s developing leadership strategy you can use the link at the bottom of this slide.

A series of “Think Pieces” from thought leaders has informed the development of the draft strategy. Professor Sir Mason Durie has contributed to the think piece series about leadership for the profession.

Take a look at this slide. Sir Mason talks about the “how” of leadership, describing it as inclusive (“ki mua, ki muri”), strategic (“he whakakitenga”), and collaborative (“te toa takatini”).

For Professor Sir Mason Durie, leadership for learning prioritises learners. He describes leaders for learning as educational brokers, meaning they break down barriers for learners to further equitable educational opportunities. They are committed to optimal learning conditions and are open to innovation, advocating, and lobbying on behalf of all learners, kaiako, and whānau.

Elsewhere in this document, which you can access using the link at the bottom of the slide [slide 11], Sir Mason talks about leaders of learning being innovative.

You might like to pause the recording here and think about something you have done recently that has been innovative. Take a moment to have a look at “The key characteristics of effective educational leaders” by Dr Jan Robertson from the University of Waikato, also part of the think piece series.

Jan reflects on the role of the positional leader and asks, “Could we create leaders who are more than we have ever been able to be ourselves?”

Jan suggests that to avoid the status quo, that is the ways we have always done things, requires transformative change. Note how her ideas of leadership go “beyond the gates” of the early childhood service, and “cross boundaries” to collaborate with others. Effective leaders can see the big picture and understand how this supports children’s learning.

Strong leadership has been identified as one of the key factors that can improve learning outcomes for all children. The ERO Early Childhood Curriculum report noted that leaders “who use their pedagogical and subject expertise to guide curriculum implementation and practice can promote improvements in the quality of education and care children experience” (page 31).

Take a look at the bullet points in this slide. When leadership for learning is in place, there are positive outcomes for children’s learning.

Take a look at this diagram also from an ERO national report, “How do leaders support improvement in Pacific early childhood services?”

We highlight this diagram as it breaks effective leadership down into four categories which are all focused on improvement, quality, leading organisational change, leadership for curriculum, and developing leadership capability. These four categories provide guidance on how to create an environment for all members of the community, including kaiako, to contribute to leadership for learning.

There are numerous models of leadership and it is important to consider the cultural distinctions with various models alongside the important government strategies of Ka Hikitia and the Pasifika Education plan.

You will note in this model that effective leadership for learning includes management responsibilities and leading organisational change.

We will not be going into depth in these areas in this webinar. You may want to refer to this document to explore these areas in more detail in your own time. The link is at the bottom of the slide [slide 14].

The key focus for the webinar series is curriculum implementation and in this webinar we focus on creating a culture of inquiry and improvement (often referred to as pedagogical leadership).

Throughout this webinar, we will emphasise the importance of the person identified as the positional leader in ensuring these elements are enacted.

The link between learning and leadership is clearly outlined in the quote on this slide [slide 15].

This quote reiterates the importance of pedagogical leadership, because there is a clear focus on the positional leader creating an environment where learning thrives.

While the positional leader sets this in motion, leadership for learning involves a shared sense of responsibility or collective consciousness amongst kaiako, children, and whānau sometimes known as “distributed” or “shared” leadership.

This is about the concepts of whanaungatanga, me kotahitanga. It is important to note though, that while distributed leadership can be fostered and promoted, somebody, somewhere still has to lead this and be accountable for monitoring the quality of education and care provided for children.

For example, they might contribute to appraisal. They might be the person monitoring the quality of assessment feedback. They might be feeding back to the kaiako and putting supportive processes in place for improvement. Everybody needs to be accountable for the part they play.

One of the keys to effective leadership for learning is understanding Te Whāriki in action while, at the same time, recognising the strengths and passions your team members bring to their pedagogical practices.

So think about your context. Does everyone see themselves as a leader for learning? You might like to pause the recording here and think about how you support others to take leadership through their strengths and passions. This could be as a positional leader or as a team member. The notion of leadership for learning is woven throughout Te Whāriki 2017. The document supports kaiako to understand their responsibilities to ensure equity and excellence through local curriculum design.

At the conclusion of each strand of Te Whāriki, you will find considerations for leadership, organisation, and practice. Take a look at this slide [slide 16] and the imperatives for kaiako.

You will see that leadership for learning includes creating an environment for kaiako to extend, appreciate, encourage, plan, and provide. Through this environment, kaiako can be intentional and active in leading learning.

You will find other examples of the ways kaiako can lead learning under the “examples of practices” in each strand and in the “kaiako responsibilities” on page 59.

The notion of leadership for learning is implied through the whole of Te Whāriki 2017. As well as guiding curriculum for children, leaders can use the framework in Te Whāriki to guide how they lead teams to work together and to underpin a culture of leadership for learning. For instance, take a look at the bullet points on this slide [slide 17] from the principles section where the words “child” and “whānau” have been replaced with kaiako.

The intent of the strands are also important to weave in. A leader may like to consider, for example, how is the health and wellbeing of kaiako being protected and nurtured?

How do we ensure kaiako feel a sense of belonging? That opportunities for learning are equitable? And that kaiako contribution is valued?

How are kaiako given opportunities to discover different ways to be creative and expressive, and to learn through active exploration?

So far we have looked at the “what” of leadership, now we are going to look at the “how”.

Leadership for learning encourages critique of practice and Te Whāriki gives a strong mandate for this, particularly in the “Questions for Reflection” sections at the end of each strand. Through these questions, kaiako are encouraged to recognise and challenge their values, beliefs, and practices.

Other sections in Te Whāriki also set out clear expectations for all kaiako to critique their practices. The quote on this slide [slide 18] is from page 65 in the Assessment, planning, and evaluation section.

In this quote, leadership for learning is linked directly to the internal evaluation process. Internal evaluation allows leaders and kaiako to critique and investigate practices in order to strengthen teaching and learning. You might like to use the questions at the end of this quote as part of your own internal evaluation processes. You might also like to critique your practice by revisiting the section on critical theories and kaupapa Māori theory to consider the implications and responsibilities of leadership.

This example of leadership for learning comes from Pioneers, a community-based organisation located in Dunedin. They have three home-based schemes with 40 educators and the visiting teachers take overall responsibility for leadership for learning. They have an intensive induction programme for new educators and consistently evaluate and critique their practices so they align with their vision of excellence.

Visiting teachers role model quality practices during home visits, playgroups, and on excursions. This demonstrates for educators that learning is at the heart of their curriculum and is intentional.

They encourage critical thinking by taking an individualised approach to working with each educator to establish a growth mindset for ongoing learning and guidance, ensuring children experience the full depth and breadth of the curriculum. Visiting teachers support each other by working together across the three schemes, ensuring consistency of practice and reducing professional isolation.

The Director of the organisation meets regularly with the visiting teacher team leader and, in a more informal way, with the Visiting Teachers and Educators through playgroups, and professional learning opportunities.

In this example, each level of the organisation is connected and their respective leadership roles are understood. The Director knows the visiting teachers, who know the home-based educators, who know the children and their whānau. The leadership systems in place are mutually supportive of professional growth and development and have children’s learning as the focus.

Another example of leadership for learning comes from the team at Massey Child Care, who participated in the Centres of Innovation programme. While in this programme they explored the question “In what ways does educational leadership, within a community of practice, impact on infants’ and toddlers’ disposition to enquire?”. Their data identified a clear link between learning and leadership.

At the heart of their programme was the way in which leadership systems, including distributed leadership, supported kaiako to work with children.

In their final report “Ako Ngatahi: Teaching and learning together as one”, the kaiako write about how educational leadership, both formal and informal, formed the bridge between the community of practice and the teachers’ work.

Kaiako became aware of the responsibility of leadership and took on leadership actions, especially in curriculum leadership.

The organisational culture supported emergent leadership and built trust. Kaiako were supported to work collaboratively to reflect on and refine their pedagogical practices. The overall outcome enhanced infants’ and toddlers’ learning including their disposition to enquire.

One innovative example of leadership for learning, using a Kaupapa Māori lens, was developed by Te Kōpae Piripono, a Māori immersion service, and a Centre of Innovation.

Te Kōpae Piripono developed a model for fostering leadership for learning which used Kaupapa Māori as an analytical framework. The research project explored their whānau development structure and its own conceptualisation of leadership. Their research question was “at the heart of two fundamental concepts …leadership and whānau… ‘whānau’ is a totally inclusive term. It does not distinguish between management, Kaitiaki (teachers), mātua (parents), or tamariki (children). Whānau development involves the learning and development of every member of their community of learners.”

Te Kōpae Piripono view leadership (or Mana Tangata) in relation to four key responsibilities. Ngā Takohanga e Whā, having responsibility, taking responsibility, sharing responsibility, and being responsible.

The concept of responsibility resonates strongly with this Te Ao Māori perspective of leadership. You might like to think about how you include whānau and children in roles of leadership and responsibility at your service.

To find out more about this report you can access it using the link at the bottom of this slide [slide 21].

In this section of the webinar, we are going to dig a little deeper into what leadership for learning might look like in practice, looking at practical ways you can create an environment that supports leadership for learning.

Leading for learning is about building professional learning communities and teacher practice, putting a spotlight on curriculum and supporting kaiako to be responsive.

Improving outcomes for children is at the forefront of leadership, therefore someone must be responsible for overseeing and coordinating all aspects of the service’s operation including curriculum, teaching, and professional development, to ensure children’s learning remains the primary focus. All decisions should be made with children’s learning at the heart.

The image and bullet points from this slide [slide 23] are taken from “He Pou Tātaki – How ERO reviews early childhood services”. Pou Ārahi which explores how leadership is enacted to enhance positive learning outcomes for children, is one of Ngā Pou Here which make up the review framework. The bullet points on this slide outline the key responsibilities of leaders that contribute to improving outcomes for children, and create a culture of learning.

Take some time to have a look at the priority questions from Ngā Pou Ārahi. You might like to use these when evaluating the effectiveness of leadership for learning at your service in relation to ensuring the full promise of Te Whāriki for all children.

Also consider the evaluation indicators for Pou Ārahi on page 30–31 of the document that clearly demonstrate the role of Pou Ārahi (leaders) in an early childhood setting.

Think about yourself as a leader of learning, in which of these bullet points do you have strengths? What could you strengthen? You might like to pause the recording here and take some time to write this down as an action from this webinar. Looking at the bullet points on this slide [slide 24], where are your strengths? What could you strengthen?

In the Early Childhood curriculum report from 2017, ERO identified that the quality of teamwork impacts on the quality of the learning provided. Trust and professionalism build the foundations of an effective team.

Te Whāriki 2017 talks about trust explicitly in the well-being strand. Trust provides a sense of safety and, when team members feel safe, they are able to take risks and challenge assumptions in themselves and others, an important part of leadership.

Developing trust requires team members be authentic and have high self-awareness. In his book “Five Dysfunctions of a team”, Patrick Lencioni identifies that if members of a team can’t share their past experiences and present thoughts, they will not trust each other enough to honestly discuss future goals for the team.

You might like to use this list as a way to provoke discussion. Kaiako might want to highlight both the strengths of the present team and what they feel needs strengthening.

As we have stressed in this webinar, leadership for learning is firmly focused on children’s learning. One way to promote this focus within teams is to develop a shared vision of what learning is important, putting a critical lens on your localised curriculum.

This may mean initiating robust conversations about teaching and learning with kaiako and/or utilising the new intentional emphasis in Te Whāriki to promote critical inquiry. You might remember back to the first two webinars, “The full promise of Te Whāriki – the rich curriculum”, and “Deciding what matters here”. You might like to pause the recording here to reflect on this question, how do you ensure your philosophy or vision is truly shared or understood by all in the team? So pause the recording here and consider, how do you ensure your philosophy or vision is truly shared or understood by all in the team?

Ngātea Kindergarten, in rural Waikato, operates through a distributed leadership model where all kaiako, support staff, whānau, and children contribute to the unique character and flavour of the kindergarten. Distributed leadership will not work effectively unless all agree to work in this way and share the same vision or philosophy.

The Head Teacher, Lisa, led the creation of this philosophy through a process of robust discussion and debate, unpacking every word to ensure all understood what it means. Their philosophy has become the touchstone for everything they do, they live it.

For all decisions they ask themselves, “how is this action going to support our philosophy for children?” They also review and revise it regularly, every time there’s a new staff member or they feel like something could be slipping, they’ll go through it as a team and identify the areas where they all still agree and areas that need rethinking.

This example demonstrates the importance of strong positional leadership, regularly creating space for kaiako to debate, reflect, and critique.

There is a strong focus on culturally responsive pedagogy in Te Whāriki 2017, for instance, we have spoken in previous webinars about the “new strand statements” and examples of practice within each kaupapa whakahaere which give explicit guidance around practices from a Te Ao Māori perspective.

Te Whāriki 2017 also acknowledges that New Zealand is increasingly multicultural. Te Tiriti o Waitangi is seen to be inclusive of all immigrants to New Zealand, whose welcome comes in the context of this partnership. Te Whāriki asks that kaiako value and support the different cultures represented in their setting. A culturally responsive leader will exhibit an ethic of care, develop cultural awareness in the early childhood service and community, demonstrate and promote inclusive practice, challenge deficit theorising inequitable principles and practices.

You will remember the idea of networked leadership from the Education Council’s Draft Leadership Strategy. As we stated, “Networked leadership” is the interplay between many leaders or a web of leadership.

Professional learning communities, or networked leadership, provide a framework for collaborative and critically reflective teaching practices. They also provide a forum for effective professional learning. Take a look at the quote on this slide [slide 29].

Kaiako need to see themselves as part of a network of leaders, working together for the benefit of children and their whānau, both within early childhood and beyond. Practical ways to achieve this are to belong to a professional body or a kāhui ako. It might also involve stepping outside education to be a member of your local chamber of commerce, church community, or rūnanga.

This slide also reminds us of the need to move beyond “just relationships” with these places to “relationships that enable professional collaboration for equitable opportunities” that we spoke about in the pathways to school and kura webinar.

In the final section of this webinar, we are going to look at how we might encourage leadership for learning in our services by exploring these three bullet points in more depth.

One of the responsibilities of educational leaders is to promote and support the ongoing learning and development of kaiako. A key way to do this is to create space that enables kaiako strengths to shine, rather than doing everything for them.

Although a positional leader has ultimate responsibility, there is a difference between responsibility and control. Responsibility is about stepping up and owning whereas control is about supervision and directing people’s behaviour.

The kaiako responsibilities section in Te Whāriki 2017, on page 59, is a great place to begin conversations with kaiako about how they are taking responsibility for teaching and learning.

The bullet points in this slide [slide 31] are practical ideas for leaders to think about. As a leader of learning, how are you creating the space for kaiako to demonstrate their capabilities?

You will note we have highlighted mentoring and coaching. We are going to discuss these important parts of leadership more in the next slide [slide 32].

An essential element of leadership is to mentor and coach kaiako to develop their leadership capacity. Dr Jan Robertson in her article “The 3 R’s for coaching learning relationships”, identifies reciprocity, relationships, and reflection-on-reality as the basis for professional relationships and coaching about leading.

A coaching relationship is a reciprocal partnership, where each person contributes to the creation of new knowledge and learning. The coach approaches the relationship as a learner and not an all-knower, encouraging kaiako to deeply reflect on their practice.

You can see how the 3 Rs come into play. This interaction implies reciprocity and a relationship. The insights that emerge through that reciprocal relationship are “reflections-on-reality”.

Take a look at the quote on this slide [slide 32]. Goal setting is one of the specific skills needed to support the coaching and mentoring process.

Dr Kate Thornton’s research on leadership has found that professional leaders who want to develop collaborative leadership practices, need to focus on effective mentoring and coaching strategies.

She argues that mentoring is an important strategy for supporting new and aspiring kaiako, as well as experienced leaders. Effective early childhood leaders mentor and coach their colleagues and encourage them to become involved in leadership.

There are some specific skills associated with mentoring and coaching and these need to be learnt and practiced. The bullet points in this slide [slide 33] list some effective mentoring and coaching strategies, particularly when we unpack them further.

For example, when we think about what active listening involves, we need to consider, is this time and place suitable for listening? Are we truly present or thinking about something else? How do we use eye contact, prompts, and paraphrasing? Just as we do with children, the concept of a tōna wa matters, we need to allow time for the person we are mentoring to respond.

Another important aspect of mentoring and coaching is engaging in learning dialogue. Te Whāriki talks about dialogue with parents, whānau, and communities and professional collaboration with others.

The focus for this slide is about building dialogue within your team. This will involve using dialogue skills to support kaiako to think about practice. Once again, these skills will need to be learnt and practised.

On this slide [slide 34] you will see some suggestions for statements and questions you might like to use to encourage team members to probe, inquire, clarify, and compare. These questions may encourage learning dialogue and enable kaiako to reflect-on-reality.

Another method that you might like to use to grow learning dialogue, might be to establish a Pedagogy hui with a range of different services in your local community.

You can share and discuss readings and resources that provoke thinking and challenge assumptions. These may include reading someone whose theories you don’t agree with, critiquing a common practice, watching a Te Whāriki webinar, using the reflective questions from Te Whāriki, or reading articles from Te Whāriki Online.

The more we discuss and understand our professional responsibilities, the better able we are to advocate for early years education.

A recently published ERO insight newsletter for Term 1, 2018 previewed the findings from the national evaluation topic which explores sector awareness of Te Whāriki 2017.

ERO evaluators have posed the questions in this slide to early childhood service leaders. You might find these questions useful to reflect on the progress of the implementation of Te Whāriki 2017 in your service. The link to this newsletter is at the bottom of this slide [slide 35].

As we outlined at the beginning, Leadership for Learning is the last webinar in the Te Whāriki 2017 webinar series.

You might remember this quote from our first webinar. This whole series has been about encouraging kaiako to question, explore, and debate Te Whāriki 2017.

We have discussed in this webinar some ideas about leadership for learning. Think of your own context. We would encourage you to think critically about your existing practices. You might like to choose a bullet point from this list [slide 37] to scrutinise in more depth. How effective are the practices in your service for supporting leadership for learning, and how do you know?

And we’ll finish with our karakia whakamutanga.

Unuhia te pō, te pō whiri mārama

Tomokia te aō, te aō whatu tāngata

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau

Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e!

From confusion comes understanding

From understanding comes unity

We are interwoven, we are interconnected

Together as one!

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou. Ma te wā.

Guest webinar recordings

Infants and Toddlers – guest speaker Professor Carmen Dalli


Pathways to School and Kura – guest speaker Associate Professor Sally Peters


Leadership for Learning – guest speaker Dr Kate Thornton