Kuputaka | Glossary

This glossary includes English terms used in Te Whāriki and the Māori and Pacific glossary from Te Whāriki.

The definitions are tuned to the specific context of Te Whāriki.

Select a letter to jump to that section of the glossary.

A B C D E F H I K L M N P R S T W


A

Agency

A learner’s sense of control in a given situation. A learner with agency feels capable of influencing their own learning and acting to accomplish their goals.

‘Aiga

(Samoan) whānau or extended family

Āhuatanga ako

Circumstances of learning

Aroha

Love, compassion, empathy, affection

Aspiration

Hopes and goals for learning and the future held by whānau, learners, and kaiako.

Ā tōna wā

In their own time.

Atua Māori

Māori gods

Autonomy

The freedom to make choices and have responsibility. Autonomous teaching and learning approaches are those that value children's rights, aspirations, interests, and ambitions.

Awa

River

B

Bicultural

In the context of Te Whāriki, bicultural particularly refers to Māori and non-Māori, as enshrined in Te Tiriti o Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document.

C

Complex syntax

The arrangement of words and phrases to form increasingly complex sentences.

Critical theories

Theories that critique and challenge dominant world views with the aim of creating a fairer, more inclusive, and equitable society.

Culturally located

The cultural contexts and communities learners and kaiako participate in that influence their understanding about learning and identity.

Culturally responsive

Teaching responses that enable learners to connect new learning to their own prior knowledge, identity, and cultural experiences.

Curriculum design

The process of deciding and implementing learning, assessment, and evaluation priorities, using Te Whāriki as a foundation.

D

Digitally mediated contexts

Experiences and activities that involve the use of various digital technologies.

Diversity

The range of unique characteristics within any group, including their strengths, skills, gender, ethnicity, languages, cultural backgrounds, and abilities or disabilities.

Domain knowledge

Knowledge associated with a particular subject or topic. For example, science, mathematics, or art.

E

Equity

The principle of ensuring that each learner has what they need to progress and succeed. This often means providing specialised, additional resources for learners or groups of learners that otherwise would be disadvantaged or excluded.

F

Funds of knowledge

The knowledge and expertise that learners and their whānau bring to the early learning service because of their roles within their whānau, communities, and culture.

H

Hapū

Tribe or subtribe

Harakeke

Flax

Hinengaro

Intellectual, the mind

Hūmārie

Humility, gentleness, peacefulness

I

Intentional teaching

To teach with thoughtfulness and purpose, with the goal of facilitating meaningful learning and development. Intentional teachers offer a combination of teacher-initiated, child-initiated, and peer-mediated learning experiences.

Internal evaluation

The process in which kaiako systematically find out what is working or not working in their service in order to determine what improvements need to be made.

Inquiry (kaiako)

An ongoing, cyclical process that underpins effective learning as kaiako inquire into the impact of their teaching on their learner's learning.

Iwi

Extended kinship group, tribe, people

K

Kaiako

Teacher(s), educators, and other adults, including parents in parent-led services who have a responsibility for the care and education of children in an early childhood education setting. In settings where parents have collective responsibility for the curriculum, it is understood that kaiako will also be parents and whānau. This term conveys the reciprocal nature of teaching and learning, which is valued in Te Whāriki.

Kaitiaki

Trustee, custodian, guardian, protector

Kaitiakitanga

Guardianship, environmental stewardship

Karakia

Prayer, ritual chant, incantation

Kaupapa Māori

A Māori approach that assumes the normalcy of being Māori – language, customs, knowledge, principles, ideology, agenda.

Key competencies

Five capabilities for living and lifelong learning outlined in The New Zealand Curriculum, the curriculum for teaching and learning in English-medium schools. The capabilities are: thinking, using language symbols and texts, managing self, relating to others, and participating and contributing.

Kōhanga reo

Māori-medium early childhood service with a focus on retaining and revitalising language and culture.

Kōrero

Conversation, chat, story, news, discussion

Kura

School

L

Learner identity

How a child views themselves as a learner. This evolves over time and can have a positive or negative effect on learning.

Learning dispositions

Characteristics and attitudes that influence a learner's responses in learning situations. Dispositions can either facilitate or hinder learning.

Learning trajectories

The progression of children's learning over time, which, while not being perfectly linear, follows a path towards greater complexity over time.

Local curriculum

The local weaving of Te Whāriki including the principles, strands, goals, and learning outcomes that reflect the aspirations, priorities, and valued learning of an early learning service's people and community.

M

Mana

The power of being, authority, prestige, spiritual power, authority, status, and control

Mana atuatanga

Uniqueness and spiritual connectedness

Manaaki

Show respect, generosity, hospitality, and care for others.

Manaakitanga

The process of showing respect, generosity, hospitality, care for others.

Marae

The complex of buildings and land associated with a pan-tribal group, whānau, hapū, or iwi.

Maunga

Mountain

Mauri

Vital essence, life principle, essential quality

Metacognition

A learner's understanding of, and ability to manage, how they think and learn.

Moana

Sea

Mokopuna

Grandchild; in the context of Te Whariki, mokopuna expresses intergenerational connectedness

N

Noa

Ordinary, unrestricted

Numeric symbols

The various shapes and words used to represent numbers.

P

Papatūānuku

Earth, Earth mother

Pedagogy

The means by which kaiako influence, support, and provide guidance for children’s learning and development. Pedagogy is supported by theoretical knowledge, understanding of Te Whāriki, values, and practice.

Pēpi

Baby

Physical literacy

The skills, knowledge, and attitudes that give learners confidence and motivation to be active.

Play-based curriculum

An approach to curriculum design where learners are encouraged to explore, experiment, discover, and solve problems in imaginative and playful ways.

Proactive strategies

Teaching strategies that anticipate possibilities, outcomes, and issues rather than waiting for something to happen and then reacting. Intentional kaiako will use proactive strategies.

Provocations

The intentional actions and interactions kaiako use to stimulate learner interest, ideas, and participation.

R

Raranga

Weaving

Reflection

The use of evidence, critical inquiry, and problem-solving to inform changes to practice aimed at improvement.

Relational practices/pedagogy

Teaching strategies that prioritise a sense of security and emotional wellbeing.

Rangatiratanga

Chiefly authority, right to exercise authority, sovereignty, autonomy, leadership, control, independence.

S

Self regulation

The ability to have appropriate control over emotional responses and showing resilience in response to disappointment or conflict.

Sociocultural

The influence of relationships and context on learning and development.

Split-screen pedagogy

Teaching and learning that gives attention to both the content and the processes.

T

Tangata whenua

People of the land (literal), descendants of the first people to settle Aotearoa New Zealand, indigenous people (used of Māori), person or people with customary authority over an area that may include land and sea. This authority is held by first settlement of an area or by succeeding to an area through active occupation and negotiation with the first peoples.

Taonga

A highly prized object or possession; includes socially or culturally valued resources, both tangible and intangible.

Tapu

Sacred, set apart, prohibited.

Te Aho Matua

Te Aho Matua o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori, the document that sets out the principles by which kura kaupapa Māori operate.

Te ao

The world.

Te ao Māori

The Māori world.

Te ao mārama

The world of life and light, this world, Earth.

Te ira tangata

The human essence.

Te Kore

The realm of potential being, The Void.

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

The curriculum for Māori-medium schools. Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa

The Pacific Ocean.

Te pō

The realm of darkness, the underworld, night.

Te reo (Māori)

The Māori language.

Te taha wairua

The spiritual dimension.

Te tino uaratanga

Essential values.

Tikanga Māori

Māori ways of doing, including practices, customs, and rituals.

Tinana

Physical, body.

Tīpuna/Tūpuna

Ancestors, forebears.

Tuakana–teina

Senior and junior siblings, used where an older or more knowledgeable child supports the learning of a younger or less knowledgeable child.

Tū tangata

Stand firm.

W

Waiata

Songs, chants.

Wairua

Spirit.

Wānanga

Educational seminar, institution or forum; (act of wānanga) shared deliberations, discussions, shared learning.

Whakahī

Pride.

Whakapapa

Lineage, genealogy, ancestry.

Whakatoi

Daring.

Whānau

Extended family, multigenerational group of relatives or group of people who work together on and for a common cause.

Whanaungatanga

Kinship, sense of whānau connection – a relationship through shared experiences and working together that provides people with a sense of belonging.

Whatumanawa

Heart, mind, seat of emotions.

Whenua

Land.

Working theories

Ideas and understandings that guide all human interactions. Children's working theories evolve and become more sophisticated through learning processes.