Assessment in practice using Te Whāriki
In this video Lucy Hayes and Dr Anne Meade discuss their approach to assessment in practice using Te Whāriki.
Anne Meade: Well I'm Anne Meade and I'm one of the co-founders, with my daughter, we established Daisies ten years ago and I'm still actively involved in Daisies not as a teacher but in the education leadership team.
Lucy Hayes: And I'm Lucy Hayes and I am an education leader and kaiako at Daisies. Okay let's talk about the way we use the curriculum at Daisies.
Anne Meade: Well we use it with the children. We use it often with the team either in the planning meetings that we have in the small teams or at team hui where everybody comes together. It's always woven into what we do at wānanga. It's there in the planning. It's there in the teacher’s thinking through, “What am I doing here and what is my job here at the moment?” So it's used in investigations but it's also used when we sometimes just go around the circle of kaiako at team hui and say, “let's talk about the children at the moment.” Te Whāriki, the goals, and the learning outcomes will come into those discussions about individual children.
Lucy Hayes: I was going to say we use all aspects of the curriculum too. So we go beyond the learning outcomes and we make a choice to tap into the red section, for example, the kaiako responsibilities in assessment, and using the whakataukī within the curriculum in our planning too.
Anne Meade: We have weekly meetings, or fortnightly at least, in small groups and that's when we design the intentional teaching part of the curriculum. But of course the curriculum is much bigger than that. So we're needing to be conscious of the learning outcomes during the other parts of the day and the programme.
Lucy Hayes: Looking at our planning folder we use the whakataukī here which prompted us at the beginning of that particular session. We go beyond using learning outcomes in our planning and use the whakataukī as well. This has guided our intentional teaching on the learning outcomes and what we hope to achieve with the children. But after that we also use the learning outcomes to assess children's play. We also use our knowledge and we jump on the back of the strong relationships that we have with these children to enable us to assess what they might be exploring and what they might be learning. And I think that is something for me as a kaiako is that it's okay to wonder. We don't know all the time what a child is learning and we can more than guess but we use the knowledge we have of these children and we wonder about what they might be exploring or we can make links between different play experiences that they are engaged in and from there we can assess what they might be learning about too.
Anne Meade: But you need to just be watching children at play for a while and they are starting to give you ideas and the patterns of their play and what they might be thinking about and then the kaiako might pick up and say all right we can take that further and extend their thinking. So that's quite intentional and we’ll maybe go back then to Te Whāriki, the words of Te Whāriki, and see whether that helps us or we might actually be bringing some of our own learning outcomes in for ourselves. The 20 is wonderful to work with, it is much more manageable but I have to say that the team at Daisies produces more than the 20 when we've been observing the children at play.
Lucy Hayes: I think anyone that is using the learning outcomes as a checklist, I would wonder how well they actually know the child that they're assessing because there's so much value in stopping what you're doing, sitting down and just having a conversation with children – whether they're four-and-a-half-years-old or actually whether they're one – the relationship and the knowledge that you gain from something as simple as a conversation, you can't do much better really.
Anne Meade: I think the kaiako at Daisies actually are carrying in their heads the goals and the learning outcomes so they don't need to go to a checklist. So that they can pick it up when they're having the conversations or when they're observing groups at play or whatever.
Lucy Hayes: The relationships that we have allow us to use the curriculum as a whole and the learning outcomes to assess children’s learning because we know them well.
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