Learning outcomes contributing to curriculum design
Dr Anne Meade and Lucy Hayes from Daisies Education and Care Centre discuss how they use the learning outcomes in curriculum design.
Anne Meade: 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.
Anne Meade: We do quite longish investigations as part of our curriculum design in Daisies. And when we're working on a more in-depth and comprehensive investigation we will take a look at which goals and learning outcomes might be associated with that. They don't get fixed at that point in time. They're just sitting there as maybes and then there's quite a bit of discussion with following children's interest. Then we'll say that seems to be their own learning goals. So we will focus, we'll zero in, a bit more closely on the learning outcomes or the goals the children seem to be showing us that they're interested in pursuing and we’ll take it forward. And then our documentation will include mention of these.
Lucy Hayes: Our most recent investigation we had a whole centre investigation that was exploring whanaungatanga and that led our oldest group of children and their kaiako literally up a mountain. But right at the beginning of that investigation before we really knew what direction it was going to go I remember, over I think it was two meetings, we looked at what learning outcomes we felt right from the get go were important to explore. And I know recognising and appreciating their own ability to learn was something that we valued from the very beginning and it was something that was threaded right through. And this was eight months of investigation from when we started shorter walks and then the big walk to the top of Tarikākā.
Anne Meade: It really would not have been possible if they weren't supporting each other as a group and that was where the whanaungatanga came into it.
Lucy Hayes: I'm looking back now and actually even just thinking back we could easily have, I mean there's a place in that investigation for pretty much every point there. I'm looking at the contribution page (Te Whāriki, p. 37) but actually we chose to focus on two or three different areas and different learning outcomes through that investigation. I think that's important we could have just gone tick, tick, tick, tick, tick but we didn't, we went deeper.
Anne Meade: You kept coming back to it. What I liked to hear you talk about was the way you were threading quite big words that are actually in Te Whāriki into the conversations with the children. The sort of motivational things that you needed to do for those children to achieve their aspiration of climbing to the top of the mountain, which takes four hours on your feet there and back again. You were using some of the words in Te Whāriki and they love the big words.
Lucy Hayes: They do. We've got four-year-old children who can talk to you about physical and mental resilience because we've used language. We've talked about expressing feelings and how we can contribute to shared goals and how the children can contribute to their learning as a group too. Everybody has a contribution, everybody has something to offer and we have children who can talk about that – their strengths and the strengths that their peers have. And I think that's pretty amazing. But we, as kaiako, gave them the tools, we gave them the language that is reflective of Te Whāriki. That was a choice that we made to expand or extend the children's thinking and their knowledge.
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