Kei Tua o te Pae

Kei Tua o te Pae/Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars is a best-practice guide that will help teachers continue to improve the quality of their teaching.

The exemplars are a series of books that will help teachers to understand and strengthen children's learning. It also shows how children, parents and whānau can contribute to this assessment and ongoing learning.

We are making improvements to our Download-to-Print functionality, so if you want a printed copy there are PDF versions available at the bottom of the main cover page.

Learning outcomes in Te Whāriki

Learning dispositions and working theories

In Te Whāriki, learning outcomes are combinations of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Te Whāriki summarises them on pages 44–45, describing them as “more elaborate and useful working theories about themselves [the children] and about the people, places, and things in their [the children’s] lives” and as learning dispositions. These are holistic outcomes that integrate knowledge, skills, and attitudes and also thinking and feeling.

The Hirini Melbourne oriori (lullaby) in Book 1 includes the lines:

"Whāia te māramatanga   
O te hinengaro    
O te wairua     

Seek out the secrets of the
hidden well-spring of your mind
and know the sounds and
dreams of your spirit."

page 2

In Te Wheke, Rangimarie (Rose) Pere says that “Hinengaro refers to the mental, intuitive and ‘feeling’ seat of the emotions. Thinking, knowing, perceiving, remembering, recognizing, feeling, abstracting, generalizing, sensing, responding and reacting are all processes of the Hinengaro – the mind.”3

Learning dispositions contribute to working theories about the self as a learner. Te Whāriki upholds the image of children as confident and competent learners by quoting on page 3 (opposite the imprint page) Margaret Donaldson and her colleagues reminding us of the critical role early childhood plays in helping young children shape an identity of themselves as confident and competent:

"By the time this [early childhood] period is over, children will have formed conceptions of themselves as social beings, as thinkers, and as language learners, and they will have reached certain important decisions about their own abilities and their own worth." 7

Learning dispositions are more complex than abilities.9 Inclination and sensitivity to occasion are added to skills and knowledge to become learning dispositions with three aspects: inclination, sensitivity to occasion, and ability. We can think about these three aspects of a disposition as being ready, being willing, and being able. Being ready (kia tatanga) is where a child demonstrates the general inclination, being willing (kia kaikaha) is demonstrated by the sensitivity to the occasion, and being able (kia matau) includes skills (ona pukenga) and knowledge (matauranga).10 All three aspects are necessary for turning ability into action.