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.
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Frameworks for bicultural education – He anga mō te mātauranga ahurea rua
The following is an abridged version of the principles outlined by Glynn and Bishop (pages 4–5):1
Tino rangatiratanga: This principle includes “the right to determine one’s own destiny”. As a result, parents and children are involved in decision-making processes.
Taonga tuku iho: “the treasures from the ancestors, providing a set of principles by which to live our lives”. Māori language, knowledge, culture, and values are normal, valid, and legitimate.
Ako: This principle emphasises reciprocal learning. Teachers and children can “take turns in storying and re-storying their realities, either as individual learners or within a group context”.
Kia piki ake i ngā raruraru o te kāinga: The principle of participation “reaches into Māori homes and brings parents and families into the activities of the school [and early childhood centre]”.
Whānau: “[W]here the establishment of whānau type relationships in the classroom [early childhood setting] is primary, then a pattern of interactions will develop where commitment and connectedness are paramount, and where responsibility for the learning of others is fostered.”
Kaupapa: “Children achieve better when there is a close relationship, in terms of language and culture, between home and school.”
Writing about the metaphors and images we have for education and children, Bishop and Glynn add:
"Simply put, if the imagery we hold of Māori children (or indeed of any children), or of interaction patterns, is one of deficits, then our principles and practices will reflect this, and we will perpetuate the educational crisis for Māori children."
Sue, the head teacher of a kindergarten, notes that in te reo Māori the word “ako” means both to teach and to learn. She writes:
"I think we should be kaiako, because the term “kaiako” captures the teaching and the learning. We don’t just teach, we learn all the time, too. “Kaiako” captures the notion of pedagogy in one word. If we swapped our names from teacher to kaiako, that would be a move towards biculturalism.
I’m interested too in the concept of a poutama [a stepped pattern] as opposed to stages of development. It’s like bringing in another view of learning and teaching – we need to know more about this and think more about it."
Sue’s comments reflect her understanding that the very process of moving towards biculturalism is enriching for both Māori and Pākehā.