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.

Links to Te Whāriki – Ngā hononga ki Te Whāriki

Te Whāriki  emphasises the role of responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places, and things in children’s learning. Inclusive practice ensures that children with special learning needs are included in all of the relationships within the learning community to which they belong. The four principles of Te Whāriki apply to them as they do to all children.

Empowerment - Whakamana

Inclusive assessment enhances all children’s sense of themselves as capable people and competent learners. It is essential that children with special learning needs feel that their achievements are valued and that their view is seen and heard and makes a difference. A Māori early intervention teacher comments:

"We see the child, not the disability. That is wairua, Mana Atua."

Dunn and Barry, 2004, page 42

Holistic Development - Kotahitanga

Inclusive assessment reflects the holistic way that children learn. It attends to a complex picture that not only records skills but also considers the development of “who we are and where we belong” (Fasoli, 2003, page 40). In reviewing curricula and assessment for children with disabilities, Mary Beth Bruder (1997) advocates for new generation assessments to focus on a “holistic integration of a child’s strengths and abilities” (page 536).

Family and community - Whānau tangata

Assessments make a number of assumptions about goals and pathways. Different cultural views may be excluded if relationships between teachers and family or whānau are not reciprocal and responsive. Face-to-face meetings (kanohi ki te kanohi) develop such relationships.

Inclusive assessment involves families and whānau – their values are recognised and responded to in the picture of their child (Ministry of Education, 2000, page 28). When asked directly if Māori values were reflected in her child’s assessments, Jarvis’ mother said that Māori values were different, noting for instance a lost opportunity to consider a tuakana–teina approach to providing support for acceptable behaviour (Dunn and Barry, 2004, page 41).

Relationships - Ngā hononga

Inclusive assessment reflects the many relationships that are key to children’s learning and development. Anne Smith (1999), describing the sociocultural educational philosophy of Te Whāriki, writes: “Children, even very young children, are active co-constructors of their own knowledge and understanding, rather than passive recipients of environmental events” (page 7). The exemplars in this book illustrate that children with early intervention support are active and enthusiastic learners who forge relationships with peers, teachers, other adults, and the environment.