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Competent Children, Competent Learners

Project Leader(s): 

This longitudinal NZCER project has tracked the development of a group of learners from when they were in early childhood education, through school and into adulthood. Over the years, its findings have been well used in policy and practice.

The project participants are now around 25 years old, and we are currently asking them about their learning in study and work and other activities, their work experiences, and about other aspects of their lives. This will provide a useful picture of:

  • learning approaches in general, and learning opportunities in different kinds of work for 25 year olds
  • the learning and work pathways that diverse people have taken since their earlier school and home experiences and interests
  • how the different aspects of 25-year-old lives fit together
  • how science subjects at school or in tertiary institutions translate into work opportunities and experiences
  • how those who have not followed a straightforward path from schooling are faring in today’s world.

This project is currently funded through NZCER’s Government Grant. 

Blogs

Former NZCER senior researcher Ally Bull has drawn on the age-25 data in a series of blogs discussing the place of science in a future-focused school curriculum. You can read them here.

Reports and papers

Listed below are the many reports and papers from this study.

View additional reports that have been released by the Ministry of Education: Competent Children, Competent Learners.

Project funded by the Ministry of Education and by the Purchase Agreement with the Ministry of Education.

Competent Children, Competent Learners project publications:

Year published Title Publication type
2011 Competent Learners @ 20: summary of key findings Research summary
2011 Exploring connections between engagement and student voice Conference presentation
2011 Tracks to Adulthood Post-school experiences of 21-year-olds: The qualitative component of Competent Learners @ 20 Research report
2011 Forming Adulthood Past, Present and Future in the Experiences and Views of the Competent Learners @ 20 Research report
2009 Competent Learners on the Edge of Adulthood: A summary of key findings from the Competent Learners @ 16 project Research report
2008 Student Perspectives on Leaving School, Pathways, and Careers (A Report from the Competent Learners Project) Research report
2007 Early childhood education and young adult competencies at age 16. Technical report 2 from the age-16 phase of the longitudinal Competent Children, Competent Learners study Research report
2007 Continuing contribution of early childhood education to young people's competency levels Research report
2007 Competent Learners @ 16: Competency levels and development over time - Technical report Research report
2007 Competent Learners @ 16: Competency levels and development over time Research report
2006 What matters in the transition to secondary level? Results from NZCER longitudinal research Journal article
2006 Technical report with Growing independence: Competent learners @14 Research report
2006 Growing Independence: Competent Learners @ 14 Research report
2006 Growing independence : A summary of key findings from the Competent Learners @14 project Research report
2006 Competencies at age 14 and competency development for the Competent Children, Competent Learners study sample Research report
2006 Contributions of early childhood education to age-14 performance: Evidence from the longitudinal Competent Children, Competent Learners study Research report
2006 Completely different or a bigger version? Experiences and effects of the transition to secondary school: Evidence from the Competent Children, Competent Learners project Research report
2005 Leisure activities and adolescent engagement in school learning Conference paper
2004 Twelve Years Old and Competent Book
2004 Key facts summary of Competent Children at 12 report, 2004 Research report
2004 Competent children at 12 Research report
2003 Longitudinal research - the Competent Children project Book chapter
2003 Long-term contribution of early childhood education to children's performance - evidence from New Zealand Journal article
2003 Beating the odds: Factors which can make a difference for New Zealand children in low-income homes Conference paper
2001 Ten years old and competent: The fourth stage of the Competent Children project - a summary of the main findings Book
2001 Early childhood education: An enduring legacy Journal article
2001 Making sense: relations between literacy, television and computer use Conference paper
2001 Competent children: Findings and issues from the first 7 years Conference paper
2001 Competent children at 10: Families, early education, and schools Research report
1999 Eight years old and competent: The third stage of the Competent Children project - a summary of the main findings Book
1999 Competent children at 8: Families, early education, and schools Research report
1998 Six years old and competent Book
1998 Competent children at 6: Families, early education, and schools Research report
1997 Spreading their wings: Seven hundred and sixty-seven parents talk about their children's home and early childhood experiences Research report
1996 Five years old and competent Book
1996 Competent children at 5: Families and early education Research report
1995 Competent children and their teachers: Learning about trajectories and other schemas Research report
1993 Competent children: Influences of early childhood experiences - pilot study report Research report