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The “child’s questions”: Programme evaluation with Te Whāriki using “Teaching Stories"

Val Podmore, Helen May, and Margaret Carr

One challenge posed by the development of Te Whāriki is to ensure that assessment and evaluation processes associated with its implementation are in the interests of children and their families. The approach we developed and trialled is closely connected to the strands of Te Whāriki, and starts with the “child’s questions”—one for each strand. In their simplified form, the questions are: Do you know me? (Belonging); Can I trust you? (Well-being); Do you let me fly? (Exploration); Do you hear me? (Communication); Is this place fair for us? (Contribution). These questions are based on detailed observations over time of young children in early childhood centres, adults, and contexts, and they reflect the research literature on children’s learning and development. Practitioners found that action research based on these questions was an appropriate process for self-evaluation.

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