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Dust under the whāriki: Embracing the messiness of curriculum

E. Jayne White

This article examines the early childhood curriculum in action by looking at two oppositional forces that are at play: authoritative discourse (which is perceived as uncontestable) and internally persuasive discourse (which is open for debate). Unless challenged by knowledgeable teachers, authoritative discourse may dominate. When this occurs, there is little place for uncertainty (that is, “dust”)— significant parts of the curriculum may go underground (that is, get swept under the whāriki). In this location they still exist, but are neither valued nor embraced in the public domain and therefore do not have the opportunity to enrich the curriculum whāriki. 

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