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An "open letter to teachers"

Janette Kelly

Teaching is a highly complex and political endeavour, and as teachers we need to be courageous as we support children to make sense of the increasingly complex and diverse societies that we live in. My doctoral research highlighted a number of issues related to teachers and curriculum. Te Whāriki, the Aotearoa New Zealand early childhood curriculum is the framework for critical socially relevant curriculum, and this letter speaks to teachers whose daily work involves recognising and responding to children’s “working theories” about the social world. I argue that as teachers we need to be reflective and reflexive, and think critically about curriculum planning to go beyond children’s surface interests and focus on deeper issues like fairness, justice, anti-racism and our shared humanity—issues of concern to society as a whole. As teachers we also need to involve families in the conversations that they are part of, and privy to, so together we can create a fairer, more just society for all who call Aotearoa New Zealand home.

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