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The promise of Te Whāriki (2017): Insights into teachers’ and leaders’ perspectives on teaching, learning and assessment of literacy in the revised curriculum

Claire McLachlan

This article explores early childhood teachers’ and leaders’ early responses to the release of the revised early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education, 2017), with a particular focus on teaching and assessment of literacy. The study involved a convergent mixed-method design. Data were collected via a cross-sectional survey of teachers and key informant interviews with leaders of early childhood services. The focus of both survey and interviews was on the Communication / Mana reo strand, in order to examine how teachers would encourage children to achieve the language and literacy learning outcomes. A review of the policy context of the revised early childhood education curriculum, Te Whāriki, is first explored, followed by a rationale for this study. The mixed-method study design is explained. Findings from key informant interviews and a national survey are presented. Key findings suggest that there is a need to strengthen initial teacher education around how to implement Te Whāriki and that, in particular, pre-service and in-service teachers may need further guidance around literacy pedagogies and appropriate assessment.


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