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Riding the Waves: Innovation in Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education Centres of Innovation (COIs) were announced in 2002 as part of the 10-year plan for early childhood education, Pathways to the Future/Ngā Huarahi Arataki.

COIs illuminate innovation in the New Zealand early childhood education scene. Since 2003, the practitioner researchers in COIs have produced dozens of articles about their innovation and research, and talked to thousands of parents, whānau and educators, at home and overseas. Through their dissemination activities, COIs provoke thought and debate about innovative approaches to learning and teaching, and add research knowledge about early childhood and kaupapa Māori education.

Riding the Waves is about the processes of becoming a practitioner researcher. It also helps answer the question: What is a COI? Using their own words, COIs describe how early childhood teachers, educators and kaimahi involved in the programme have used action research to advance reflection and learning and teaching in their centres. They outline how they carried out research projects, and share some of the benefits that have resulted for children, parents, whānau, teachers and educators. Stories about how transformations came from the collaborative partnerships between COI practitioner researchers and academic researchers are shared. Dissemination “infectiousness” is explored.