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Competent Learners

Project Leader(s): 

This longitudinal NZCER project has tracked the development of a group of learners from when they were in early childhood education, through school and into adulthood. Over the years, its findings have been well used in policy and practice.
The final phase of the project returned to the cohort when they were 26. Two reports from this phase are now available (see below), with a third report coming in late 2019.

Latest reports: Competent Learners @ 26

The Competent Learners study has followed a cohort of young New Zealanders from their final months in early childhood education to age 26. Twin reports just released give valuable insights into the roles of learning, work, health and relationships in their lives. Most were in paid work. Sixty percent were in relationships, and 21% of the women had a child. Friendships were important, and many of their closest friends were from school. Informal activities were more common than formal activities. “We found some differences related to education levels and income in how young people spend their time and what matters to them, but more differences related to gender” said Dr Cathy Wylie, the study leader.

Key findings and full reports

Reports and papers

Listed below are the many reports and papers from this study. The project has been funded by the Ministry of Education, and through Te Pae Tawhiti, NZCER’s Government Grant.

Reports from age 5 to age 20 are also released by the Ministry of Education: Competent Children, Competent Learners.

 

Competent Learners project publications:

Year published Title Publication type
2019 Shaping adulthood: Relationships, values, and experiences of the Competent Learners @ 26 Research report
2019 Pathway, labour market experiences, and learning at work and beyond at age 26 Research report
2019 Competent Learners @ 26: Summary of key findings Research summary
2011 Competent Learners @ 20: summary of key findings Research summary
2011 Exploring connections between engagement and student voice Conference presentation
2011 Tracks to Adulthood Post-school experiences of 21-year-olds: The qualitative component of Competent Learners @ 20 Research report
2011 Forming Adulthood Past, Present and Future in the Experiences and Views of the Competent Learners @ 20 Research report
2009 Competent Learners on the Edge of Adulthood: A summary of key findings from the Competent Learners @ 16 project Research report
2008 Student Perspectives on Leaving School, Pathways, and Careers (A Report from the Competent Learners Project) Research report
2007 Early childhood education and young adult competencies at age 16. Technical report 2 from the age-16 phase of the longitudinal Competent Children, Competent Learners study Research report
2007 Continuing contribution of early childhood education to young people's competency levels Research report
2007 Competent Learners @ 16: Competency levels and development over time - Technical report Research report
2007 Competent Learners @ 16: Competency levels and development over time Research report
2006 What matters in the transition to secondary level? Results from NZCER longitudinal research Journal article
2006 Technical report with Growing independence: Competent learners @14 Research report
2006 Growing Independence: Competent Learners @ 14 Research report
2006 Growing independence : A summary of key findings from the Competent Learners @14 project Research report
2006 Competencies at age 14 and competency development for the Competent Children, Competent Learners study sample Research report
2006 Contributions of early childhood education to age-14 performance: Evidence from the longitudinal Competent Children, Competent Learners study Research report
2006 Completely different or a bigger version? Experiences and effects of the transition to secondary school: Evidence from the Competent Children, Competent Learners project Research report
2005 Leisure activities and adolescent engagement in school learning Conference paper
2004 Twelve Years Old and Competent Book
2004 Key facts summary of Competent Children at 12 report, 2004 Research report
2004 Competent children at 12 Research report
2003 Longitudinal research - the Competent Children project Book chapter
2003 Long-term contribution of early childhood education to children's performance - evidence from New Zealand Journal article
2003 Beating the odds: Factors which can make a difference for New Zealand children in low-income homes Conference paper
2001 Ten years old and competent: The fourth stage of the Competent Children project - a summary of the main findings Book
2001 Early childhood education: An enduring legacy Journal article
2001 Making sense: relations between literacy, television and computer use Conference paper
2001 Competent children: Findings and issues from the first 7 years Conference paper
2001 Competent children at 10: Families, early education, and schools Research report
1999 Eight years old and competent: The third stage of the Competent Children project - a summary of the main findings Book
1999 Competent children at 8: Families, early education, and schools Research report
1998 Six years old and competent Book
1998 Competent children at 6: Families, early education, and schools Research report
1997 Spreading their wings: Seven hundred and sixty-seven parents talk about their children's home and early childhood experiences Research report
1996 Five years old and competent Book
1996 Competent children at 5: Families and early education Research report
1995 Competent children and their teachers: Learning about trajectories and other schemas Research report
1993 Competent children: Influences of early childhood experiences - pilot study report Research report