Education Minister Hekia Parata has today released the update of New Zealand’s world leading early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki.
“First published in 1996, Te Whāriki is highly regarded here and internationally as an empowering framework for early learning,” says Ms Parata.
“New Zealand children start their education in quality settings, guided by a curriculum that supports teachers, parents and whānau to have a good understanding of their progress.”
The update to Te Whāriki better reflects the context of children’s lives in the 21st century, as well as changes in early learning theory and practice. Its unique bicultural framework has been strengthened with updated guidance for teachers, kaiako and educators who support young children’s learning across New Zealand’s diverse early learning services.
“Children learn a huge amount in their first five years of life. They deserve the best education we can give them to ensure they grow up as competent and confident learners, strong in their identity, language and culture.
“Te Whāriki emphasises our bicultural foundation, our multicultural present and the shared future we are creating.”
The updated curriculum has fewer learning outcomes – reduced from 118 to 20 - and better links early learning to the schooling curriculum.
The update also makes explicit the unique curriculum pathway for children in kōhanga reo - Te Whāriki a te Kōhanga Reo. This indigenous curriculum complements the pathway for children in early childhood education services.
The Ministry of Education has committed $4 million dollars to professional learning and development for teachers, educators and kaiako who will lead on the updated curriculum. Support will include workshops, webinars and the appointment of local curriculum champions.
“Our early childhood curriculum has shaped early learning in New Zealand for the past 20 years and is world-leading. This update will ensure it remains a valued and empowering tool for the future.” Ms Parata says
The update of Te Whāriki is part of a wider change across the education system to support children’s personalised learning pathways within Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako.