Ngā mokopuna kei te hāereere: Becoming in Aotearoa Curriculum – The First 1000 Days

Part of the Policy and Pedagogy with Under-three Year Olds: Cross-disciplinary Insights and Innovations book series (POPED, volume 2)


New Zealand was the first country in the world to locate under 3-year-olds in curriculum (White EJ, Mika C, Coming of age? Infants and toddlers In: ECE, Nuttall J (eds) Weaving Te Whāriki: Aotearoa New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum document in theory and practice. NZCER Press, Wellington, pp 93–114, 2013). The positioning of under 3-year-olds as ngā mokopuna kei te hāereere in the founding document (Ministry of Education, Te Whāriki: He whāriki matauranga mo nga mokopuna o Aotearoa: early childhood curriculum. Learning Media, Wellington, p 20, 1996) foregrounds notions of movement rather than any static developmental premise or goal. In this chapter we deliberately wield a theoretical lens to explore this and related concepts in contemplation of bicultural understandings of becoming. We will suggest a biculturally inspired orientation towards very young children as fellow world travellers who are mysterious explorers in their collective learning journey, as evident in the 1996 and 2017 curriculum texts. In the following chapter, we sometimes speak of the collective nature of the two – Māori and English – versions of the Te Whāriki document, but we also refer to them specifically when necessary. Implications for adults who seek to understand their worlds are examined in consideration of related concepts concerning Papatūānuku (Mother Earth), whakapapa (to layer broader meaning) and mauri (life force) which, together, orient towards the connected, holistic nature of becoming as a reconstituted phenomenon of uncertainty, bringing with it some serious implications for teachers of the very young.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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