Central to our model is our desire to enhance pedagogical and curriculum leadership. The aspirational statement for children, and the four principles of Te Whāriki provide a foundation for culturally competent care and education. The principle Family and community – Whānau tangata asserts that:
"The well-being of children is interdependent with the well-being and culture of: adults in the early childhood setting; whānau/families; and local communities and neighbourhoods. Children’s learning and development are fostered if the well-being of their family and community is supported; if their family, culture, knowledge and community are respected; and if there is strong connection and consistency among all aspects of the child’s world…"1
Teachers play a crucial role in strengthening language, culture and identity and building on the ‘funds of knowledge” that children and their families bring to the setting.
We believe it is very important for the success of Professional Development to take account of the Best Evidence Synthesis (BES) Characteristics of Effective Professional Development, linked to Enhanced Pedagogy and Children’s Learning in Early Childhood Settings. We have always been committed to integrating these principles into our processes of Professional Development. We believe it will be critical to the success of this work to ensure that the plans developed for a target community are sensitively negotiated with all the settings involved to ensure ownership of the Professional Development.
1 New Zealand Ministry of Education (1996) Te Whariki. He Whariki Matauranga mo nga Mokopuna o Aotearoa. Wellington: Learning Media, p.42.