Kei Tua o te Pae

Kei Tua o te Pae/Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars is a best practice guide that will help teachers continue to improve the quality of their teaching.

The exemplars are a series of books that will help teachers to understand and strengthen children's learning. It also shows how children, parents and whānau can contribute to this assessment and ongoing learning.

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Book 10: An introduction to books 11-15 – He whakamōhiotanga ki ngā pukapuka 11-15

Introduction - He kupu whakataki

The strands of Te Whāriki

"This curriculum is founded on the following aspirations for children: to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society." 1

This book introduces the section of Kei Tua o te Pae/Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars that focuses on the five strands of Te Whāriki. This section is made up of five books that explore and discuss assessment for learning, taking the lens of each strand as the front frame for analysis while at the same time recognising the integrated nature of the strands. Each strand describes an area of learning and development that is “woven into the daily programme of the early childhood setting” (Te Whāriki, page 44).

The five strands of Te Whāriki and their associated exemplar books are:

Belonging - Mana whenua (Book 11)

Ways of being that enable a learner to make connections with contexts and communities beyond the early childhood setting and that enable the learner to find the early childhood setting an interesting place to be.

Well-being - Mana atua (Book 12)

Experiences that provide the foundations of wellbeing and trust so that a learner is enabled to “read” a learning environment and to be emotionally engaged and intellectually involved.

Exploration - Mana aotūroa (Book 13)

Ways of actively exploring and responding to challenges and conceptual frames from a range of world views that help a learner make sense of the world.

Communication - Mana reo (Book 14)

Modes of expression for confidently communicating understandings, feelings, and ideas.

Contribution - Mana tangata (Book 15)

Relationships with people who help a learner negotiate meaning, providing alternative perspectives and ways to collaborate.

The strands in te reo Māori represent five realms of mana. Referring to the strands as “achievement aims”, Tilly Reedy commented that these realms of mana ensured:

"that the learner is empowered in every possible way. The main achievement occurs in the development of the child’s mana. The child is nurtured in the knowledge that they are loved and respected; that their physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional strength will build mana, influence, and control; that having mana is the enabling and empowering tool to controlling their own destiny." 2

The five strand books focus on assessment for learning with these five enabling and empowering realms of mana in mind. There is a connection here to the curriculum principle of Whakamana or Empowerment in Te Whāriki (page 14). The curriculum emphasises the role of socially and culturally mediated learning and of reciprocal and responsive relationships between people, places, and things (Te Whāriki, page 9). Children are learning to recognise, respect, relate to, orchestrate, and reshape these mediating and enabling resources.

The parallel enabling resources in the English version can be explained further as:

  • Belonging: ways of being that enable a learner to make connections with contexts and communities beyond the early childhood setting and that enable the learner to find the early childhood setting an interesting place to be;
  • Well-being: experiences that provide the foundation of well-being and trust so that a learner is enabled to “read” a learning environment and to be emotionally engaged and intellectually involved;
  • Exploration: ways of actively exploring and responding to challenges and conceptual frames from a range of world views that help a learner make sense of the world;
  • Communication: modes of expression for confidently communicating understandings, feelings, and ideas;
  • Contribution: relationships with people who help a learner negotiate meaning, providing alternative perspectives and ways to collaborate.

In this section