The Ministry's revision of Te Whāriki was released on 12 April 2017 with promise of support for the implementation of the new curriculum for all services in early childhood education. Some teachers and services are however feeling that they have not properly been informed about the ways in which they can obtain support for its implementation
Last week in its 22 May 2017 email bulletin, the Ministry formally notified early childhood services that workshops are now available.
Some early childhood services are advising that they were unaware until reading in the bulletin that there is professional development available and are going online to book a workshop to find that all the workshops they could attend in their area have already been booked out and to be left only with the option of watching video - online streaming workshops.
Most services have received, or will soon be receiving, a printed copy/copies of Te Whāriki and are encouraged to attend workshops provided by the CORE Education company in partnership with the Ministry of Education. Click here for the CORE Education workshop timetable or see the Ministry's website,
The workshops provide an overview of Te Whāriki, with group discussions to provoke thought around how the changes will affect their service.
The workshops make frequent reference to the website Te Kete Ipurangi as the Ministry's website for resources and curriculum support (http://tewhariki.tki.org.nz/en/for-kaiako/).
The Ministry of Education have advised that due to increased demand they will be adding more workshops in some areas to allow more service staff, home-based educators and parent volunteers to attend.
Some of the workshops will be live-streamed and accessible via YouTube a week after the workshop has finished.
Attendees will be given resources to take away from the workshops and live-streamers will be emailed PDF copies of the resources. During the live streams, there is opportunity for online chat during the group discussion times with other attendees.
Teachers who are familiar with the original version of Te Whāriki may be concerned about utilising the new version of the document without attending a workshop. However they need not be because as noted in an article for parents on what is Te Whāriki, the principles, strands and goals have not been changed and remain the same.
Key changes are: the separation of the Maori and English versions of Te Whāriki into Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa (The Early Childhood Curriculum) and Te Whāriki a te Kōhanga Reo (The curriculum for children in Kōhanga reo), strong emphasis on the role of the teacher in preparing children for school, and fewer learning outcomes for children from 118 to 20.
Many teachers will be less comfortable using the live stream, and may miss out on professional development for this reason.
While the workshops are free of charge, workshops are either from 6 to 9 pm or 1:30 to 4:30 pm, with only one workshop available on a Saturday.
As many teachers and other educators will opt for workshops that are after hours, services who need to send their staff to workshops in working hours will be left to foot the bill or staff members will be required to use annual or professional development leave to attend the workshops even though the cost has been incurred through the Ministry of Education’s update to the curriculum.
The Ministry of Education advises that “Introductory wānanga for Kōhanga Reo will be communicated through Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust networks” and information further to this appears to be unavailable, limiting training of the māori version of Te Whāriki to teachers who are currently involved with the Trust or employed by a Kōhanga Reo.
Surprisingly, a focus on professional development for Pasifika services and teachers seems to have been overlooked or not readily available, despite the Ministry of Education’s claims that they will be incorporating a stronger focus on Pasifika learners in the updated Te Whāriki, with specific acknowledgement of the “education aspirations of Pasifika peoples”.
Have you missed out on getting a place in a Te Whāriki workshop?
If so, let us know by adding a comment below how many people are at your service, or if you are a reliever or not currently employed (e.g. on parental leave) and have not been able to access a workshop.
If you are interested in this news story you may also be interested in "Bungle over new early childhood curriculum"