ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
National membership 

Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal


Generic or specific? Deciphering the New Zealand approach to professional standards for early childhood

Full reference
Zhang, Q. (2018). Generic or specific? Deciphering the New Zealand approach to professional standards for early childhood. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 21(2), 59-70. Retrieved from

PDF copies of articles are available for personal use - go to the ChildForum Store page 


Original Research Paper
© ChildForum

NZ Int Reseach ECE journal pic

Generic or specific? Deciphering the New Zealand approach to professional standards for early childhood

Qilong Zhang
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, NZ


Internationally, there exist two disparate and contested approaches to professional standards for early childhood teachers: relying solely on generic professional standards that are shared across early childhood, primary, and secondary school sectors, and introducing standards specifically for early childhood teachers. Given the different effect of the two approaches and the inconsistency between jurisdictions in their approach, it is pertinent to examine why New Zealand (NZ) has chosen the generic approach. Data are collected through ‘dilemmatic expert interview’ with 15 experts from eight early childhood initial teacher education providers across NZ. Analysis of the data generates seven themes concerning reasons for the NZ approach: commonality, applicability, autonomy, remediableness, pay parity, status parity, and policy direction. These themes mirror the complex historical, social, and political roots of the generic approach that has long been preferred in NZ regardless of its limitations.

Key words: professional standards, early childhood teacher, New Zealand.


Oops ... you are not logged on. Don't miss out!  

To keep reading, you need to login Smile

Not a member?  Look below ↓ for the click here button below ↓   It will take you to the membership page to choose your own unique username and password.

Are you interested in joining us? 
Become a member and also gain access to our significant online knowledge base 

Membership Options


Who is this for?
Ideal for parents, students, teachers, researchers, teacher educators, policy analysts and children's specialists.
$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
or for students $60.00 short-term 6 month access.
Your own personal username and password.

ECE Service 
Group Membership

Who is this for?
A service that has licenced one or more ECE services with the Ministry of Education (including home-based, parent, and teacher-led).
Starting from $198.00. Provides 12 months membership from the date of joining.
A shared username and password for your service group.

NZ-International Research in
ECE Journal Subscription

Who is this for?
Libraries, universities, polytechnics and organisations wishing to have access to the NZIRECE published journal and its articles.
$150.00 annual renewable in November each year.
A username and password or IP address access.