New Zealand early childhood curriculum: The politics of collaboration

Sandy Farquhar
2015 Pedagogický Časopis  
The New Zealand early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education [MoE],1996), is frequently hailed as a community inspired curriculum, praised nationally and internationally for its collaborative development, emancipatory spirit and bicultural approach. In its best form community can be collaborative, consultative, democratic, responsive and inclusive. But community and collaboration can also be about exclusion, alienation and loss. This paper engages with Te Whāriki as a
more » ... riki as a contestable political document. It explores this much acclaimed early childhood curriculum within a politics of community, collaboration and control. Driving the direction of the paper is a call for a revitalised understanding of curriculum as practices of freedom, raising issues of how to work with difference and complexity in a democratic and ethical manner. The paper concludes that although official curriculum is unavoidably about control, there is a world of difference in the ways such control might be exercised. The real curriculum exists where teachers are working with children - it is in the everyday micro-practices that impacts are felt and freedoms played out.
doi:10.1515/jped-2015-0013 fatcat:3pj3a2m6a5dwzm7vuyoluy2g6q