213 – Curriculum innovation across cultural contexts for teachers, children, and families in Aotearoa New Zealand

Presentation - ECV2022-213

Curriculum innovation across cultural contexts for teachers, children, and families in Aotearoa New Zealand

Joanne Alderson, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand (joanne.alderson@openpolytechnic.ac.nz)
Fi McAlevey, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand (Fi.McAlevey@openpolytechnic.ac.nz)
Muni Narayan, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand (Muni.Narayan@openpolytechnic.ac.nz)

Background: This research project was inspired by our experiences as early childhood education [ECE] lecturers during practicum centre visits. We were excited by the diversity of curriculum practices we saw and wanted to celebrate them to inspire curriculum development across the wider ECE sector.

Aim: Our research explored how curriculum innovations transpire across cultural contexts unique to teaching, within a range of centres across Aotearoa New Zealand. The research focused on exploring teachers’ innovation and learning about what this looks like; how it feels for teachers; and the influences that drive teachers’ use of this. 

Method: A mixed-methodology research approach was applied through two research phases. Phase one was an online survey and phase two involved multiple case studies across a wide geographical spread. The case studies included interviews and focus groups with teachers both online and in person.

Results: The research measured, rated, and explained how high overall levels of self-belief affected the success of innovation. The relationships within ECE communities of practice were an integral part of improving practices and developing new ideas. An important part of this was recognising the value of like-minded teachers alongside strengthened teacher-parent partnerships.

Conclusions: These findings showed that when teachers innovate as part of their practice, it enables possibilities for change and improved practices which benefit children and their families.

Implications for children and families: You will learn how teachers use curriculum in innovative ways and how this improves learning and development outcomes for children.

Implications for practitioners: You can hear teachers’ voices, learn about and visualise revolutionary ideas and practices of other teachers, and it is hoped that you will then feel inspired to be innovative yourselves.

Key words: professionals’ voices, innovations, workforce issues

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