ECE Seminar Series: Let’s get ‘political’ with very young learners: Researching care and education Event as iCalendar

28 September 2017

4:30 - 5:30pm

Venue: J1 Lecture Theatre

Location: 74 Epsom Avenue, Epsom, Auckland, NZ

Website: RSVP here

Let’s get ‘political’ with very young learners: Researching care and education

New Zealand has a history of infant care that began with strong advocacy. This advocacy progressed over 100 years before the foundational curriculum, Te Whāriki, was created, ultimately gaining an international reputation in recognising competencies of very young children. Alongside this curriculum is a slower rate of progress in the provision of qualifications and optimal working conditions for teachers of very young children.  In this presentation I revisit values and consider the new directions in education for the very youngest. I argue that the teacher-education programmes for student teachers should have a greater emphasis on the specialism of early learning and care than a programme subsumed into a generic view of early education. Relevant research on this issue is virtually absent from the research domain. This presentation draws on data from a new Australian/NZ study of student-teachers’ exposure to pedagogy and practicum with children up to 3 years.  It argues for the stronger recognition of a teacher’s role in developing an environment of emotional predictability illustrated by a context of exploration and communication, two key areas in which ERO recently expressed concerns for New Zealand practice.


Jean Rockel is an Honorary Academic at the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland.  She is Honorary Editor of The First Years Ngā Tau Tuatahi, NZ Journal of Infant and Toddler Education.  Jean is currently involved in a four-year Australian/NZ project involving the views of student-teachers regarding infant pedagogy and practicum experiences in teacher-education programmes.  Jean’s most recent research commitment is in a cross-cultural research collaboration with the UK, US, China and NZ regarding pedagogies of care. This project has just been short-listed with a UK organization.