Monday, November 17, 2008

Connecting and ordering.

Connecting and ordering are also schemas. Again there are people who love to do them, and people who use them as a primary way of exploring and interpreting the world.

At the bottom of The New Zealand Curriculum's Design and Review page is this picture of how Te Whāriki (New Zealand's early childhood curriculum) relates to the school curriculum.

This chart intrigues me, and for now I'm going to assume that, as the country's curriculum people were put to work on it all, the relationships between the strands and the key competencies is as straightforward as it suggests.

I notice that The NZC orders its key competencies thus:
  1. Thinking
  2. Using language, symbols, and texts
  3. Managing self
  4. Relating to others
  5. Participating and contributing.
I don't yet know why it does that. I also notice that it orders the strands of Te Whāriki (New Zealand's Early Childhood Curriculum) in the same order.
  1. Exploration – Mana Aotūroa,
  2. Communication – Mana Reo,
  3. Well-being – Mana Atua,
  4. Contribution – Mana Tangata, and
  5. Belonging – Mana Whenua

At Wilton Playcentre we found having the strands in Te Whāriki in the following order to be useful.
  1. Belonging – Mana Whenua,
  2. Well-being – Mana Atua,
  3. Exploration – Mana Aotūroa,
  4. Communication – Mana Reo,
  5. Contribution – Mana Tangata.
I think that was how we organised them on our Teaching and Learning Story Forms even before our Centre of Innovation action research spiral on our documentation, assessment and planning, but we've certainly done it since then. We find this order useful because, although all the strands work together, people do tend to need to feel safe before they can feel like they belong somewhere. Little people need to have their well-being and belonging well under their belts before they feel ready to try exploration, communication or contribution. Contribution is very tricky without communication or having explored the environment first.

Given the relationship between the strands and the key competencies I wonder whether the following would be a useful order for considering the key competencies (or not).
  1. Participating and contributing
  2. Managing self
  3. Thinking
  4. Using language, symbols, and texts
  5. Relating to others.
I suppose I'll find out after I learn what the key competencies really mean. Towards that end I plan to read some of the resources available at

In case you're curious, Te Whāriki orders its own strands thus:
  1. Well-being – Mana Atua,
  2. Belonging – Mana Whenua
  3. Contribution – Mana Tangata,
  4. Communication – Mana Reo,
  5. Exploration – Mana Aotūroa.
Which would make the NZC key competencies come in this order:
  1. Managing self
  2. Participating and contributing.
  3. Relating to others
  4. Using language, symbols, and texts
  5. Thinking
Something tells me that the meeting on Thursday is going to be a bit introductory. What I'd like is perhaps more like a reading group on these sorts of things. I wonder what my EduNerdNight people are up to these days.



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