Within New Zealand their is a project called enviroschools. This project covers sustainability, recylcyling, composting, gardening, planting trees, enhancing bio diversity and heaps of educational benefits for your school. If you think that your centre will benefit from this then check out the link to environschools.
Let’s have a look at The Treaty of Waitangi in early childhood education. Te Tiriti o Waitangi. I am going to break this down into several parts as it is a huge topic and I just want to try and simplify it for you as an early childhood teacher. You would have covered this through your teacher training in more depth treat this as a little revision.
What is the Treaty about?
The Treaty of Waitangi is basically an agreement between Māori Chiefs of New Zealand in 1840 and the the Crown. The English agreement was that the Crown could take over the sovereignty of New Zealand and that Māori would keep their lands, fisheries and treasures. This is not so in the Māori treaty that says Māori did not give up sovereignty. There was an English written Treaty and a Māori written Treaty. So their is a lot of differences that can be and are argued about today The Treaty is understood differently throughout New Zealand
Why do I need to know about it?
The Treaty of Waitangi is an important part of New Zealand’s history and is the founding document of this country. It should be understood by New Zealanders and teachers need to know as they have to somehow explain this to future generations. It is a conversational subject and your perspective is yours but the simplicity of it is that English and Māori have good relations with each other and we understand each others cultures and respect each other. Ensuring the Maori language and the culture is entwined within your practice is therefore relevant and you understand that relevance.
How do I implement it in my teaching practice?
How do we teach the treaty to young children? Respecting both cultures is the most important thing to do. Incorporating biculturalism into your practice meaning teaching both Māori and English cultures to children. The languages, histories, ways of living, fashion, etiquette/protocols, values, food, games, etc…
It is not only the Māori culture that you should be concentrating on within your teaching but also the other cultures present within your centre. Today we have a multicultural society thus these cultures should be present in your curriculum too. All cultures are important and children must learn this.
I know a lot of teachers are worried they have not done enough Māori in their practice but look I can tell you that if you have some knowledge of the Māori values you will be practicing this every day without even knowing it. For example do you greet your children and family each day, do you encourage family participation in the centre? Well this is incoporating a Māori value of whanaungatanga – working together for a shared vision, a sense of family connection, kinship. I will look at Māori values in future posts.
Here are some good reads that may also assist you.
- https://www.hekupu.ac.nz/article/living-treaty-waitangi-through-bicultural-pedagogy-early-childhood This is a journal article written by Orlene D’Cunha published in He Kupu a free online journal.
- https://tewhariki.tki.org.nz/en/teaching-strategies-and-resources/local-curriculum-and-tuia-matauranga/ An article about Tuia 250 published in Te Whāriki online.
What are Dispositions?
Dispositions are the developing skills and attitudes and the characteristics of children and how they are learning.
Within the New Zealand curriculum for early childhood there are five strands. I have linked the learning dispositions to the strands. These are useful for using within your learning stories you write for children.
Learning to have trust
learning to have playfulness
learning to show innovation
learning to participate
learning to be involved
learning to have a go
learning to apply past knowledge
learning to be tolerant
learning to contribute
learning to be kind
learning to share
learning to show curiosity
learning to be courageous
learning to be secure
learning to show an interest
learning to devlop friendships
learning to be confident
learning to believe in ones self
learning to value ones own belief
learning to be at peace
learning to have a sense of humour
Learning to show responsibility
learning to negotiate
learning to be independent
learning to think critically
learning to show empathy
learning to pursue social justice
learning to care
learning to demonstrate flexibility
learning to be respectful
learning to love and be passionate
learning to show mindfulness
learning to manage impulsiveness
learning to strive for accuracy
learning to inspire others
learning to help others
learning to be useful
learning to show confidence
learning to express ideas
learning to question
learning to consider consequences
learning to listen actively
learning to express and create
learning to be a reader
learning to converse
learning to debate
learning to problem solve
learning to ask questions
learning to be assertive
learning to think and communicate with clarity and precision
learning to display initiative
learning to use technology
Learning to take up challenges
learning to show perseverance and persistence
learning to respond to uncertainty
learning to wonder and imagine
learning to develop theories
learning to explore
learning to take risks
learning to problem solve
learning to be resilient
learning to think creatively
learning to research
learning to have determination
learning to gather data through all senses
learning to experiment
learning to be creative
These dispositions are seen within teachers as they work alongside children, Through my experience i have noticed that in order for children to learn a lot of these dispositions they must also see them within the people that surround them. Teachers, parents, grand parents, caregivers and siblings engaging with children help these dispositions to develop. Modelling dispositions through our behaviours is important.
In the mornings it is good to have time to meet together with the children and welcome them to the centre for the day. As part of the daily routine children usually look forward to this group time. If you have younger children that will not sit still in a group sometimes it is best to do at the table before morning tea. This is a good chance for you to teach children some welcome songs/prayers – nga karakia timatanga. Today I will go over a few that you can sing or say with children.
Tēnā Koe hello to one
Tēnā Kōrua hello to two
Tēnā Koutou hello to all
Haere mai everyone
E te atua tenei matou
e inoi ana ki a koe
mo ngā mahi o tēnei ra
He Karakia Timatanga
He Hōnore he korōia ki te Atua
He maungārongo ki te whenua
Whakāro pai ki ngā tāngata katoa
Hanga e te Atua he ngākau hou
ki roto ki tēna, ki tēna o mātou
Whakatōngia tōu wairua tapu
Hei awhina hei tohu tohu i a mātou
hei ako hoki i ngā kupu
I roto i tēnei Atarangi
Ake ake ake Amine
Mōrena ki a koe
Mōrena ki a koe
Mōrena ki a ……………………….(child’s name)
Kia pai to ra
(tune of happy birthday)
I hope these are of use to you this week. The more you repeat them the more the children will start repeating them with you. After a while you can change to a different one to learn.
Today we are all aware that being eco friendly and using eco friendly products is something that is becoming the norm. Children are learning about how to reuse, recycle and learning how to look after their world with the assistance from you. You are the biggest role model when it comes to helping to save our earth. Your actions will be followed by children and adults that you are connected with each day.
So let’s start promoting products that are going to break down in the environment. Did you know that it takes 50 years for a margarine container to break down and a plastic bag takes 40 years and we use them once. Newspaper but will break down in 3 months and brown paper bag will take 2 months to break down. STOP BUYING PLASTIC!
I want to look at alternative products that you can buy and use over and over and if you need to they will compost. The eco warehouse provides environmentally friendly and sustainable products. These are some of the products that I think would be great to buy.
- compostible zip lock bags
- sandwich paper bags
- honey wraps
- wooden toys
- eco friendly face paint
- beeswax crayons
- recycled pens and pencils
- seed bombs
- compostible bin liners
- kids bamboo toothbrushes
- leak proof lunchbox
Go check out what they have to offer here click the box.
What are the learning outcomes for children using sustainable products?
- allows children to be responsible for their actions
- develops thriftiness
- allows children to help create a better future for themselves
- increase children’s awareness for their environment and what goes into the landfill
- develop knowledge about composting and gardening
- develop understanding about kaitiakitanga
- developing knowledge about papatūānuku
- developing knowledge about recycling and what can be made from recycled stuff
- developing knowledge about protecting the environment
- engaging in recycling of your own rubbish is fun