Key Learning Competencies Across Place and Time

Funding year: 
3 years
University of Waikato
ECE sector
Project start date: 
January 2005
Project end date: 
January 2008
Principal investigator(s): 
Dr. Margaret Carr
Research team members: 
Sally Peters, University of Waikato
Research partners: 
Teacher-researchers from three schools and two early childhood centres in Rotorua and Christchurch; and associated co-ordinators

Project Description

Research over three years in three primary schools and two early childhood centres in Aotearoa New Zealand investigated three research questions associated with the strengthening and continuity of key competencies and learning dispositions. These questions were about: what children do when they are apparently managing self, relating to others, participating and contributing, thinking, and using language, symbols and texts; what teachers do to enhance learning in these areas; and how continuity is interpreted and documented.

The research developed artefacts or “tools of travel” that may be useful for teachers as they work with key competencies and learning dispositions. These include arrays of indicators of learning dispositions, key competencies and teacher strategies that will assist teachers to develop their own local frameworks, the notion of co-constructed pathways of learning, theme boards, a Learning Stories Navigator database, a framework of intersecting domains of relating, the process of investigating practice using “Looking Glass” data sets, and a recognition of the negotiated balances between teacher and learner intentions and documentation strategies. At a bilingual school (Māori immersion classrooms and English-medium classrooms) observations and transcripts began the process of synthesis that linked closely with the school’s values and led to the development of a metaphor (the Tuangi metaphor) as a working theory that represented the symbiotic relationship between akonga and kaiako, between the resourceful learner and the resourceful teacher. This metaphor connected much of this project together.