Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

ECE Budget Task Force

I just heard on the news that Ann Tolley has set up a task force to examine the way the ECE budget is used. I dont often rave in public but I cannot help myself today!

I have also posted this at the ECE Together website.

Warning! Long Rant ahead!

Although we have no real details as yet I think the fact that there is only one ECE person on the team and that Tolley has admitted that she consulted only herself about setting this up, is worrying.

Reading the Stuff news item critically makes for concern I believe.

"Mrs Tolley said that under Labour, ECE costs had "blown out" to treble within five years to $1.3b a year.

There is no mention here about how ECE had grown, the demands on costs due to actually having some qualified staff and the impact of the 20 hours. And maybe that teachers were now actually being paid a reasonable salary - for the most part.

"It's vital this money is well spent to ensure the greatest number of children gain access to ECE and fully benefit from it," Mrs Tolley said.


Mrs Tolley said the review was "absolutely not about cost- cutting".

"We are determined to reach those children and families who need it most and to give every single child the best possible start in life," she said.

This is suggesting that the money is not now well spent. It ignores the fact that a lot of money has just been spent on contracts to increase participation but that these have only just begun.

The taskforce would:

* Do a full review of the value for Government investment in early childhood education.

That wont take long! There is no shortage of international and local research to show that money spent on quality ECE is money well spent.

* Look at the efficiency and effectiveness of current ECE expenditure and possible improvements for Maori, Pasifika, and children from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Does this suggest that efficient and effective use of money is to target ECE funding at specific groups and maybe remove or reduce funding for others?

* Develop innovative and cost effective ways to support children's learning in early childhood and the first years of compulsory schooling.

Innovative and cost effective to me DOES mean cost cutting as well as redistribution. If I am innovative and cost effective about my supermarket budget it is going to mean cutting the cost!! Using these words together means being innovative in order to cut costs! Otherwise we might go back to being innovative to increase quality - like before MOE funded PD was cut.

* Make recommendations to Government about proposed changes to funding and policy settings for early childhood education."

Changes in funding and policy are the most definitive. I believe this will mean some major changes including not going for the 80% registered teachers and staying at 50% (at best), targeted funding and probably targeting of the 20 hours. In the current economic climate it is not going to mean any increase in costs!

Rant over! I can go make dinner now

Maureen Perkins

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why didn’t I study Philosophy?

As I continue with my exploratory reading for my thesis work I am struck by my own ignorance. None of my previous study has done more than touch on philosophical theories and all the books I am reading are assuming that I spent my formative years soaking up the wisdom of Nietzsche, Marx, Heidegger and the rest. But basically all I can do is hear the Monty Python song going through my head –

Interesting that this information just has not come into my education study and yet I need that background so badly now. I don't have time for a Philosophy degree so will just have to do my best!


P.S. You may have noticed a more personal slant to this Blog. That's because it is not part of any particular work but I can still see a need for it. Feel free to ignore posts and use this as a portal to other sites.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My research

I have now met with both of my supervisors and am inspired and excited and only need another day or two a week to be added to my calendar!

I am going to be exploring Kei Tua o te Pae and other documents relevant to ECE in NZ and will be identifying areas of ambiguity, contradictions and gaps. I have been enjoying reading 2 books in particular:

"Deconstructing Early Childhood education" by Gaile Cannella
and "Doing Foucault in Early Childhood Education" by Glenda MacNaughton.

Great for getting your head into a critical space!

I thoroughly recommend these books to anyone exploring ECE issues. You may not agree with some of the stances taken by the autors but you will certainly be challenged!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Getting busy

I am just launching into work for my thesis so may well be posting even less here. On the other hand I am focusing on socio-cultural approaches to assessment and may well end up posting more! Lets see what happens.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Using photography to increase democracy

I love this article. A new one I just had to share ( with anyone with access to online databases anyway)

Carpet-Time Democracy: Digital Photography and Social
Consciousness in the Early Childhood Classroom

Curriculum and Instruction, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA


Although much energy has been spent designing children’s books and curriculum to bring issues of diversity and acceptance into
classrooms, perhaps the most meaningful and relevant curricular materials only require a digital camera and a space for students to
talk about photos of their own classroom community, creating an organic and everyday curriculum. From over three years of research
in a preschool classroom, the researcher-author tells how she uses digital photography to allow students to examine and reimagine
their own social community. She revives the pedagogies of seminal social educators like Vivian Paley and Fannie Shaftel while offering
a photo methodology for researchers of children who are interested in better understanding children’s peer culture. As play is perhaps
the most important vehicle of social education, carving out a time and space in the school day for a reflective component with digital
photography can be an interesting and empowering way for children to examine social dilemmas and confront inequities.

Keywords: digital photography, democracy, early childhood, play, social consciousness

The Social Studies (2010) 101, 60–68
Copyright C Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 0037-7996 print
DOI: 10.1080/00377990903285481

Monday, March 22, 2010

Transitions from ECE to School

Mangere Bridge Kindergarten is continuing their amazing work in this area in spite of the funding for the Centres of Innovation work being stopped.

Their findings are now being published in a number of places. To find this work please go to their Blog ( Link is below and to the right.

They are also continuing to disseminate information through their popular information sessions. Details of these are also on their Blog.

Teachers from the Kindergarten spoke at several sessions on Transition in 2008 and 2009 at Kei Tua o te Pae PD Seminars in Auckland and their work was truly inspiring for both participants and the facilitation team. They share simple practical ideas as well as larger philosophical discussions.

It is great to know we can start acccesing their findings in the literature.

Thanks Mangere Bridge.

(Dont forget to also follow the stories about the rather mobile guines pigs!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Assessment Journal

It is great to see a new peer reviewed journal out from NZCER - New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

It is simply named Assessment Matters and looks like a 'must have' for anyone interested in assessment and education.

Along with some other great articles about school assessment there is one from Margaret Carr on the early childhood exemplars-

Kei tua o te pae: Assessing learning that reaches beyond the self and beyond the horizon
Margaret Carr

"This paper outlines the development and the conceptual design of an assessment for learning resource of 177 exemplars from early childhood contexts. Two metaphors provide the foundation for the resource: Te Whäriki and Kei Tua o te Pae. These metaphors underpin a discussion about assessment of learner outcomes that reach “beyond the self” and “beyond the horizon”, using the resource as an example. The resource that is built on these two metaphors includes three themes: principles that frame up the assessment; practices that are based on narrative; and a view of progression that aligns with the principles. The assessment practice exemplified is sited in stories and portfolios, and the paper concludes with an argument for the consequential validity of narrative assessments."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Interest in assessment

WOW! So you are still coming here for information! I feel a little bad that I haven't been more active here. I am pleased to see so many visitors and it is interesting to see the websites you choose from here. Please be patient. I will still have plenty to add here.

I will be teaching aspects of this topic to ECE student teachers and with a change in employer and responsibilities will be able to be more critically reflective than before.

I am still suffering a touch of new jobitis along with trying to sort out my own study and research options for this year.

I promise to be back by February checking links and adding information.