How teachers support children’s learning through culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy in two early childhood education centres. (2020)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Education
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsShareef, Shabanashow all
This research explored how early childhood teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand were supporting children’s learning through culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy. Culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy has become a best practice approach for supporting culturally and linguistically diverse children in Aotearoa New Zealand and other countries. This approach engages children through a meaningful early childhood curriculum, such as Aotearoa New Zealand’s Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education, 2017c), where teaching relates to and reflects children’s diverse communities.
This study used a qualitative research approach. Six early childhood teachers from two early childhood education centres in Christchurch were interviewed and visual presentations such as posters, bicultural and multicultural artefacts and resources on display at the centres were photographed. The interview transcripts and visual recordings were analysed to explore (1) how the teachers were making sense of culturally and linguistically responsive teaching; and (2) how they were implementing the bicultural teaching philosophy of and practices included in Te Whāriki.
Two main themes—relationships and biculturalism—emerged from the data collected for this research. The data shows that, at the centre of their culturally and linguistically responsive teaching, the kaiako were endeavouring to establish strong, authentic relationships (ngā hononga) with tamariki, whānau and their respective communities. The teachers were taking time to build these relationships by being respectful of tamariki, whānau and communities while simultaneously trying to align their teaching philosophy and practices in accordance with the obligations of Te Whāriki towards the three core principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi—protection, participation and partnership. Essentially, the teachers were working to bring tikanga principles and te ao Māori into their teaching practice. The data also showed that fully achieving the aspirations of biculturalism in ECE settings remains compromised by the fact that the teachers were finding it challenging to communicate in te reo Māori in spite of their good intentions. A main conclusion from the thesis research is that more needs to be done to provide ECE teachers with ongoing professional development so that they gain deeper understanding of their obligation under Te Tiriti o Waitangi to fully practise bicultural early childhood education. Appropriate professional development will place kaiako in a better position to apply tikanga and kaupapa Māori principles in their practice and thus provide meaningful bicultural early childhood education.