ERIC Number: EJ1048237
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
Engaging with Holistic Curriculum Outcomes: Deconstructing "Working Theories"
Hedges, Helen; Cooper, Maria
International Journal of Early Years Education, v22 n4 p395-408 2014
International debates persist about what constitutes desirable outcomes from early childhood education experiences. The New Zealand early childhood curriculum brings together academic and social-pedagogic outcomes as interdependent holistic constructs named "dispositions" and "working theories". These constructs are complex notions that require interpretation by researchers and teachers in order to be recognised as outcomes by those with a vested interest in children's education: parents and policy-makers. This paper engages with the construct of working theories. It explains its genesis and outlines research activity thus far. The paper draws on findings from a two-year qualitative research project exploring children's interests, inquiries and working theories. The paper analyses two vignettes of working theories into mutually constitutive components of knowledge, skills and strategies, and attitudes and expectations. It argues that deconstructing working theories into elements able to be recognised by those outside early childhood education provides a way to demystify these innovative outcomes. Such scrutiny may assist parents and policy-makers to understand ways that the learning they value is present in the early years. Further, holistic outcomes are responsive to research and scholarship on appropriate pedagogy that encourages children to develop identities as learners, identities critical to living in the twenty-first century.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Early Childhood Education, Curriculum, Holistic Approach, Outcomes of Education, Theories, Qualitative Research, Young Children, Personality
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand