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ERIC Number: EJ1293910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1177-1828
Disrupting the Paradigm: "Children Need to Learn How to Learn"
Clark, Beverley; Hughson, Hilda
Curriculum Matters, v16 p6-20 2020
The views that early childhood teachers have of children and childhood are informed by the rhetoric and theories of early childhood, their cultures, life stories, philosophies, and ongoing practices as teachers. In Aotearoa New Zealand, "Te Whariki," the legislated national curriculum for early childhood education, further guides early childhood teachers' practice and frames teachers' image of the young child. This article confronts and critiques a short phrase that is an addition to the revised Te Whariki curriculum document, specifically the phrase that children "need to learn how to learn". This phrase implies that young children do not know how to learn. The implication in this utterance belies the intense drive that children have to learn, to play, to explore, and to understand as they grow in strength in their sense of self within their whanau and communities. We care about the image that this presents to student teachers, to teachers. We challenge whether the notion that children need to learn how to learn is the image that early childhood teachers hold, or want to hold, of children. We argue that this phrase and image of the child as needing to learn how to learn is a loose thread in the whariki that potentially undermines and is counter to the more dominant concept within" Te Whariki" of the competent child.
New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Level 10, 178-182 Willis Street, Wellington, New Zealand 6011. Tel: +64 4 802 1445; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A