UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Research in Dance Education
Name(s) of Author/Editor(s): 
Adrienne Sansom
Volume No.: 
Issue No.: 
Page numbers of article: 
161 - 176
Year of publication: 
Country of publication: 
United Kingdom
Country of Research Data: 
New Zealand
Recent Innovations in the field of early childhood education have prompted a re-thinking of teaching and learning. Traditional notions of child development have been undergoing some radical changes and, as such, have resulted in a reviewing and re-formulation of early years pedagogy. In Aotearoa New Zealand the field of early childhood education has reflected these changes primarily through the development of a new national early childhood curriculum based on bicultural values and beliefs. This paper traces the history and development of the curriculum document Te Whriki, New Zealand's first codified early childhood curriculum, which is seen as an empowering and holistic curriculum underpinned by principles and goals rather than being content driven. The ensuing discussion describes what this means for early years dance education, particularly at the level of pre-service teacher education programs and the emerging issues and concerns that arise from a reconceptualization of curriculum this is open to interpretation. Central to the Conceptualization of Te Whriki is the premise of the image of the competent and confident child. In support of this the paper examines the teaching and learning of dance in early childhood settings whereby opportunities are afforded for the provision of dance where children are acknowledged as active agents in directing their own learning. The paper concludes by positing a new vision for dance education in Aotearoa New Zealand as well as suggesting possible implications for dance Internationally.
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