Childhood Studies in Aotearoa - New Zealand

by Jule Sipes, April 2015

1800 words

6 pages


We all know that childhood is regarded to be a biological stage of human development during which a child obtains some knowledge, which may be significant in later life. Socially, the notion of a child was always marked by social protection and lack of social responsibility due to family roots with parents. Historically, childhood is considered to be a chronological age period that stands between infantry and youth.

Regarding the fact that every child has its birth, origin, he or she can be attributed to a certain cultural group depending upon the territory and place he/she was born. In Aotearoa, early childhood education was marked by constant disparity between Maori and non-Maori authorities (Cook, 2009). Over the recent decade, the national government was concerned about implementing numerous programs addressing such socioeconomic inequalities, in fact, failing to foster the development of strong individuality of children.

Early childhood education in Aotearoa-New Zealand is seen to have a promising ground that would aid a trivial pupil to revise his educational priorities. There were a lot of concerns due to the lack of proper attention from state and federal governments. First of all, the implemented Promoting Early Childhood Education Project was not totally effective when bridging the gap between participatory and non-participatory parents. Due to the fact that only bi-cultural education could guarantee obtaining leadership skills, lack of parental involvement was a great concern. In 2005, there were $1.227 contracts aiming to target approximately 1250 children to get them involved in education with their families (Woodrow & Busch, 2008). Secondly, instead of properly revising the educational priorities, New Zealand government was constantly funding programs linked to early intervention, strengthening families. However, the modern practice shows that the incorporation of robust leadership within the primary education is the step number one to be implemented immediately (Saltmarsh, 2011).

The second concern is that the scope of national early educational policy goes far beyond the traditional grounds regarding three different and competing childhood constructions: a child as a parent, a child as a site for social remediation and a child as a site for schooling preparation. Such global context always leads to the extended scope of funded programs and marginalization, where opinions of professional educators are not considered within the exercising of the policy principles (Graham, 2007). In terms of this, a child is viewed as a tool of early for profit education.

The image of teachers has also been substantially changed. Most teachers are no longer child-centered, because they do see the lack of their professional autonomy, which leads to their individualism and growth in professional orientation, which sacrifices social justice and any available capacity for development of leadership among children (Woodrow & Busch, 2008). Additionally, the present-day marketization and corporatization has shifted the original vision of early childhood education, which is now believed to be a strong brand of prestige. For example, when a child is not taken from school on time, teacher’s concerns are unlikely to be considered, because modern school endeavors to what is favorable financially.

If parents …

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