Compare and Contrast: Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, and Te Whariki Curriculum

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The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum in England differs greatly in structure and content to the Te Whariki curriculum in New Zealand; this therefore makes for an interesting comparison. The EYFS was introduced in England, in 2008, by the DfE as a framework that ‘sets the standards for learning, development and care of children from birth to five’ (DfE, 2012). Alternatively, Te Whariki was founded in New Zealand, in 1996, based on the aspirations for children ‘to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society’ (Ministry of Education, 1996). Throughout this essay, the EYFS and Te Whariki curriculums will be compared and contrasted to give a greater understanding of the similarities and differences between England and New Zealand regarding their beliefs about young children’s needs. As previously mentioned, the EYFS and Te Whariki differ in their curriculum styles. The EYFS is significantly more explicit and detailed in its framework compared with the Te Whariki curriculum, making it clearer for practitioners to follow and to use effectively during practice. There are many additional resources available to EYFS practitioners to assist in the provision of appropriate literacy experiences for children, for instance; a CD rom is included in the EYFS teaching pack showing useful video clips of teachers engaging in effective activities, which can further promote successful teaching in England (DCSF, 2008a). In contrast, however, the Te Whariki curriculum has minimal guidance on how teachers plan and assess their pupils, they are advised to ‘develop their own distinctive... ... middle of paper ... ...n, 1996. Te Whãriki: He whãriki mãtauranga mõ ngã mokopuna o Aotearoa. Early childhood curriculum. Wellington: Learning Media. National Early Literacy Panel, 2008. Developing early literacy. Report of the National Early Literacy Panel. Washington, DC: National Institute for Literacy. Palaiologou, I., 2013. The Early Years Foundation Stage: Theory and Practice. 2nd ed. London: Sage. Soler, J., & Miller, L., 2010. The Struggle for Early Childhood Curricula: A comparison of the English Foundation Stage Curriculum, Te Whariki and Reggio Emilia. International Journal of Early Years Education. London: Routledge. Tickell, C., 2011. The Early Years: Foundations for life, health and learning. An independent report on the Early Years Foundation Stage to Her Majesty’s Government. London: HMG Vygotsky, L.S., 1978. Mind in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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