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Active adult participation in ECE: Enhancing child learning and community wellness

A two-year Teaching and Learning Research Initiative Funded Project

In this section


This project investigates how reconceptualising early childhood centres as places where active adult participation can enhance positive, holistic outcomes for children and their whānau within the community. To do this, the project also investigates how active teacher-whānau partnerships can be reconceptualised to meet the same outcomes.

Together with the Whanganui Central Baptist Kindergarten Trust, we have formed a research team of practitioners from the four ECE centres, staff from the parent support centre, teaching Management and senior staff, assisted by Associate Professor Judith Duncan, from the University of Canterbury.

Our research question is:

How does active adult participation in early childhood education enhance positive outcomes for children and their whānau?

The outcomes of our investigation will be three-fold:

  1. To understand how active adult participation in ECE enhances child learning outcomes;
  2. To generate successful models of active adult participation in ECE for enhanced parenting;
  3. To capture evidence from adult participation in ECE (and its associated parent support activities) for enhanced community wellness.

In the context of this project we take:

Adult: to mean all adults who participate in the ECE centre (teachers, parents, families, whānau, support workers, agency representatives);

Whānau: to mean all individuals (blood, kin or other) who are significant to the child and their family. We particularly wish to include extended whānau in our project, as so often family means one parent – or two at most – and excludes significant ‘others’ in a family’s life.

The research began at the start of 2010, was on hold for the first half of 2011, and completed September 2012. See the sections Presentations and Resources to read and view the research findings.

Celebration of Judith’s life

Our colleague Professor Judith Duncan passed away on Thursday 26 March 2015.

"Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei"
"Hold fast to the highest aspirations and if you should falter let it be to a lofty mountain"

This whakatauki was dedicated to Professor Judith Duncan at her memorial service (April 2015) by way of summing up the kōrero shared from various contributors. With much love we remember and give thanks for Judith, especially for the way she came alongside us at CBK. As a key driver behind the Government Parent Support and Development pilot (2006-2009) we were fortunate to be connected with Judith over the last eight years. Three of these years were more intentionally based around CBK’s TLRI research (2010-2012). Judith modeled by encouraging, asking in-depth questions, collating data and by BEING! This research model of ECE being embedded in its community is acknowledged both nationally and internationally. Our aroha and thanks Judith, for a job well done.

» Remembering Professor Judith Duncan (YouTube, begins at 24:55)