Published: Monday 22nd December 2014
Associate Professor Joce Nuttall has been appointed to chair a New Zealand advisory group to help children get the best possible start to their early learning and schooling.
The Advisory Group on Early Learning will recommend practical ways to ensure children have consistent teaching and learning from birth to eight years old, including helping teachers to implement the early childhood education curriculum.
Associate Professor Nuttall, Program Leader of the Early Childhood Futures Program in the Learning Sciences Institute Australia (LSIA), was appointed by NZ Education Minister Hekia Parata.
“We need early childhood teachers and educators, parents and new entrant teachers working together at a time that’s critical for children developing their foundations for learning and language.
“The group will suggest ways to strengthen implementation of the early childhood education curriculum framework, Te Whāriki,and how we can have better planning, implementation and evaluation across the early learning and schooling sectors for the benefit of young children,” said Ms Parata.
Ms Parata said the members of the advisory group bring strengths, skills and experience that span the early learning and primary schooling sectors as well as specialist knowledge of Māori, Pasifika and special education priorities.
“They’ve been selected for their knowledge of evidence and practical experience of ‘on the ground’ teaching. I’m delighted with the very high calibre of the people who were willing to contribute to this important work,” said Ms Parata.
Associate Professor Nuttall said she was delighted to be invited to chair the Advisory Group.
“New Zealand has a strong reputation internationally for its approach to early childhood education and this work will set the scene for future developments. I look forward to drawing on my research and expertise in early childhood teacher education and teacher development, as well as my long-term interest in the implementation of New Zealand's early childhood curriculum framework, Te Whariki," she said.
Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith, Director, Learning Sciences Institute, warmly congratulated Associate Professor Nuttall on her appointment.
“This is wonderful news - this appointment speaks to Joce’s international standing and is clear evidence of how she connects research, policy and practice – a key principle of work at the LSIA,” she said.
It has been a successful first year for the LSIA, which was established in January 2014.
“Our researchers were awarded four Australian Research Council Grants last month – and Joce will be working on one of these teams. Our grant success is a testament to the strength of our research which aims to improve the learning outcomes, wellbeing and life chances of children and young people,” said Professor Wyatt-Smith.
The Advisory Group will report to the Minister by 30 June 2015 and will include distinguished members Dame Dr Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, Adelle Broadmore, Jeanette Clarkin-Phillips, Ali Glasgow, Carol Hartley, Dr Lesley Rameka, Brenda Soutar, Jan Taouma and Jan Tinetti.
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