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Learning Stories

“New Zealand’s Te Whāriki is a progressive and cogent document regarding the orientation and aims of ECE. The document clearly lays out what is expected from staff and child development with useful examples. The curriculum provides continuous child development through the use of one national framework for ECE; putting the community at the centre of the curriculum; strongly focusing on well-being and learning; ensuring age-appropriate content; emphasising the importance of tolerance and respect for cultural values and diversity; and aligning the ECE curriculum with primary schooling.

OECD 2012 p7

Assessment is an important part of any education system. The Learning Stories approach from New Zealand offers something that is a helpful and supportive, an alternative approach to check lists of things that children do such as dressing themselves, knowing their primary colours or counting to 10. 

You should consider the strengths of Carr and Lee’s approach to assessment, which helps children, parents and practitioners to recognise that building a sense of self confidence, wiliness to try, openness to others, ability to express one’s own thoughts are more fundamental elements of School Readiness and that putting content learning ahead of these can compromise School Readiness. 

Educational Leadership Project Ltd

In the video below, listen to Wendy Lee explaining the thinking behind Learning Stories.


Whilst watching the video, make some notes that you can refer back to later.


Visit the Te Wharki website to see what resources are available there which you may be able to refer back to later.