The rapid advancements of education in the 2Ist century makes the value of innovation a priority and an integral part of teacher education. Eclectic teaching practices and the changing role of the teacher, signal the need for innovative approaches to curriculum development. In Aotearoa New Zealand early childhood teachers lead the way as innovators within their daily practice, transforming educational experiences for children and families. This research study (ongoing from 2021) was inspired by teachers who saw and learned about innovative practices in local early childhood education (ECE) settings. The researchers wish to introduce this local innovation into a national and international narrative. Sharing this innovation on a global stage will help ECE teachers outside of those localised individual settings to understand the benefits of their innovative approaches. This presentation provides research insights into teachers’ perceptions of curriculum innovation within ECE and an analysis of the role of self-belief, relationships, and teaching contexts within teachers’ innovative practices. The data were collected using a mixed method research design with phase one involving an online survey and phase two including both individual and focus group interviews. The researchers conclude that one of the main driving forces behind teachers’ innovative practices is their proclivity towards strengthening both learner outcomes, and their own teaching practices.
Joanne Alderson, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand/Te Pukenga, New Zealand
Fi McAlevey, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand/Te Pukenga, New Zealand
Muni Narayan, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, New Zealand