“Today at Playcentre, we ….”: What values underpin narrative assessment in Playcentre?
Keywords:Early childhood education – New Zealand, Playcentre, Professionalisation of early childhood education, Learning stories, Parent education, Parent-led early childhood education
Narrative assessments are widely used in Aotearoa New Zealand’s early childhood services, especially in the form of ‘Learning Stories’. This sociocultural approach to assessment foregrounds the importance of identifying what is valued learning within a particular context. What does this look like within the context of the parent co-operative Playcentre? A small-scale qualitative study brought together focus groups of Playcentre parents to share what Learning Stories are being written, to explore their experiences in writing and using Learning Stories, and to consider what underlying values shape narrative assessment in Playcentres. A major finding is that adult learning and relationship building are key aspects of Learning Stories in Playcentres. The authors argue that because of the positioning of parents as both learners and Kaiako in Playcentre, assessment in Playcentre is fundamentally different to that in teacher-led services.
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