Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research
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Community Connections

The Early Years are traditionally seen as covering the age group 0 to 8 years of age. The Centre’s research encompasses this range and includes the early years of school. Community connections currently within this theme are: transition to school; research between early childhood centres and museums; and integrated services that provide support for low-income communities, centred around an early childhood service. The following are completed and ongoing externally funded research projects with this focus:


Dispositions in social context: A Marsden Fund project, in collaboration with the University of Otago, researching in five early childhood centres and tracking children into contributing primary schools.


Border Crossing: A three-year Centre of Innovation project in a south Auckland kindergarten, which explored the transition to school, with a focus on ‘border crossing’ between early childhood education and school and across languages and literacies. 


Learning competencies across place and time: A three-year TLRI project, which explored the strengthening and continuity of key competencies and learning dispositions.  The research involved two early childhood centres and three schools.


Strengthening responsive and reciprocal relationships in a Whānau Tangata centre: A two-year TLRI research project on the development of an integrated programme in a kindergarten providing health and community services, beyond and in addition to, education and care.


Research in a Centre of Innovation project at Te Kōhanga reo o Mana Tamariki (2008-2009; Professor Te Wharehui Milroy was an Associate Researcher with Professor Margaret Carr) has continued in a different form with Faculty funding to research the kōhanga relationships with Te Manawa, the local museum. Children have exhibited at Te Manawa, and kaiako have researched a lost oriori (lullaby).



Transition from early childhood education to school: A literature review commissioned by the Ministry of Education, which aimed to deepen understanding of the transition to school and the ways in which ways in which children can be supported by teachers and families to transition as successfully as possible.



Our Place: being curious at Te Papa: A TLRI research project on children’s learning from the museum collections and artefacts in a museum, sited in an early childhood centre housed at Te Papa Tongarewa Museum in Wellington. 
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Children as teachers, Families as learners: A follow-on to the previous project, also sited in the early childhood centre at Te Papa.
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2011-2013 Learning journeys from early childhood into school: A three-year TLRI project to investigate ways of enhancing children’s learning journeys from early childhood education into school, to interrogate what is meant by a ‘successful’ transition and to explore the impact of transition practices over time. The research is based in two schools and three early childhood services in the Waikato.
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