Wilf Malcolm Institute of Education
(WMIER) Publications


Living in New Zealand: Congolese refugee families' aspirations for children and early childhood education. Authors: Linda Mitchell and Amondi Ouko

Living in New Zealand: Congolese refugee families' aspirations for children and early childhood education 

Author: Linda Mitchell and Amondi Ouko

The community research reported here focused on the experiences of Congolese refugee parents living in New Zealand. It explored their experiences, challenges, aspirations and their views of education, especially early childhood education, in order to identify ways in which educational provision might contribute to family support and enhance the agency of children and families. It was initiated by Amondi Ouko and supported by the Refugee Orientation Centre.

ISBN 978-0-9582504-6-7

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Other publications: Mitchell, L. (2012). Experiences of Congolese refugee families in New Zealand: Challenges and possibilities for early childhood provision. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(1), 99-107.


Survey of Kindergarten Provision: Results of a 2010 Survey of New Zealand Kindergartens Inc. Kindergarten Associations

Authors: Claire Davison, Linda Mitchell and Mira Peter 
Published: December 2011 

It is widely accepted that good quality early childhood education has positive effects, both for individuals and society. We now understand that early experiences have long-term implications for children's learning and their ability to contribute to society in general.

New Zealand kindergartens have been respected early childhdidood education providers over many years. Kindergartens traditionally operated on a sessional basis with children attending either five mornings or three afternoons per week and relied, to a great extent, on voluntary donations, fundraising and parent help. Changes in early childhood funding policy in 2005 and 2007 provided secure, predictable and sufficient funding that enabled kindergartens to review their traditional sessional provision and reduce their reliance on less certain income and support.

This report documents significant changes that have occurred in New Zealand kindergartens during the period 2005 to 2010. It is based on an in-depth survey of New Zealand Kindergartens Incorporated kindergarten associations. It describes changes in licensing, operation and management and considers the likely impact of early childhood funding cuts announced in 2010.

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We also have a limited number of free copies of this report available in book format. If you would like to request a copy please contact Margaret Drummond.

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Other publications: Mitchell, L., & Davison, C. (2010). Early childhood education as sites for children's citizenship: Tensions, challenges and possibilities in New Zealand's policy framing. International Journal of Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood, 8(1), 12-23.




The Ngahere Project

The Ngahere Project: Teaching and learning possibilities in nature settings

Authors: Janette Kelly and E. Jayne White
with Marion Dekker, Julie Donald, Kathryn Hart, Fiona McKay, Lynley McMillan, Amy Mitchell-King and Gill Wright
Published: 2013 

This report is an outcome of The Ngahere Project: an 18 month action research project involving Tauranga Region Kindergartens in the Bay of Plenty, Campus Creche Trust in Hamilton and the University of Waikato. The research explored ECE pedagogy "within" and "beyond" the gate in ECE settings committed to sustainability.

There had been little research into ECE pedagogy outdoors to date. This project aimed to better understand what nature-based learning might look like in a range of ECE settings in Aotearoa New Zealand and to examine the relationship between nature education and sustainability.

Engagement with the outdoors is a core element of New Zealand's heritage, identity and culture. The project considered two overarching questions: 

  • What might nature-based learning look like in diverse Aotearoa New Zealand ECE services that are committed to sustainability?
  • What are some of the pedagogical issues and provocations teachers face in this domain?

The findings suggest a variety of ways that learning occurs in natural environments, what it might entail and some of the pedagogical issues and challenges teachers face. These findings have universal relevance and are in keeping with the New Zealand ECE emphasis on bicultural practice and diversity of provision and programmes. 

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