Effective practices with infants and toddlers

Leaders in early childhood education from Canterbury University have prepared seven pieces of thinking on effective practices with infants and toddlers. Each piece is shaped to be a ‘provocation’ for the reader. Reflective questions for the reader are woven into the text. The views expressed in the pieces are those of the writers:

  • Effective Practices with Infants and Toddlers - Judith Duncan
  • How can teachers foster early experiences that form lasting relationships with the natural world? - Glynne Mackey
  • Finding the magic every day - Justine Mason
  • Do you know me and how I think? Infants and toddlers and metacognition: Ngā pēpi ngā kohungahunga mōhio - Ali Wegner
  • Intentional teaching - Judith Duncan

Nau te rourou, naku te rourou ka ora te iwi
With your basket of knowledge and my basket of knowledge, we will succeed

What image do you hold of the infant in your setting? When does the infant become the toddler?

How we see the child, the image we hold, impacts on:

  • how the child experiences their day,
  • their context for growing, developing and learning,
  • their understanding of relationships and roles, and
  • their own emerging identity.

What we do makes a real difference to each and every child and to their family and wider whānau. While we hear, and use, the words ‘responsive’, ‘respectful’, ‘reciprocal’ in our early childhood education settings, what do these actually look like when embedded in our pedagogy for infants and toddlers?

This section introduces reflections on what we do, why we do it, and what it means for children and families and whānau experiencing transitions. Each piece asks you to think carefully about everyday pedagogy with children, and their families and whānau.

In this section we draw on the evaluation framework developed by Podmore et al. (2001) to position the pieces of writing and to engage the reader in thinking carefully about everyday pedagogy in relation to infants and toddlers in early childhood settings. The child’s questions sit within the frame of Te Whāriki and lead the reader to reflect on Te Whāriki in action within their own setting. You are invited to explore your practices from the child’s perspective as you read the materials that arouse your curiosities.

Te Whāriki Reflections The "Child's Questions" Links to material in this section
Belonging Do you appreciate and understand my interests and abilities and those of my family? Do you know me? Intentional Teaching
Do you know me and how I think?
Early experiences form lasting relationships with the natural world
Well-being Do you meet my daily needs with care and sensitive consideration? Can I trust you? Intentional Teaching
Do you know me and how I think?
Finding the magic everyday
Exploration Do you engage my mind, offer challenges, and extend my world? Do you let me fly? Do you know me and how I think?
Early experiences form lasting relationships with the natural world
Intentional Teaching
Communication Do you invite me to communicate and respond to my own particular efforts? Do you hear me? Intentional Teaching
Finding the magic everyday
Early experiences form lasting relationships with the natural world
Contribution Do you encourage and facilitate my endeavours to be part of the wider groups? Is this place fair for us? Intentional Teaching
Do you know me and how I think?

(Adapted from Podmore, V., May, H., & Carr, M. (2001). The "child’s questions". Programme evaluation with Te Whāriki using "Teaching Stories". Early Childhood Folio, 5, 6-9.)

This paper was prepared by Judith Duncan, University of Canterbury, 2009.

In this section


Last updated: 4 March 2014