is a Centre of Innovation?
“Centres of Innovation” (COI) is a Ministry of Education
initiative falling out of their 10 year strategic plan for Early
Childhood Education (ECE) – Pathways
to the Future.
Early Childhood Education Centres of Innovation (COIs) were announced
in Pathways to the Future, Nga Huarahi Arataki (2002).
and educators in six COIs will research what gives their centre
a reputation for effectiveness, and will open their doors
to show others their
Centres of Innovation will take on the following responsibilities
for three years:
- To develop and document innovative learning and teaching
practices using Te Whaariki, early childhood curriculum.
- To work with researchers to find out what children
gain from these innovations.
- To share information with others about their innovative
learning and teaching practices.
This new early childhood education initiative will be used to build
a strong research base to inform and develop models of best teaching
Press Release, Ministry of Education, 2003.
" Investing in quality early childhood education is crucial
to children's learning and their opportunities in later life,"
" The good teaching and learning practices these centres are currently using
will be further developed in collaboration with researchers and that information
then be available to other services."
" This investment is part of the Government's commitment
to increasing participation, improving quality and promoting collaborative
relationships in early
childhood education. This is particularly important for Maori and Pacific
currently participate less than others."
Education Minister Trevor
link at the Ministry
of Education website for detailed information about COI.
ECE Centres chosen to be Centres of Innovation.
Special characteristics were important in the selection
of the six Centres of Innovation. They include competent practice
in teaching and learning in: Kaupapa Maori services, Pasifika immersion
and bilingual services, Services that integrate IT and ICT into the
curriculum, and ‘Community of learning’ approaches evident
in the collaborative relationships with parents and whanau, and with
other programmes, agencies and/or schools also mattered.
The Six Centres of Innovation are:
- Aoga Fa'aSamoa, Auckland.
immersion ECE (provides quality Pasifika early childhood education)
and ‘community of learning’ approach.
- Roskill South Kindergarten, Auckland.
IT/ ICT in ECE (widespread and integrated use of information
technology, with good levels of parent involvement) and ‘community of learning’ approach.
- Te Kohanga Reo o Puau Te Moananui A Kiwa, Auckland.
Showcases Maori language based learning,
Kaupapa Maori Kohanga Reo, and ‘community of learning’ approach.
- Wycliffe Nga Tamariki Kindergarten, Napier.
Good collaboration with Maori and Samoan
communities, and good parent involvement through use of information
technology and 'Community of learning’ approach.
- Wilton Playcentre, Wellington.
Displays a strong commitment to education
and involvement of parents, and the innovative use of schema
learning theory‘ and Community of learning’ approach.
- New Beginnings Preschool, Christchurch.
Innovative use of Reggio Emilia approach
and commitment to development and ‘Community of learning’ approach.
more information about COI visit www.minedu.govt.nz
Fa’a Samoa is a “Centre of Innovation”
Fa'asamoa is a Samoan immersion education and care centre located
in Ponsonby, Auckland. Infants, toddlers and young children attend
for up to nine hours daily, up to five days per week, learning
in the Samoan language.
In May 2003 the A'oga Fa’a Samoa was
selected by the Ministry of Education to be one of six Centres
of Innovation nationwide
to undertake a three-year research and development project.
characteristics of the A’oga Fa’a Samoa are its’ Samoan
immersion programme, and its “community of learners” collaborative
Teaching and Learning at A'oga Fa'a Samoa.
A'oga Fa'a Samoa uses a
rich array of approaches to promote Samoan language and culture
and the children's cultural identity. It has
close links with the school communities on site, especially the
bilingual Samoan class in the school for transition of children and
maintain confident and competent bilingual speakers.
of children stay with the same teacher from point of entry through
different groups and spaces in the centre and
school. The effects on children's learning, including learning
Samoan language and culture, of joint educator-child transitions
This project is designed to examine the relationship between learning
and language continuity, as children and educators at the centre
make transitions from the point of entry through to beginning school.
A related intention is to document aspects of the identity, strength
and the confidence of the children.
involved with COI project.
- Jan Taouma:
- Dr. Podmore.
(Victoria University) Research
- Dr. Airini.
(Auckland College of Education). Research
- Action Researchers/Teaching Staff.
Ene Tapusoa, Au Luatua, Ta’a Tuai. (Ta’a Tuai replaces
Malo Moananu who recently moved to Australia).
- Tanya Samu-Wendt: Focus Group Facilitator.
- Focus Group Members.
The COI research associates for the Aoga Fa’a Samoa
- Dr Val Podmore from the Institute for Early Childhood Studies,
Victoria University of Wellington; and,
- Dr Airini from Auckland
College of Education.
COI Focus Group.
Rationale for a Focus (Advisory) Group.
The COI project draws on
the action research approaches used previously in New Zealand studies
(Carr, May, & Podmore, 2000) to implement
an action research spiral approach. This includes observing,
reflecting, planning, and acting (derived from Kemmis and McTaggart,
Data collection methods include focus group interviews and discussions,
observations, teacher diaries, and survey/self-report techniques.
The focus group will be an advisory team who will
lead the COI project, as well as an focus group. The focus group
2 staff members, 2 researchers, 1 representative from centre management,
2 parents, the centre manager, a centre support person. The focus
group ensures full involvement of the centre.
Focus Group Questions.
- How do we assist Samoan language communication in the centre?
Probe: Links to Te Whariki (Ministry of Education, 1996).
- What strategies
do we use to facilitate transition:
- From the infants’ and toddlers’ area to the over-2s
- From the over 2s area to the primary school?
Probe: Focus on “critical incidents” (Airini & Brooker,1999).
are our main expectations/aspirations for children at the
What helps learning and language continuity as children
make transitions within and from the Aoga faa-Samoa?
How can the
key approaches that help learning and language continuity be complemented
The research is designed to address the above research questions
within the context of the Aoga faa-Samoa and its community as well
the benefit to the wider community.
The sampling design includes
children at two transition points as well staff at the centre.
The transition points are:
- The move at around 2yrs-6months from
the infant and toddlers area to the over-2's area; and,
- The transition
from the aoga Faa-Samoa to the primary school on the adjacent
To facilitate effective dissemination of COI information
and activities, the Aoga Fa’a Samoa has:
Developed a visitor’s
policy. With an increased influx of visitors, we must consider
very carefully how we can provide for visitors
and at the same time ensure that.
The children’s programme is not compromised
- The ongoing research project is not jeopardized.
- The overall integrity
of the centre is maintained.
Begun to construct a web site for dissemination
of up-to-date information via the internet. We are hoping to launch
this website by
the end of May 2004. The proposed website URL is www.aogafaasamoa.school.nz
(Progress Report Date: 30 April 2004).
Since being selected as
a Centre of Innovation Aoga Fa’a Samoa
- Submitted a research proposal to the Ministry
of Education (2003).
- Gained ethics approval through Victoria University
Human Ethics Committee (2003).
- Collected informed consent from parents
whose children have been identified as research participants.
and nearly completed the first spiral of action research (2003
- Formed a focus group comprising of people identified
above and parent representatives. (ongoing).
- Presented initial research
information and activities at conferences. Jan Taouma, Dr Podmore,
and Dr Airini have also written
papers that have been presented within the context of the COI research.
as required by contract to the Ministry of Education. Milestone
reports and other documentation are available for
viewing at the Aoga Fa’a Samoa as hard copies – click here for
- Included COI information on our regular Aoga Newsletter,
and have begun to distribute newsletters devoted specifically
to COI information.
These initial stages have been very encouraging and exciting and
we are looking forward to completing and reporting on the first spiral
of our COI research.
If you have any questions or concerns, please
do not hesitate to discuss them with Jan Taouma. Jan’s contact
Aoga Centre manager.
Aoga Fa’a Samoa.
Telephone: 09-3780 40.
Fax: 09 3760 898.
Papers, Workshops, Conferences & Presentations.
FINAL REPORT ON ACTION RESEARCH AT THE A’OGA FA’A
SAMOA an Early Childhood Centre of Innovation (COI, 2003 - 2006)
“O le tama ma lana a’oga, O le tama ma lona fa’asinomaga”
Nurturing positive identity in children”
Final Research Report from the A’oga Fa’a Samoa. A Report
for the Ministry of Education
16 August 2006 (Valerie N. Podmore with Tanya Wendt Samu and the
A’oga Fa’a Samoa)
Prepared for the Ministry of Education under contract between the
Ministry and Victoria Link Ltd.
Crown copyright. The views expressed in this report do not represent
the views of the Crown.
document as a PDF file.
What helps effective transition in Early Childhood Education:
Perceptions of good practice in Samoan ECE.
A research paper prepared for the A’oga Fa’a Samoa,
Auckland, and the University of Victoria at Wellington, New Zealand.
is about adult perceptions of what helps children through transition
phases within a Samoa immersion ECE setting, and from that setting
school. In short, this is about times of change in ECE and what helps make them
happen in ways beneficial to a child’s holistic development.
Download this document as a PDF
and Collaborative Research Development in an Early Childhood Centre. (Podmore, et al. 2003).
Paper 1 in the Symposium: Research Development
and Implementation in New Zealand's Pacific “Early Childhood
Centre of Innovation” presented at the joint
NZARE-AARE Conference, Auckland, 29 November–3 December 2003.
Download this document as a PDF
A Samoan-Language Immersion Centre's Journey Into Action
(Podmore, et al. 2003).
Paper 2 in the Symposium: Research Development and Implementation
in New Zealand's Pacific “Early Childhood Centre of Innovation”, presented at the
joint NZARE-AARE Conference, Auckland, 29 November–3 December
Download this document as a PDF