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This curriculum has been followed by schools in New Zealand from 1996, when it was first formulated. The name is a translation from a language called Maori, meaning “a mat for all to stand on”. Considering the diverse culture of New Zealand, this term is an apt one.
Essentially, the Te Whariki has its foundations on two principles. The first one is the liberty for educators of early childhood to develop programs that may be unique but conforming to the Te Whariki framework. This is to ensure that the social and cultural traditions of the country are respected and adhered to.
The second principle is the adaptability it allows for depending on the individual interests, aspirations of children attending early childhood education. It therefore encourages empowerment of children rights and wishes and does not believe in foisting anything by force on children. The implementation of this curriculum will thus vary across centres, due to the freedom it allows educators in developing curriculum.
The main benefit of the Te Whariki curriculum is the freedom it provides educators and teachers to come out with programs they feel will benefit the children in their individual centres. It also challenges the teachers to modify their teaching styles accordingly.
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