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Making art matter-ings: Engaging (with) art in early childhood education, in Aotearoa New Zealand

Pedagogický Časopis. 2015;6(2):133-153 DOI 10.1515/jped-2015-0018


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Pedagogický Časopis

ISSN: 1338-2144 (Online)

Publisher: Sciendo

Society/Institution: Trnava University, Faculty of Education

LCC Subject Category: Education

Country of publisher: Poland

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Craw Janita (AUT University, Faculty of Culture and Society, School of Education, 90 Akoranga Drive, Northcote, 1142, New Zealand)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 20 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This article examines the special nature of Te Whāriki, Aotearoa New Zealand’s early childhood national curriculum, as a dynamic social, cultural document through an exploration of two art-inspired imaginary case studies. Thinking with Te Whāriki retains the potential to ignite thinking post-developmentally about art, pedagogy and practice in teacher education, and in the field. It offers examples of how creating spaces for engaging (with) art as pedagogy acts as a catalyst for change, art offers a dynamic way of knowing, and being-with the different life-worlds we inhabit. While new paradigms for thinking and practicing art in education continue to push the boundaries of developmentally and individually responsive child-centred pedagogies, an emphasis on multiple literacies often gets in the way. This prohibits opportunities for engaging in other more complex approaches to pedagogy and art as subject-content knowledge, something essential for developing a rich curriculum framework. The article draws on research that emphasises the importance of teacher education in opening up spaces for thinking about (the history of) art in/and of education as more than a communication/language tool. It considers an inclusive and broad knowledge-building-communities approach that values the contribution that art, artists, and others offer the 21st early learning environments we find ourselves in.