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EDCR301 Living Curriculum

Challenges students to explore what it means to utilise their knowledge of curriculum, pedagogical content knowledge, research, and theory to ‘live’ the curriculum in early childhood settings in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

This course will engage students in a critical examination of a living curriculum in early childhood settings in Aotearoa New Zealand. This examination will consider any contemporary and historical influences on curriculum, including the on-going inclusion of te ao Māori, and the possibilities of curriculum learning areas to extend on children’s learning dispositions and working theories.  Living curriculum creates opportunites to further understand children’s learning dispositions of taking responsibility, reciprocity and resilience (Ministry of Education, 2017). 

Paper title Living Curriculum
Paper code EDCR301
Subject Education
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period(s) Semester 1 (On campus)
Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $912.00
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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EDCR 201, EDCR 202, EDCR 203 and EDPR 201
Limited to
Early Childhood Education students only.
This paper is for Early Childhood Education students only.

Paper Co-ordinators: Roberta Carvalho (Dunedin)
Meredith Kelly (Southland)

Teaching staff

Roberta Carvalho (Dunedin)
Meredith Kelly and Parker Ormond (Southland)

Paper Structure

Te Whāriki as socio-cultural, bi-cultural curriculum

  • Discourses:  Historical and contemporary influences on curriculum.
  • Critical examination of the ‘lived’ curriculum; ideology versus reality
  • Curriculum areas to extend learning dispositions and working theories

Curriculum approaches and strategies

  • Contemporary research and theory relating to curriculum.
  • Learning dispositions and working theories; taking responsibility, reciprocity and resilience

Bicultural curriculum

  • Critical examination and implementation of te ao Māori in early childhood education.
  • Critical understandings and implementation of Māori concepts and dimensions within the framework of Te Whāriki. 

Community of learners

  • Curriculum implementation within contextual early childhood settings.
  • Affordances of learning environments and related challenges
  • Expectations and challenges for kaiako, community and whanau
Teaching Arrangements

This paper is taught on the Dunedin and Southland campuses.


Required Texts:

  • Hedges, H. (2022). Children’s interests, inquiries and identities: Curriculum, pedagogy, learning and outcomes in the early years. Routledge.
  • McLachlan, C., Fleer, M. & Edwards, S. (2018). Early childhood curriculum: Planning, assessment and implementation (3rd ed.). Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press. (Available from Robertson Library Reserve).
  • New Zealand Ministry of Education. (2017). Te whāriki: He whāriki matauranga mo nga mokopuna o Aotearoa: Early childhood curriculum. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.
  • New Zealand Ministry of Education. (2017). Te Marautanga o Aotearoa: He whakapākehātanga. Avalaible online at:
  • New Zealand Ministry of Education. (2011). Tātaiako: Cultural competencies for kaiako/teachers of Māori learners. Wellington: Ministry of Education. Available online at:
  • Gunn, A. & Nuttall, J. (Eds.) (2019). Weaving Te Whāriki: Aotearoa New Zealand's early childhood curriculum document in theory and practice (3rd ed.). Wellington, New Zealand: NZCER.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will be able to:

  • Critically analyse the notion of lived curriculum as an integrated, bicultural curriculum and explore how content and pedagogical content knowledge informs the professional practice of early childhood teachers working with all learners
  • Appraise current theory on curriculum and examine its impact on the development of curriculum approaches and strategies
  • Gain knowledge and understanding on how a bicultural curriculum is lived in daily practice
  • Critically examine the value of communities of learners in curriculum implementation

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 13:00-15:50 14


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Friday 13:00-15:50 9-13, 16-21

Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 09:00-10:50 9-14, 16-21
Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16-21