Current Projects

Embedded Instruction for Early Learning: Aotearoa

Project Lead

Tara McLaughlin

Collaborating Partners

Patricia Snyder, University of Florida; and Gaylyn Campbell and Robyn Vine-Adie, Ruahine Kindergarten Association

Project Funding

Massey University Strategic Research Excellence Fund (SREF) and Massey University Research Fund (MURF)

What’s The Project About?

Embedded instruction is a systematic and intentional approach to providing instructional support during ongoing play, activities, and routines for children who have additional learning support needs. The project will focus on the development of New Zealand based approaches to embedded instruction and professional learning and development (PLD) approaches with and without coaching. Embedded instruction and PLD supports will be examined through a series of comparative case studies.

HCK Oral Langage Development

Project Lead

Claire Fouhy, Hutt City Kindergarten Association

Collaborating Partners

Tara McLaughlin and Sue Cherrington

Project Funding

HealthCare Plus Chartiable Education Grants

What’s The Project About?

The project focuses on using data to enhance intentional teaching of communication, oral language, and the mana reo strand of Te Whāriki. The project is designed as a series of data-supported teacher inquiries to enhance teacher knowledge of children’s oral language and communication and foster a culture of formative assessment and effective data use to provide better outcomes for children’s learning.

Past Projects

Kōwhiti Whakapae

Project Lead

Tara McLaughlin and Sue Cherrington

Collaborating Partners
Karyn Aspden, Rachel Beazley, Carmen Dalli, Huinga Jackson-Greenland, Lesley Rameka, and Fa’asaulala (Salā) Tagoilelagi-Leota. The project team were supported by project administrators, critical friends, and a sector reference group.

Project Funding

Ministry of Education

What’s The Project About?

This project focused on the development of Kōwhiti Whakapae which is a resource to help kaiako strengthen formative assessment and teaching practice within the framework of Te Whāriki He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa. Kōwhiti Whakapae is designed to help kaiako attend to individual children’s progress in order to identify ways to deepen or strengthen children’s learning through effective teacher practice.

Kōwhiti Whakapae is embedded in Te Ao Māori cultural perspectives, at the same time as focusing on key areas of learning and development which have life-course significance for all children. These areas are connected across the principles, strands, and learning outcomes of Te Whāriki.

Data, Knowledge, Action: Exploring Sustained Shared Thinking to Deepen Young Children’s Learning

Project Lead

Tara McLaughlin

 

Collaborating Partners
Lynda Hunt, Sue Cherrington, Karyn Aspden, Claire McLachlan, Gaylyn Campbell, and Robyn-Vine Adie

 

Project Funding

Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI), New Zealand Council for Educational Research, Ministry of Education.

 

What’s The Project About?

Sustained Shared Thinking (SST) involves teachers engaging with children in play, working together in back and forth conversations that provide opportunities to discuss, explore, and think about everyday experiences, problems or challenges in an inquisitive and extended way. Internationally, research suggests SST is critical for high-quality pedagogy as a pathway to deepen children’s learning. Research also shows SST can be complex and nuanced. To address this complexity, the project uses innovative data tools to investigate the nature and frequency of teacher-child SST with a focus on extending these powerful interactions in two settings. The Data, Knowledge, Action projects are guided by the premise that effective data can lead to knowledge and knowledge can lead to action for improved teaching and learning.

Impact of Consistent, Intentional Teaching on Children’s Social-Emotional Competence

Project Lead

Karen Mackay, Best Start Palmerston North

 

Collaborating Partners

Tara McLaughlin and Monica Cameron


Project Funding

Teacher-Led Innovation Fund (TLIF), Ministry of Education

 

What’s The Project About?

Children’s emerging social-emotional competence, including self-regulation has been identified in research as critical for developing strong foundations in their first 5 years of life. The project focuses on strengthening teacher confidence and consistent use of intentional strategies to support children’s social and emotional competence. Developing practical tools and processes for teachers to reflect on their own practice, have their practice observed by a project teacher-leader, gather and record information about children’s social-emotional skills, and use this information to inform planning and partnering with whānau are key aspects of the work.

Nurturing Mindfulness and Social-Emotional Competence in Early Childhood to Support Competent, Confident, and Resilient Learners

Project Lead

Monica Bay Waters, Totara Park Kindergarten, He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association

 

Collaborating Partners

Tara McLaughlin and Karyn Aspden

 

Project Funding

Teacher-Led Innovation Fund (TLIF), Ministry of Education

 

What’s The Project About?

Drawing on established practices from Te Whāriki, social-emotional teaching and learning approaches, and mindfulness programmes, the project aims to develop a local and targeted approach to supporting tamariki to be competent, confident, and resilient learners. Project-developed tools and resources to support teachers to reflect on practice, gather information about children’s learning, and partner with families to gather information about and support children’s social-emotional learning and use of mindfulness practices are key aspects of this work.

Embedded Instruction for Early Learning California Project

Project Lead

Patricia Snyder and Mary McLean, University of Florida

 

Project Consultant

Tara McLaughlin

 

Project Funding

Department of Special Education Programs, California State Department of Education

 

What’s The Project About?

Embedded Instruction is an evidence-based multi-component approach for planning, implementing, and evaluating instruction for preschool children with disabilities in inclusive settings. Participating teachers engage in the Embedded Instruction Tools for Teachers professional development and practice-based coaching program to learn about embedded instruction practices. The project team works with Local educational agencies (LEAs) across California.

Data, Knowledge, Action: A Teacher-led Inquiry into Data-Informed Teaching in Early Childhood Education

Project Lead

Lynda Hunt, Ruahine Kindergarten Association

 

Collaborating Partners

Tara McLaughlin and Karyn Aspden

 

Project Funding

Teacher-Led Innovation Fund (TLIF), Ministry of Education

 

What’s The Project About?

This project used teacher-led inquires to embrace and explore new and emerging technologies and range of tools to generate informative and authentic data to gain knowledge about children’s curriculum experiences and inform intentional teaching in four kindergartens settings. Each team identified a key area of curriculum to explore and worked with critical friends and partner teacher-researchers to collect, analyse, make sense of, and use data to support planning and promote positive child outcomes. The Data, Knowledge, Action projects are guided by the premise that effective data can lead to knowledge and knowledge can lead to action for improved teaching and learning.

Examining Teaching Practices to Promote Children’s Learning and Social-Emotional Competence in Early Childhood

Principle Investigator

Tara McLaughlin

 

Co-Investigators

Claire McLachlan and Karyn Aspden

 

Project Funding

Massey University Research Fund (MURF)

 

What’s The Project About?

The project used a multi-phase, mixed-methods approach to examine, develop, compare, refine, and validate teaching practices that promote children’s learning and social-emotional competence. The work resulted in a Teaching Practice List available on this website under teacher resources.

Examining Teaching Practices to Promote Children’s Learning and Social-Emotional Competence in Early Childhood - Infants and Toddlers

Principle Investigator

Karyn Aspden

 

Co-Investigators

Tara McLaughlin
Project Funding

Massey University Research Fund (MURF)

 

What’s The Project About?

The project used a multi-phase, mixed-methods approach to examine, develop, compare, refine, and validate teaching practices that promote infant’s and toddler’s learning and social-emotional competence. The work resulted in an infant and toddler Teaching Practice List available on this website under teacher resources.

Examining Learning Stories in Early Childhood Education

Principle Investigator

Tara McLaughlin

 

Co-Investigators

Monica Cameron, Karyn Aspden, Jo Dean and Massey Child Care

 

Project Funding

Massey University Research Fund (MURF)

 

What’s The Project About?

The project sought to explore quality features of learning stories identified in extant literature as well as from the perspectives of early childhood teachers. Student extensions of this work have also included the perspectives of parents.