Dance as a Taonga from children to the world
a perspective from Aotearoa New Zealand
This chapter considers the relationship between dance and the early years of learning in the lives of children within a specific community. The context is Aotearoa New Zealand where early education is underpinned by New Zealand's early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki: He Whāriki Matauranga mō ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa (Ministry of Education [MoE], Te whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa: early childhood curriculum. Learning Media, Wellington, 1996) and the Treaty of Waitangi (class="EmphasisTypeItalic ">Te Tiriti o Waitangi, 1840), Aotearoa New Zealand's founding document. Te Whāriki is based on a set of principles that reflect Māori or indigenous ways of knowing. The chapter focuses on a case study in a Kaupapa Māori-medium early childhood center and, in particular, its regular visits to a nearby volcanic mountain, a revered local landmark. The overarching question for this study was: How does dance contribute to young children's sense of identity and culture, especially when connected with place? This question is addressed in dialogue with Te Whāriki's Māori principles and concepts, as well as the values and beliefs contributing to the Māori philosophy of the early childhood center where the study took place. A further aim of the chapter is to extend the literature on evidence-based advocacy for children's right to make meaning of their lives through dance experiences.
Sansom, A. (2019)., Dance as a Taonga from children to the world: a perspective from Aotearoa New Zealand, in K. Bond (ed.), Dance and the quality of life, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 83-100.
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