chapter  11
21 Pages

“If You Think They Can Do It—Then They Can”: Two-Year-Olds in Aotearoa New Zealand Kindergartens and Changing Professional Perspectives

ByJUDITH DUNCAN

Through a combination of practitioner research and collective teacher discussions, a small group of kindergarten teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand engaged in rethinking their teaching practices with two-yearold children from a sociocultural perspective. We drew on a sociocultural theoretical approach to rethink and reframe teaching and learning because Fleer (2002, p. 2) identifi ed that it offered “scope for building new foundations” not only for research but also in constructing and conceptualizing all aspects of pedagogy. In this way, sociocultural theory enables the construction of new understandings of participatory learning for children and an ability to shift the ‘gaze’ to the wider contexts which impact on teaching and learning experiences (Carr, 2001; Fleer, 2002, 2003; Fleer & Richardson, 2004).