|dc.description.abstract||This thesis, ‘Poetry in Motion’, explores the ways in which poetry aligns to the cultural capital of kindergarten settings. The research also unravels the role and purposes of poetry for kindergarten children.
The research context is the kindergartens of the Napier Kindergarten Association, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Napier kindergartens are state funded to provide education and care for children aged two to five years, with qualified registered teachers. This ethnographic study highlights the links between poetry and the arts for young children. The rich interconnections that teachers and children have made between poetry and education become transparent.
The kindergarten movement in New Zealand owes its pedagogical origins to Friedrich Froebel in 19th century Germany. Cultural influences from America, Europe, Britain, Japan, and the indigenous Māori culture are evident in the poetry in current use. In New Zealand all early childhood services base their teaching on the national Early Childhood Education (ECE) curriculum, Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education [MoE], 1996). This aspirational curriculum document reflects the bicultural commitment of New Zealand to value the partnership between the indigenous Māori people and others of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
One of the themes from this study is how teachers’ own cultural knowledge and traditions influence the poetry they choose in their work with young children. Some warm provocations are offered to the wider early childhood world about how poetry could be cultivated. The study also identifies areas where further research is needed to understand the creative process of poetry writing for young children and teachers.||