University of Waikato, with Wellington Regional Free Kindergarten Association and Te Papa
This Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) project was sited in a kindergarten, Tai Tamariki, at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington. This kindergarten is a full day-centre for children aged 0–5 years. On average, 70 percent of the families include staff at Te Papa. The research focused on the relationship between the teachers, children and families at the kindergarten and selected exhibitions at Te Papa. It was extended to include these relationships with exhibitions at nearby art galleries.
The three questions that guided the research were:
How might the construction of knowledge and stories about the world and its representation in objects and exhibitions be encouraged in an early childhood centre at Te Papa? A sub-question was: How do young children construct knowledge from museum objects and exhibits?
Does the opportunity to interact with a range of cultural taonga deepen children’s understanding of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa/ New Zealand?
How do the family members, as employees of Te Papa, contribute their “funds of knowledge” to the learning experiences of children attending the early childhood centre, and how do the children share their experiences with their families?
Carr, M., Clarkin-Phillips, J., Beer,A., Thomas, R. & Waitai, M. (2012): Young children developing meaning-making practices in a museum: the role of boundary objects, Museum Management and Curatorship, 27:1, 53-66. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09647775.2012.644696