Using complexity thinking to foster a games of chase curriculum in a New Zealand early childhood setting
KeywordsField of Research::13 - Education::1301 - Education Systems::130102 - Early Childhood Education (excl. Māori)
Field of Research::13 - Education::1302 - Curriculum and Pedagogy::130210 - Physical Education and Development Curriculum and Pedagogy
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AbstractThis paper presents an example of how complexity thinking was used to foster a local curriculum related to games of chase at an EC setting. It shows how activities, teaching and children’s learning interacted in an on-going and mutually-beneficial way. These interactions enabled the emergence of a new game, and enhanced a teacher’s and children’s thinking/learning in and about games of chase.
Complexity thinking is a way of thinking and acting that assumes we live in a complex world (Davis & Sumara, 2006) where inter-connections abound and they affect us in visible and invisible ways. To use complexity thinking in teaching and learning means to firstly, be conscious of the mutually-influencing (coupled) connections which exist/can exist in our setting; and secondly, focus our teaching on expanding possibilities in activities, teaching and learning in ways that are ethical, logical and meaningful for individuals and collectives/groups.
The research was conducted at an early childhood centre in Christchurch with mainly three- and four-year old children. I took on the role of teacher, researcher and curriculum designer for 14 weeks and collected multiple types of data, including video and audio data, fieldnotes, photographs and learning stories. I used the data to create on-going stories about children’s learning, my teaching and the activities the children and I engaged in; this approach enabled ongoing data, knowledge and emergent opportunities to be incorporated into the research process.
This research generated two innovations that enhanced my thinking-practice as a teacher. The first was a curriculum content framework for teachers and children to collaboratively explore games of chase and co-create new games. The second was a framework for curriculum decision-making which focuses on fostering new learning, activities and teaching ideas and strategies.
By enacting the two frameworks in a coupled way, the children and I were able to co-create variations of several games of chase, as well as to occasion a new one. The children also (1) learnt to distinguish between players and non-players in a shared play area, (2) learnt to tag in different ways, (3) experienced the nature of games and (4) contributed to different game designs.
TypeConference Contributions - Other
Hussain, H. (2013) Using complexity thinking to foster a games of chase curriculum in a New Zealand early childhood setting. Singapore: Redesigning Pedagogy Conference 2013, 3-5 Jun 2013.