Gardening is strongly aligned with kaitiakitanga (guardianship, protection), and opens a wide range of opportunities for science, sustainability, and social emotional learning. When early childhood centres establish gardens, children, teachers, and families can work together to grow food, learn about natural medicine, create habitats for insects, learn about ecosystems, and enhance their natural environment.
Chanel and her teaching team at Country Kids discuss how they came to establish a garden at their centre, and the many learning opportunities it has created for children and teachers alike. It has been a journey that involved a lot of trial and error, research, and learning. They describe how this journey of learning has added threads of interest throughout their curriculum and is now a core part of their practice and culture.
A glossary of the te reo Māori terms can be found below the video.
Kaitiaki: a guardian
Kaitiakitanga: guardianship and protection
Papatūānuku: the land, Mother Earth
Rangatira: a leader, showing leadership
Tuakana-teina: a relationship of support between an older and a younger child