Through belonging: An early childhood perspective from a New Zealand preschool

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Other

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter discusses a research project, Our Place, which occurred in Aotearoa/New Zealand and was influenced by an approach to education and research developed by the preschools of Reggio Emilia, in Italy. The idea for the project was first discussed on a study tour to the famous Italian preschools. In an effort to increase engagement with the local community in New Zealand, teachers and children participated in the project. Children began to construct a map of their local environment and small groups began to go 'outside the gates' with a teacher. Families supported the project and appreciated the activities of the preschool in the community. Children began to explore nearby landmarks, including their local river. The early childhood curriculum in New Zealand suggests that children get to know the land, their mountains and rivers, as part of fostering their sense of belonging. In this chapter this is described as a 'turangawaewae story'. The way a sense of belonging was encouraged by taking a socio-ecological perspective is described through the voices of all participants in the project.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Socioecological Educator: A 21st Century Renewal of Physical, Health, Environment and Outdoor Education
EditorsBrian Wattchow, Ruth Jeanes, Laura Alfrey, Trent Brown, Amy Cutter-Mackenzie, Justen O'Connor
Place of PublicationThe Netherlands
Pages125 - 137
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789400771673
ISBN (Print)9400771665, 9789400771666
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Agency and participation
  • Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • Community engagement
  • Place based curriculum
  • Reggio Emilia

Cite this