Learner Identities in the Early Years: An Introduction to Four Themes Why Story? Co-Authoring and Dialogue Making Connections Across Boundaries Between Places Recognising and Re-Cognising Learning Continuities Appropriating Knowledges and Learning Dispositions in a Range of Increasingly Complex Ways Reconceptualising Assessment Constructing and Sustaining a Passion for Learning
Margaret Carr is a Professor of Education at the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research at the University of Waikato, in Hamilton, New Zealand. Before she joined the Faculty of Education at Waikato, she was a geographer at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, where there was a strong focus by the professors on social and cultural change. This formed a background for her interest in the role of education in society, and in Hamilton she gained a qualification in early childhood education and worked as a kindergarten teacher before becoming a lecturer in education at the university. Her PhD thesis was entitled 'Technological Practice in Early Childhood as a Dispositional Milieu'. New Zealand has provided a number of opportunities for professors to research with early childhood teachers on topics chosen by the teachers, and Margaret has frequently published with teachers. Learning Stories as an assessment practice was developed for the 1996 Te Whariki bicultural curriculum (later revised in 2017); the development of narrative assessment is told in the 2001 Sage book, Assessment in Early Childhood Settings: Learning Stories, and further developed in the 2012 Sage book Learning Stories: Constructing Learner Identities in Early Education. The latter book was co-authored with Wendy Lee, and this partnership has combined academic and professional wisdom in many publications and presentations over many years. Wendy Lee is passionate about Early Childhood Education (ECE) in New Zealand and has developed a deep interest in issues related to the curriculum and leadership. She is a strong advocate for Learning Stories and the power of documentation to strengthen learner identity of children. Over the past 50 years, her career has focused on building strong, reflective and robust learning communities through her roles as teacher, unionist, lecturer, community development worker, city councillor, manager, professional development facilitator and researcher. Today, as director of the Educational Leadership Project Ltd she and her team provide training and advice to ECE centres throughout New Zealand and in a wide range of other countries. Over the past 20 years, she has had the privilege of collaborating with Professor Margaret Carr on a number of ECE research projects, including co-directing the National Early Childhood Assessment and Learning Exemplar Project. This produced the Kei Tua o te Pae books on assessment for improving learning in the NZ ECE sector. As the influence of research in the area of Learning Stories and Assessment in New Zealand grows and extends more into ECE practice, Wendy has been increasingly requested to present its influence to a wider international audience including teachers in Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, Japan, Belgium, the USA, Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia and China.
'Margaret Carr and Wendy Lee weave together a powerful book full of
respect for children's ideas, interests and identities as learners.
Using theoretically informed and practically focused discussion and
examples, they provide extensive evidence of the role of narrative
assessment as teachers, children and families co-construct stories
- Sue Dockett, Professor of Early Childhood Education,
Murray School of Education, Charles Sturt University
'What a fabulous read! Any practitioner already engaged in
collating learning stories or learning journeys as a means of
recording children's achievements and progress should absorb this
life-enriching read of a beautiful book'
-Early Years Educator
'Illustrated in colour, this is a fascinating and timely book
which will make rewarding reading for both experienced
practitioners and for students on degree and higher degree level
courses. There is much here to think about, reflect upon and
discuss as we endevour to equip young children with the skills and
dispositions they need to live in a global democratic society'
- Early Years Update