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Study to investigate Indian education in New Zealand

Study to investigate Indian education in New Zealand

A Massey PhD student is researching how Indian immigrant children fair in the New Zealand early education system, and how well teachers accommodate minority cultures.

Vijaya Tatineni is studying how early childhood teachers engage with Indian immigrant children and their parents as part of her Doctorate in Education.

Her research will explore Indian parents’ child rearing practices, values, and how they want their children to be taught. She will also look at the issues facing early childhood teachers when teaching these children and what interaction they have with parents.

Mrs Tatineni, who used to manage a preschool in India, says in today’s multicultural society it is necessary for teachers to ensure their teaching is meaningful and relevant to minority groups.

“With increasing multiculturalism in classrooms, teachers need to look closely at minority cultures and reflect on programmes in their early childhood centres.

“My research will investigate if our daily classroom practices are meaningful to these children.”

Mrs Tatineni says there is a lack of early childhood research on what Indian children bring to early childhood centres and how this can be used to create meaningful programmes for them.

“In the last five to ten years increasing numbers of Indians have been coming to New Zealand – though official numbers of Indian immigrant children are unknown. This means we will have to cater to their educational needs as well. The need for this research is very timely.”

Her research will involve nine Indian immigrant families.

Mrs Tatineni says it is likely her findings will have an impact on policy within the Early Childhood education system in New Zealand. She hopes to have completed her doctorate by 2015.

Mrs Tatineni is a regional early childhood lecturer at the Open Polytechnic in Wellington.

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