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Volume 4, Number 2 - October 2015

Te Ira Atua: The spiritual spark of the child

“E ai ki tā te Māori he atua tonu kei roto i te mokopuna ina whānau mai ana ia ki tēnei ao” (Ministry of Education, 1996, p. 35). This quote is from the New Zealand Ministry of Education’s early childhood curriculum policy statement, Te Whāriki: He Whāriki Matauranga mo ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa/Early Childhood Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 1996). It speaks of the godliness or spiritual essence each child inherits from their ancestors when they are born (Early Childhood Development, 1999; Reedy, 2003). From a traditional Māori perspective, not only is the child endowed with spiritual potential or a divine spirit, but the world the child is born into is also endowed with spiritual influences.


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