Contributors: Vol 6, No 2 - October 2019

Binky Laureta has a Masters in Family Life and Child Development and is a certificated teacher in early childhood education. She has been involved in teaching for 20 years, both overseas, and in New Zealand. She started her career as a preschool teacher and then joined the tertiary sector. Currently, she is working as Lecturer and Program Leader for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching ECE program at New Zealand Tertiary College. Her interests are in inclusive education, social competency, cultural diversity, multicultural education, adult/higher education teaching and learning, teacher training, online teaching and learning, curriculum and learning support.

Chelsea Bracefield has a varied scope of experience within the early childhood sector including pedagogy, curriculum, and leadership. Since joining New Zealand Tertiary College, Chelsea has applied her knowledge and experience to support students and more recently associate teachers in her role as Associate Teacher Support for the New Zealand Tertiary College. Chelsea’s research interests are cultural and linguistic inclusion with focus on teacher leadership and mentoring.

Cheryl McConnell is a Principal Academic Lecturer at the Eastern Institute of Technology in early childhood education, Napier, New Zealand. Her teaching experience includes primary, early childhood and tertiary. Cheryl finds teaching an extremely rewarding, interesting and challenging personal and professional journey. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of children, whānau and communities. She is enthusiastic about the multi-faceted ways that children express themselves. She is a strong advocate for respectful authentic ways of being with very young children and recognises the deep responsibility of teachers to work with and advocate for children. Her research interests include: feminism, fostering children’s creativity, practice based teacher education, play, mentoring, treaty education and the Reggio Emilia approach to education.

Christine Vincent-Snow lectures in early childhood teaching at New Zealand Tertiary College. She has a strong interest in sustainable practices, kaitiakitanga (guardianship), play, and the influence and effect of the nature upon tamariki (children). Christine is currently completing a master’s degree in early childhood and has worked in early childhood education for over 20 years.

Jan Beatson has been involved in early childhood education for over 40 years. She is passionate about children’s right to play and to access natural outdoor spaces. For over 25 years she has provided democratic, play based programmes which regularly take all children “Out and About” into nature and community. She owns and operates three early childhood centres and is passionate about providing opportunities for children to experience and understand “how the world works”, while having genuine experiences of freedom and roaming in nature. After visiting Scandinavia in 2003, she established specific nature/forest/beach early childhood programmes in Auckland and Dunedin. Jan is studying towards a Master of Education at Auckland University of Technology and through this has gathered a vast array of information and research on the importance of reconnecting children to nature and her other interest, language development. Jan in a member of the International Play Association and has presented at a number of national and international conferences on nature play in Aoteoroa. Jan has three children and four grandchildren.

Jennifer Fiechtner issenior partner at Innovations in Early Childhood Education, Inc. in Houston, Texas. She is a writer, editor, and educator and the author of Five Parenting Strategies to Support Emotional Development. She was also the editor of Social Emotional Tools for Life: An Early Childhood Teacher’s Guide to Supporting Strong Emotional Foundations and Successful Social Relationships. You can find out more at

Kath Duncan is a Lecturer at New Zealand tertiary College. She has a BEd (ECE) along with a background in health education with a qualification in food and nutrition. Kath enjoys the outdoors and is interested in promoting children’s holistic health and their learning through taking risks in outdoor play. E-mail:

Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek is the Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, USA. Her research examines the development of early language and literacy, the role of play in learning and learning and technology. She is the author of 14 books and hundreds of publications and has won numerous awards in her field. Vested in translating the science of learning for lay and professional audiences, her recent book, Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children, released in 2016 was on the New York Times Best Seller list in education and parenting.

Kay Albrecht is President of Innovations in Early Childhood Education, Inc. Teaching in some capacity has been the bulk of Kay’s life work, beginning as a preschool teacher and continuing as a program director and a teacher educator. She is also the author of The Right Fit: Recruiting, Selecting, and Orienting Staff, co-author of the innovations series of curriculum and training materials, and Social Emotional Tools for Life: An Early Childhood Teacher’s Guide.

Matikoora (Mati) Itonga Marea worked as a Medical Doctor for six years and was in charge of Emergency Department in Tungaru Central Hospital, Tarawa, Kiribati. She then moved to New Zealand with her family in 2006 under the Pacific Access Category. Mati worked as assistant administrator/office manager, for eight years at an Eearly childhood and education centre in Manukau while doing her Bachelor’s degree in Business, majoring in Management and Human Resource and Employment Relations at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). Mati won a one-year scholarship for an interpreting course at AUT. Mati, being an immigrant to New Zealand is passionate about learning new languages while ensuring to maintain her mother tongue. Mati has assisted many I-Kiribati with interpretations during medical consultations and provided Kiribati language support and cultural expertise as a participant researcher in a qualitative study of the everyday experiences of newly settled families in an intercultural playgroup in 2018. She continues to seek opportunities to be involved in tasks that will result in maintaining the Kiribati language and culture.

Mary M. (Meg) Jacobs is a Research Fellow in the Marie Clay Research Centre, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland. Meg received her PhD from the University of Iowa in 2013 after the completion of a qualitative study of family literacy practices in a homeless shelter. Meg continues to draw on this research experience and her 15-year teaching career in US primary schools to contest educational deficit discourses that diminish the contributions and aspirations of families. In 2018, Meg completed a year-long qualitative study of the linguistic and cultural practices of newly settled families in Aotearoa New Zealand and what they value in their transition to living in a new country. Meg’s research interests include family multiliteracies, the intersection between literacy, power, and inequities, and language and literacy in early childhood.

Pearl D'Silva has been working at New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC) since 2007 and was previously Academic Manager at NZTC office in Mumbai prior to coming to New Zealand.  She has a Master’s in Human Development from the University of Mumbai. Prior to this, she worked as a lecturer and primary years programme teacher in Mumbai. She has also served as executive committee member for the Association for Early Childhood Education and Development (AECED) in India. Her research interests include children’s literature, creative thinking and play in early childhood contexts.

Phoebe Tong is a Lecturer at New Zealand Tertiary College. She has been working in early childhood education for 10 years. Phoebe has completed her master’s degree on different understandings of childhood by engaging in stories in children’s literature. She is passionate about childhood studies, children’s literature, children’s agency, and multicultural education.

Roberta Michnick Golinkoff is the Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Education, Psychology, and Linguistics at the University of Delaware and runs the Child’s Play, Learning, and Development Laboratory. She has received numerous awards for her contributions to developmental and educational science in the areas of language development, playful learning, media, and spatial learning. Funded by federal agencies and foundations, she has written 16 books and monographs. Passionate about the dissemination of psychological science for improving schools and families’ lives, she and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek wrote How Babies Talk (Penguin), A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool (Oxford), and Einstein Never Used Flash Cards (Rodale). Her latest book Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children (APA Press), reached the New York Times bestseller list. She is also an author of a new language screener called the QUILS: Quick Interactive Language Screener for children from three through five years of age. Dr Golinkoff also co-founded the Playful Learning Landscapes project. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, and in print media. She never turns down an opportunity to spread the findings of psychological science to the lay public.

Sarah Aiono is a Director of Longworth Education and is currently undertaking her doctoral studies with Massey University (Palmerston North). Sarah, provides professional development support for teachers implementing evidence-based play pedagogy within the primary school setting. Her doctoral research aims to identify the impact of two professional development models, workshop only PLD and workshop and coaching PLD, have on the implementation of effective play pedagogies in the primary classroom. Email:

Sue Nicolson has 19 years’ experience as a teacher and then as a Lecturer in early childhood education with two of those years as a Centre Manager. Sue has been with New Zealand Tertiary College as a lecturer since 2017 and has an interest in how children are supported emotionally in their environment; and how teachers through thoughtful considerations can recognise and support children’s understanding of the changes that they experience. Advocating for the profession is also another passion, Sue believes that early childhood teachers need to ensure that their professional status as teachers supports them to advocate for children’s learning, as well as raising the status of ECE teachers.

Tara McLaughlin is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Education at Massey University. Prior to this appointment, she was a research scientist at the University of Florida in the Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies. She is committed to supporting learning environments that promote diverse and equitable opportunities for all children and families. She maintains an active research programme in range of topics related to intentional teaching, social-emotional teaching, data-informed teaching, and teaching through play; professional learning and development; assessment of children’s learning and development; and early intervention.

Tracy Riley is Dean, Research at Massey University and a leading scholar in gifted education. She is the secretary for the World Council for Gifted & Talented Children, a board member of giftEDnz, and member of the New Zealand Deans and Directors of Graduate Schools and Australian Council of Graduate Research. She is currently leading a teaching learning research Initiative applying gifted principles of differentiation in mainstream classrooms. Email:

Vikki Hanrahan is a Lecturer at the New Zealand Tertiary College. She has a background in early childhood education(ECE) including roles as a teacher, team leader, Centre Manager and Lecturer. Her research interests include risk-taking in the outdoors, leadership in early childhood education, outdoor play and ECE assessment practices. Vikki recently completed her Master of Education, with a focus on safe risk-taking for young children in early childhood outdoor environments. E-mail:

How to cite this article

He Kupu, 6 (2), 86.