New Years Honour awarded to Professor Helen May
New Zealand Kindergartens, Te Pūtahi Kura Puhou O Aotearoa, congratulates New Year Honours recipients.
Special acknowledgement from New Zealand Kindergartens goes to Professor Helen May on the award of Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education.
MAY, Professor Helen
For services to education
Professor Helen May has had a 50-year career in the service of education. Professor May began her career as a primary school teacher, followed by childcare, and tertiary teaching. She is now a renowned researcher and historian in early childhood education, and is Professor of Education at the University of Otago. She was foundation Dean of the College of Education at the University of Otago from 2006 to 2011, after the Dunedin College of Education was merged with the University. Alongside her career, she has been involved in advocacy and advisory roles for a range of early childhood policy initiatives, including improving the recognition, professional standards and qualifications for early childhood teachers. She was involved in the establishment of the first industrial union for childcare workers and its inaugural President. She was integral to the development of Te Whāriki, New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum, which is based around the idea of empowering children, and allows curricula to be shaped by different cultural perspectives. Professor May is the current President of the International Froebel Society, has presented widely at international conferences, and has published in history, curriculum and politics of early childhood education.