New Zealand Kindergartens (NZK) has established a research ethics committee to support kindergarten teachers undertaking research. The ethics committee helps to ensure that research is ethically sound and meets agreed ethical principles.
Undertaking or contributing to research is a common feature in many early childhood education services, and in kindergarten it is increasingly a feature of teaching teams’ planned professional development to inform their teaching practice. NZK and our member associations are keen to support and encourage more research across the kindergarten network, and among early childhood education (ECE) services, with a view to contributing to a broader research culture within kindergarten, ECE and the teaching profession.
NZK is committed to the highest professional standards, to ethical research which is rigorous, respects the rights of children, parents and whānau and teachers, which benefits society and the education sector and upholds the reputation of kindergarten. NZK acknowledges the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and the importance of ensuring that all aspects of ECE teaching practice, including research, supports the needs and aspirations of Māori children and whānau.
Do I need NZK ethics approval for my research?
Often research in an ECE service is in collaboration with a university or another research-based organisation. In this case, ethics approval is usually sought from that organisation’s ethics committee. If you are already seeking ethics approval from another ethics committee, it is not necessary for you to seek NZK ethics approval. However, you are welcome to submit your proposal to NZK as well if you believe it would be beneficial.
There are some situations where teachers are keen to engage in research as a teaching team within a kindergarten association, independent of a university or other education or research institution. Although these are generally small-scale research projects, ethics approval should be sought to ensure ethical research practice and to support the suitability and acceptance of the research findings for publication. Additionally, the process of seeking ethics approval can help clarify the research and can lead to more robust research practices. While completing the application will take some time, the process will benefit the research and researchers. Ethics approval should be considered a necessary part of the research plan.
Further information and ethics application
If you would like to know more about the ethics committee and process, or submit a proposal to the Ethics Committee please contact the NZK national office on (04) 471 0775 or email Joanne Newth email@example.com