ABSTRACT. This paper explores how the processes of globalization are placing new curriculum demands upon early childhood education in New Zealand. The author evaluates Te Whariki, the national early childhood curriculum framework of New Zealand, in terms of its utility at enabling young New Zealanders to become competent intercultural communicators. The author argues that Te Whariki in its present form inadequately addresses the necessity for New Zealanders to effectively communicate and interact with people of other cultures. The article outlines the reasons why it is important for children attending early childhood programs in New Zealand need to become to acquire intercultural communicative competence. The author proposes methods by which Te Whariki could be improved in order to support young New Zealanders in becoming interculturally-competent adults. pp. 63–72

Keywords: early childhood education; curriculum framework; intercultural competence; Te Whariki; New Zealand

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University of Waikato

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