CURIOSITY  |  COURAGE  |  CONNECT  |  CREATE

Celebrating Learning Stories Conference 2018

Saturday 13 October 2018
 

Thank you to all of you who attended our Celebrating Learning Stories Conference for 2018! It was a great opportunity to  combine your CURIOSITY and COURAGE, to CONNECT with others and CREATE fantastic new ideas to take back to your settings!

This year we were delighted to bring you more fabulous keynote speakers including Emeritus Professor Margaret Carr, Emeritus Professor Guy Claxton from the UK and Jessica Dubois from Australia. We also had captivating and inspiring workshops to choose from throughout the day.

Below are just some of the fantastic comments we have received from attendees so far:

'The quality of the workshops, the accessibility of the information and the presenters and the amazing keynote speakers were all so inspiring. Greatly informative and excites me to be my very ‘best self’ as a teacher and to engender that in the children and families we are privileged to work with'
 

'This whole day has been outstanding. I've been so impressed with the mahi our people are doing and their willingness to share. My expectations have been far exceeded. Thank you to everyone who has shared so openly - true tāonga'

 

'So many amazing choices given by so many passionate people! It strengthens my resolve to try harder, pursue excellence and stretch my goals in my teaching practice'

 

 


Keynote Presenters

Emeritus Professor Margaret Carr
Waikato, NZ
Emeritus Professor Guy Claxton
Winchester, UK
Jessica Dubois
Adelaide, Australia

 

Programme:

8:00am - 9:00am:     Registration
9:00am - 10:00am:   Welcome and Keynote Presentation from Jessica Dubois
10:00am - 10:15am: Morning Tea
10:15am - 11:30am: Workshop Session One (attendees to pick their first workshop from the Session One options below)
11:30am - 12:30pm: Lunch
12:30pm - 1:45pm:   Workshop Session Two (attendees to pick their second workshop from the Session Two options below)
1:45pm - 2:00pm:     Afternoon Tea
2:00pm - 3:15pm:     Workshop Session Three (attendees to pick their third workshop from the Session Three options below)
3:15pm - 4:45pm:     Keynote Presentation from Emeritus Professors Margaret Carr and Guy Claxton
4:45pm - 5:00pm:     Poroporoaki


 

Session One, 10:15-11:30am:

Workshop 1: Key elements of a learning story

Presenter:  Kim Hope, ELP

This workshop will support teachers who are less experienced in writing Learning Stories to strengthen their confidence in this area. It will focus on the key elements of a Learning Story, including:

·     socio-cultural links to Te Whāriki;

·     how to find the “story” using narrative;

·     ways to support the continuity of learning;

·     and, to include child and whānau voice.

Personal bio: Kim Hope has over 25 years experience facilitating professional learning workshops and programmes within a variety of educational and community sectors. She is passionate about supporting ECE teachers to provide a quality-learning environment for tamariki through enhancing their skills as reflective practitioners and using distributed leadership as a way to enrich team dynamics.


Workshop 2: Who’s learning? Who’s leading?
Stories from Ako Langimalie

Presenters: Jennifer Lavemai and Mele Lemeki, Ako Langimale

In this workshop Jennifer and Mele will share their story as they consider their weaving in response to their pacifika community through the construction of a cultural responsive curriculum pedagogy with children, families in their community.

“Language or the word can spell the rise and fall of culture and civilisation, socialisation and relationships between people” (Tangaloa 1996)

Personal bio: Jennifer Lavemai is the Centre Pedagogical Leader at Ako Langimalie and has been in this role for two years. Mele Lemeki has been teaching at Ako Langimalie for the past 4 years and is currently leading the curriculum with Jennifer as they grow a shared leadership model. Jennifer and Mele have both completed their Bachelor of Education and are both currently studying for their Master’s in Educational Leadership in ECE. The team at Ako Langimalie have engaged in extensive professional PLD for the past year and have undertaken internal reviews into leadership and curriculum delivery with the focus on ‘Strengthening children’s Tongan language and literacy learning.’


Workshop 3:  Are your Learning Stories making a difference to parental aspirations?

Presenter: Wendy Lee, ELP

This workshop will illustrate how the documentation of Learning Stories has the capacity to strengthen parents’ views of what it is to be a learner in the 21st century and how this engagement has the capacity to enhance parental aspirations for their child. Learning Stories provides the platform to explore pedagogy (Carr and Lee, 2012). It is an holistic approach wherein curriculum is co-constructed between teachers and children (Lee et al. 2013). I will share new data from parents’ interviews, documented assessments and reflections. 

Robust assessment is often missing from curricula. In a time where some teachers and managers are looking for a ‘quick fix’ to the age old question of  assessment, I want us to challenge ourselves to ensure robust reflective assessment is making a difference in the lives of children and their families. I will share parents’ reflections on their children’s learning to illustrate some of the ways in which creating and revisiting narrative documentation makes a powerful contribution to both informing and engaging parents in their child’s education.

I believe that powerful teachers are providing opportunities for parents to recognise the learning journeys of their children and to explore these understandings in a range of increasingly complex ways.  This formative assessment builds children’s learner identity and increases parents understanding of their child’s learning. 

Personal bio: Wendy is the director of Educational Leadership Project Ltd. and was previously co-director of the Early Childhood Learning and Assessment National Exemplar Project 'Kei Tua o te Pae'. Wendy has over 45 years of experience in early childhood education. In recent years, Wendy has worked as a researcher with Professor Margaret Carr on a number of projects including: the Assessment in Early Childhood Settings Research Project; the Marsden Project Dispositions in a Social Context; and the Centre of Innovation Projects with Roskill South Kindergarten and Greerton ECC. She is also a co-director on the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative Project - "Learning Wisdom".  Wendy has authored several papers and books.


Workshop 4: Forest / Farm adventures: A vertical learning experience!

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 

Presenter: Catalina Thompson, Greerton Early Learning Centre

These days, spent with nature, nurture the process of wondering, asking questions, where children and teachers invest all their senses to gather information. Nothing is black and white, there is no definite answer (yet!) but the all consuming desire to find out, to x-ray any loose idea, no matter how far fetched it might be. This keynote is a conversation into this process.

Personal bio: Catalina Thompson has been a teacher at Greerton Early Childhood Centre, Tauranga, for the last 6 years. Catalina has a long experience writing Learning Stories and is deeply committed to this way of reflecting on children’s learning and sharing this with the children, their families and the teaching team. In this community, the vision for learning underpinning teachers’ practice is one that enables children’s abilities to grow, as they imagine, collaborate, persevere with tricky, edgy goals and grow their skills and knowledge as a result.  Catalina says that the concept of relationships is deeply embedded in our practice as a team of teachers working closely together. From this concept of relationships we think all learning occurs and that nothing can unfold in a meaningful way without these strong, reciprocal relationships where we listen to each other. In this workshop Catalina will share from her perspective as a teacher:  How learning grows in complexity when relationships with families is meaningful.


Workshop 5: Identity, culture and language: Teachers’ stories woven with children’s stories in a (bi) cultural curriculum

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 1
LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 2

Presenter: Mihaela Enache, ELP

Culture, language and identity are key concepts in Te Whāriki- the early childhood sociocultural curriculum. In an increasingly globalised world, how do teachers honour children’s individualities, their identities, languages and cultures? One answer to this complex question is through the power of storying, of telling and writing stories. Children’s and teachers' stories could become a small step towards the change we seek in the world, towards democracy, inclusion and acceptance. This workshop will provide theoretical and practical examples of promoting a culturally responsive pedagogy through learning stories.

Personal bio: Mihaela has been a teacher and researcher in early childhood and primary education for 27 years. She has worked in primary schools overseas and in early childhood centres, kindergartens, home-based education and tertiary teaching in New Zealand. She is a lifelong learner and at present is studying towards a PhD in Education degree at the University of Auckland. Mihaela promotes children's and families' first language/s and is an advocate for maintaining ethnic and cultural traditions and practices.


Workshop 6: Learning Stories: a way to reshape what we value in secondary school assessment

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 1
LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 2
LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 3

 

Presenter: Bevan Holloway, Wellington Girls College

What started out as a curiosity about play based learning in secondary school became more than that when the question of assessment raised itself. Very quickly it became apparent the usual way we did internal assessment was an uneasy fit. Through experimenting with learning stories as an alternative approach I was able to see potential for learning stories to be a means of collecting evidence that could be linked to achievement standards, but more excitingly as a way to make visible and document evidence of success that related to the Key Competencies. Join me to hear my own learning story, and about the potential I see for learning stories to reshape what’s valued in secondary school assessment.

Personal bio: Bevan Holloway is HOD English at Wellington Girls College, and a 2018 Dr Vince Ham eFellow. Over the past two years, mostly thanks to being inspired by his two young children, their vigorous and unceasing play and its easy accommodation in their ECE experience, Bevan has been experimenting with a play based approach to Year 11 English. That approach has been the focus of his fellowship.


Workshop 7: Taking narrative assessment into the primary setting, uniting key competencies with learning areas

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 1
LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 2

Presenter: Stacey Buchanan and Cath Donaldson, Waiouru School

Hear about how Waiouru School has completely flipped their curriculum and thinking to focus on developing Key Competencies alongside the Learning Areas in the NZC. Through this journey we explore the place of narrative assessment and the development of learning stories that celebrate learning in both Key Competencies and traditional Learning Areas.

Personal bio: Deputy Principal at Waiouru School, Stacey is passionate about learning through play. The children in her Year 1-2 class enjoy an environment where play is valued as a vital aspect of their development. Through play they have the opportunity to develop key competencies alongside the learning areas. Cath is the Year 3-4 classroom teacher at Waiouru School and is currently juggling teaching literacy throughout the senior school with her growing understandings of learning through play.


Workshop 8: Do you see me too?

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE

Presenter: Harriet O’Sullivan, ELP

How can we value and mentor kaiako through their own learning and teaching stories? We use learning stories every day to document, assess and deepen the learning for our tamariki. This workshop will explore how we can use teaching stories to document, assess and deepen kaiako understanding of their own learning and pedagogy. We will explore how teaching stories can be used as a vehicle for reflection and growth and how they can be used as evidence of the journey in learning and therefore in appraisals and as part of the teacher certification journey. Just as learning stories are a way of valuing and celebrating the work of our tamariki we can use teaching stories as leaders and colleagues to champion, celebrate and value the work of other kaiako. 

"I do believe in the power of story, I believe that stories have an important role to play in the formation of human beings, that they can stimulate, amaze and inspire their listeners." Hayao Miyazaki.

Personal bio: Harriet recently joined the ELP team following nearly 10 years of teaching and learning with tamariki. Harriet is passionate about developing lifelong learners, creating an environment in which children can reach their full potential and extend their skills in order to succeed as learners and members of a cohesive community. 


Workshop 9: Healthy in Mind, Body AND Spirit

Presenter: Tania Bullick, ELP and Lisa Dorothy, Old MacDonald’s Rural Care and Education Centre 

Te Whāriki’s aspiration for children in Aotearoa New Zealand is to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.  Inspired by Te Whāriki and Te Whatu Pōkeka, there is a strong movement from western practices toward an indigenous world view where teachers are acknowledging and empowering the spiritual nature of children through the assessment practice of Learning Stories.  In this workshop, Tania Bullick from ELP and Lisa Dorothy from Old MacDonald’s Rural Care and Education Centre will present the work of the Old Mac's team of mainstream teachers and will explore examples of how they have intentionally grown a culture of recognising and writing about children’s spiritual natures and how this practice affirms children, families and teachers and has built strong and meaningful relationships.

Personal bio: Tania finds that teaming up with whānau and listening carefully to children’s preferences grows a programme that reflects the community of learners. This is particularly true of and important in the areas of social competence and bi-cultural development. Tania has found that narrative assessment has the power to happily impact family’s perceptions of their tamariki and of themselves to participate, express their aspirations and be agentic in their children’s education.  In this way families and early childhood education becomes mutually constitutive.

Lisa is the lead teacher of The Saplings room at Old MacDonald's Rural Education and Care Centre in Hamilton. Alongside her passion for teaching, Lisa is also a busy Mum to three Stella (13), Dylan (10), Blake (8). Lisa has been fortunate to work and grow the new centre alongside Tania from ELP for the last 2 years.


Workshop 10: Understanding children through Māori literacy in early childhood

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE

Presenter: Terri Maloney and Reweti Elliot

“Know me before you teach me” “Ruia taku taitea, kia rongo taikākā”

Ruia taitea means to pull back the bark to see what’s at the heart of something. That is one’s character. You have no right to criticise or judge unless you know the core of one’s character.

Many cultures use western theories as a method of transmitting knowledge and an understanding of the world. There have been many Western models developed and implemented in indigenous early childhood learning settings.  However, the key aspect for us, is for Māori children to be taught in a way that responds to them as Māori. Research has shown Māori children learnt better when their education was put in a cultural context. We have created an early childhood education setting where the children’s whakapapa and their connection to the whenua has a deep understanding within indigenous pedagogies. This approach encourages indigenous knowledge and information to be brought into the curriculum and woven throughout the programme. Our Kaupapa is transmitted through and Whakapapa which is forms of Māori literacy. 

Personal bio: Terri Maloney has been involved in the early childhood sector for over 18 years and has worked in several roles from teacher to Head Teacher. Reweti Elliot has been involved in early childhood for 18 years who has worked in various roles from teacher to tutoring adults to a Kaitiaki role.


Workshop 11: Jamie’s Stories: Making learning visible over time

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 1
LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 2

Presenter: Sue Fahey, Te Whare Manaaki Kindergarten, Nelson

When we are curious about the tamariki we are entrusted with; when we are courageous enough to really connect with tamariki and whānau, we are gifted with insights and perspectives that support and nurture growth and learning over time. Jamie’s learning stories begin during infancy and are woven over time into a portfolio that documents and celebrates curiosity, courage, connections and growth; of kaiako, whānau and of course of Jamie himself. In this workshop Sue shares stories from Jamie’s learning journey, along with insights into kaiako learning journeys too. 

Personal bio: "Tēnā koutou katoa. Ko Sue Fahey ahau. I have been with Nelson Tasman Kindergartens for the last 8 years. Whilst at Auckland Point Kindergarten (Matangi Āwhio) – a kindergarten for infants, toddlers and young children that also supports a Teen Parent Unit, I worked with infants and toddlers before moving into the Head Teacher role. Currently I work with tamariki and whānau at Te Whare Manaaki Kindergarten situated within the Paediatric Unit of Nelson Hospital. My ECE passions include relationships, and protecting the rights of tamariki to play.


Workshop 12: Learning Stories that bridge the gap

Presenter: Lynn Rupe, ELP

This workshop discusses the use of Learning Stories to support transitions between early childhood and primary school. The aim of the workshop is to create water thinkers. Water thinkers don’t care about the rocks they find ways to move around them - they see the possibilities to move between the gaps. What are the barriers (rocks) and what are the possibilities (gaps) to creating continuity of learning for children as they transition from early childhood to primary school? We will focus on what assessment documentation that supports children to not only transition well but to have continuity of learning, creating seamless education. What is working, what does research say and more importantly what can we do to support our children’s continuity of learning.

Personal bio: Lynn is particularly passionate about community and relationships with the view that assessment, especially Learning Stories, can bring about a deeper connectedness between those within the early childhood community. Lynn knows that research shows that collaboration between the parent, the child and the teacher creates a multiple perspective of the early childhood setting - which allows for deeper, more meaningful learning for all involved, and endeavors to instill this notion of multiple perspectives into her own practice and the practice of others.

 


 

Session Two, 12:30-1:45pm:

 

Workshop 13: Mana Atuatanga

Mana atua | Children understand their own mana atuatanga 
Wellbeing | Children have a sense of wellbeing and resilience

Presenter: Kathryn Delany, ELP

“Children need consistency and continuity, especially at times of transition. A foundation of remembered and anticipated people, places, things and experiences will give them the confidence to engage successfully in new settings.” (Kei Tua o te Pae, book 4). 

In this workshop we look at aspects of continuity and connectedness and how children might grow an understanding of their own mana atuatanga through learning stories and narrative.

Personal bio: Kathryn is an ELP project Facilitator who is passionate about LearningStories and Assessment that impacts on learning in positive and meaningful ways. She still gets to ‘practice’ on her 7 small mokopuna.


Workshop 14:  Kaitiakitanga - Guardianship and Conservation

Presenter: Brenda Soutar and Leanne Clayton, Mana Tamariki

This workshop shares the continued development of ‘Kaitiakitanga’ at our place.  The recovery and regeneration of te reo Māori is synonymous with the survival of Māori - people, land, spiritual beliefs and practices, identity and culture - the language is an inseparable part of these elements. In order to flourish, te reo Māori requires a thriving physical environment. We'll share our work utilising paki ako (our version of Learning Stories) with our tamariki to engage their interest and further define their relationship to the physical environment through the spiritual forces that govern te ao Maori.

Personal bio: Leanne is Te Āti Awa and Ngāti Rārua.  She is a leader at Mana Tamariki and works in kohanga and school.  Leanne has three children who all attend school at Mana Tamariki.  Leanne and her children speak Māori only to each other and are committed to language and cultural maintenance within their wider whānau.  Leanne was the lead kaiako for the Mana Tamariki Marsden Research Project 2014 – 2017.

Brenda is Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Awa.  She is Tumuaki (Principal) at Mana Tamariki in Palmerston North until August 2018 when she is leaving to pursuit other pathways.  Brenda has three adult children and six grandchildren who are all bilingual and actively involved in te ao Māori (the Māori world).


Workshop 15:  Do you know me, do you let me fly?

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 1
LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 2

Presenter: Julie Killick, Chelsea Kindergarten

“Do you know me? Do you let me fly?” are two hypothetical questions Margaret Carr in an early publication on Assessing children’s learning, encouraged Early Childhood teachers to consider. These are powerful questions and they are never far from my thoughts! They are deceptively simple questions but when reflected on deeply have big implications. In this workshop we will unpack what some of these implications are and how these are documented through learning stories.

Personal bio: Julie has been involved with early childhood education for over thirty years. She has been a Head teacher in several Kindergartens and has also worked in adult education, for Auckland Kindergarten Association and ELP. Currently she is Head teacher at Chelsea Kindergarten. Julie is passionate about teaching and learning and documenting this journey through Learning stories. She loves working with children in the great outdoors, and drama and music are particular strengths.


Workshop 16: Innovative bicultural pedagogy: Building and making visible children’s learner identity

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE

Presenter: Gill Wright, Papamoa Kindergarten

Through genuine engagement and collaboration with kindergarten Māori whānau, and inspired by the work of Building Learning Power (Claxton, 2002), the Assessment Whānau Group at Papamoa Kindergarten developed a bicultural pedagogical framework specifically tailored for our place which supports tamariki in becoming 21st century competent and confident life long ākonga. Learners who have very clear ideas about their learner identity and who view themselves as learners in different contexts over time.

This workshop will illustrate how our local pedagogical framework guides our assessment practices and the writing of our Learning Stories. It will critically examine how changing our assessment practices supported us in building and making visible children’s learner identity. It will exemplify how drawing on the cultural knowledge and practices of our Māori community enabled us to develop tangible hooks that bring to life in very authentic ways some very difficult, abstract dispositional concepts for children and their whānau.  It will also explore sequential storying showing the continuity of learning across time and the explicit, crucial role of kaiako in this process.

The Assessment Whānau Group have been shortlisted as finalists in The Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards in both 2017 and 2018 for this piece of work and the development of their pedagogical framework.

Personal bio: Gill has had a varied career in a range of different roles in early childhood for over 20 years. She is currently the Head Teacher at Papamoa Kindergarten in Tauranga, and prior to this she was a kindergarten and new entrant teacher after emigrating to Aotearoa in 2009. Gill started her career in the UK as a primary and nursery class teacher, after which she worked for local government as an early childhood training officer and then an advisory teacher with responsibility for early years and assessment throughout the statutory, private, voluntary and independent sectors. In 2006, she became an associate tutor for Edge Hill University teaching on a range of postgraduate and undergraduate modules across the early childhood programmes. Gill has authored articles both here and in the UK.


Workshop 17: Learning and assessment, together as one

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 1
LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 2

Presenter: Tara O’Neill, Haeata Community Campus, Christchurch

Learning stories are a powerful tool for illuminating the whole child within authentic contexts.  Learning Stories weave the front and back end of the New Zealand Curriculum together. 

"Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takimano - My strength is not that of an individual but that of the collective"  

I love this whakatauki, which when applied to learning suggests strength as a whole. Learning stories are a way of viewing not only the child but the learning.  I like to think this is deep authentic, lifelong learning.  We will look at how the NZC can be viewed as a collective and not two separate parts and how this parallels deep learning. 

Learning stories take time. Questions you may have as teachers in the primary school sector are:

  • How do you fit writing them into a busy Primary curriculum? 
  • What don't you do anymore? 
  • How do Learning stories support deep ongoing learning? 
  • How do they inform the total learning process; next step goals, planning, learning and assessment?  

Personal bio: Tara is a Kaiarahi (co-team leader) of 80 Ākonga at Haeata Community Campus on the Eastside of Christchurch. The team of 7 run a play-based learning environment for the 5 to 7 year olds. We are finding that Learning Stories are changing the way we view learning and situates our Ākonga as successful learners. Haeata Community Campus have created their own unique curriculum based on the NZC and Te Whariki. Tara has been teaching through play, using Learning Stories for 4.5 years. She also runs the Learning Through Play Facebook page which has created many wonderful conversations about teaching and learning for both primary and early childhood teachers.


Workshop 18:  “How can we honour parent/whānau/family voice in Learning Stories?”

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 

Presenter: Kim Hope, ELP

Te Whāriki is a sociocultural curriculum underpinned by four principles (Empowerment/Whakamana; Holistic Development/Kotahitanga; Family and Community/Whānau tangata; Relationships/Ngā Hononga).  Each of these underpins the importance of teachers, parents and whānau working together.  A crucial component of this is gaining an insight into each other’s desires for children’s learning with parents/whānau having a key role in assessment. 

This workshop will explore:

  • why common methodologies used to invite parent/whānau contribution often do not elicit a response
  • alternative possibilities to capture parents authentic voice within Learning Stories i.e. empowerment “Assessment will be a mana-enhancing process for children, parents and whānau, conducted in ways that uphold the empowerment | whakamana principle.” (Te Whāriki p.64)

Personal bio: Kim Hope has over 25 years experience facilitating professional learning workshops and programmes within a variety of educational and community sectors.  She is passionate about supporting ECE teachers to provide a quality-learning environment for tamariki through enhancing their skills as reflective practitioners and using distributed leadership as a way to enrich team dynamics.


Workshop 19:  The importance of whanaungatanga in developing community

Presenter: Rachel Chambers-Field, Alysha Fraser and Jelena Kidd, Whaihanga Early Learning Centre

At Whaihanga Early Learning Centre, we are passionate about writing meaningful Learning Stories. We challenge ourselves to learn about the mōhiotanga of each child and to celebrate, cherish, and document aspects of their unique learner identity. Learning Stories are such a powerful medium for engaging with tamariki and their whānau. Within our community a strong culture of tuakana/teina is nutured, where older children delight in opportunities to care for and help younger children, and by doing so, practice kindness and learn tolerance from their younger peers. Tamariki learn through their observation of one another. This workshop explores how by cultivating a community where Kaiako model compassion, love, and kindness in interactions with tamariki and with each other, social competence is flourishing.

Personal bio: Central Kids Whaihanga Early Learning Centre is located on the grounds of Knighton Normal School in Hillcrest, Hamilton. We are a diverse community, with children from a multitude of cultural and linguistic heritages attending. We are licenced for 40 children from 6 months to 6 years and operate a whānau-style service; all tamariki are together in one group.


Workshop 20: Aligning internal evaluation, teaching practising certificate evidence and staff appraisal

Presenter: Lorraine Sands, ELP

Very often teachers’ work loads are stressfully high and made more so by all the evidence expected for staff appraisal, teaching practising certificates and internal evaluation. However, when we focus on making a difference in children’s learning lives and write thoughtful Learning Stories to track children’s progress and consider ways to stretch their learning further, we also provide evidence of our professional growth.

This workshop looks at the ways Learning Stories can offer rich, robust evidence of our professional growth and contribute to our setting’s internal evaluation inquiry research. When we align these areas together, we work effectively and collaboratively to grow a shared understanding of our local curriculum (Te Whāriki, 2017) as well as provide the documentation required by The Education Council to renew our teaching certificates. Most essentially we keep our energy, our spirits and our passion deeply connected to children’s learning lives.

Personal bio: I have worked for ELP with teachers across all diverse settings in Aotearoa New Zealand since 2001. During this time I have drawn on my work at Greerton Early Childhood to support teachers to build learning cultures that enable each and every child to thrive as they begin to develop their learning identities. I have thought deeply about how current theory and research might be integrated into children’s, families’ and teachers’ learning lives in natural ways, that enable children’s learning identities to flourish. Whenever I work with teaching teams we have conversations about the value of Play in children’s lives.  We start with understanding that ‘play’, uninterrupted, complex opportunities for children to be in charge of their learning, is the key. It is in play that children are able to experience every aspect of social competency, of resilience, of social justice and resourcefulness. These are the building blocks of a strong identity as a learner who will be successful long term.


Workshop 21: Do you see me too?

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE

Presenter: Harriet O’Sullivan, ELP

How can we value and mentor kaiako through their own learning and teaching stories? We use learning stories everyday to document, assess and deepen the learning for our tamariki. This workshop will explore how we can use teaching stories to document, assess and deepen kaiako understanding of their own learning and pedagogy. We will explore how teaching stories can be used as a vehicle for reflection and growth and how they can be used as evidence of the journey in learning and therefore in appraisals and as part of the teacher certification journey. Just as learning stories are a way of valuing and celebrating the work of our tamariki we can use teaching stories as leaders and colleagues to champion, celebrate and value the work of other kaiako. 

"I do believe in the power of story, I believe that stories have an important role to play in the formation of human beings, that they can stimulate, amaze and inspire their listeners." Hayao Miyazaki.

Personal bio: Harriet recently joined the ELP team following nearly 10 years of teaching and learning with tamariki. Harriet is passionate about developing lifelong learners, creating an environment in which children can reach their full potential and extend their skills in order to succeed as learners and members of a cohesive community. 


Workshop 22:  Documenting Shared  Experiences - Collaborative Community Stories 

Presenter: Karen Ramsey, Kim Parkinson and Nadine Preibs, Roskill South Kindergarten

Trips, visits and celebrations are a valued  part of our kindergarten curriculum and we document such occasions using a Collaborative Community Story approach (also known as Group Learning Stories).  This is an adaptation on the Learning Stories framework and provides an effective tool for children, families/whānau and the wider community to re-visit, re-tell and re-connect with a prior learning experience.  This workshop will explore what a Collaborative Community Story looks like in practice, the what, the why, and the how.

Personal bio: For many years now the team at Roskill South Kindergarten have developed a culture of research and enquiry.  Over time successful changes to their practice has seen many innovations emerge and this has improved learning outcomes for all ākonga.  The teaching team has been involved in research both internally and in projects that are funded externally, inspiring many teachers nationally and internationally. Karen, Kim and Nadine share many years of early childhood experience between them and are passionate about documenting children’s learning in a meaningful way that shows complex learning and progress.


Workshop 23: Te Whāriki and the true meaning of an IDP

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 1
LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 2

Presenter: Lynn Rupe, ELP

Where does Te Whāriki talk about IDPs?  Te Whāriki says, "Portfolios of children’s learning are a useful way for kaiako to follow children’s progress and interests. They also provide opportunities for parents and whānau to engage with their child’s learning journey and contribute their own observations and suggestions.”

I - Interesting, Informative, learning stories that talk about the learning that is

D - Discovered, Dispositions that are used, all held inside a Durable

P- Portfolio, that links Progress of learning that happens inside children’s interests and Passions that help to inform Parents and whānau creating a Partnership in learning.

All you need are portfolios, all you need are portfolios
All you need are portfolios, portfolios, portfolios are all you need.

Personal bio: Lynn is particularly passionate about community and relationships with the view that assessment, especially Learning Stories, can bring about a deeper connectedness between those within the early childhood community. Lynn knows that research shows that collaboration between the parent, the child and the teacher creates a multiple perspective of the early childhood setting - which allows for deeper, more meaningful learning for all involved, and endeavors to instill this notion of multiple perspectives into her own practice and the practice of others.


Workshop 24: One page Learning Story?

Presenter: Carol Hartley, Pat Rogers and Sara StonesMangere Bridge Kindergarten

 

Short , sharp, concise, brief, compact, to the point AND meaningful, robust, informative, relevant, full, dense, and professional. 

Yes we can!

This workshop explores how to document the learning we see happening each day in a way that is manageable for teachers and yet conveys all the important information - in one page. Join us to explore writing Learning Stories that are all of the above and one page!!!

Personal bio: Carol Hartley, Pat Rogers and Sara Stones are the teaching team at Mangere Bridge Kindergarten. A book ,“Crossing the Border,” published by NZCER Press in 2012 was a result of research by the team at MBK with Margaret Carr and Sally Peters. The team at Mangere Bridge Kindergarten in 2015 won the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence award for their work on transition to school. They have an abiding interest in transition, sustainability, outdoor experiences and children’s creative enthusiasms.


Workshop 25:  Toddlers - Caretakers of their place

Presenter: Anita Homewood, ELP

Toddlers love to take responsibility - for themselves, their space and their peers. This is a time where they are asserting their autonomy, finding their place, and making sense of their world. It, therefore, challenges us as teachers to create an environment to nurture their identities as kaitiaki, or caretakers. Te Whāriki sees this as a valuable part of the curriculum, going hand in hand with a Curriculum of Care. This workshop will provide an opportunity to see how Learning Stories can celebrate the capable and competent toddler in their role as ‘caretakers of their place’.

Personal bio: I have always been curious about making sense of my world and am constantly in awe of the way infants and toddlers are driven to do the same. I have been writing Learning Stories to capture this valuable learning for infants and toddlers for a number of years now. I have been working with ELP for four years, and continue to practice as a teacher of infants and toddlers.

 


 

Session Three: 2:00-3:15pm:

 

Workshop 26:  Learning Stories - A time for reflection

Presenter: Marianne MacPherson, ELP

More recently I have been considering the valuable opportunity learning storiesgive us to reflect deeply both on children’s learning as well as our learning as teachers. In this workshop we will:

1.    Consider learning stories as a valuable tool for reflection

2.    Take time to reflect on our thoughts and learning from the workshops we have engaged in during the day and consider how this might impact on our learning story writing.

Bring along a child’s portfolio that shares some of your learning stories ready for some time for reflection.

Personal bio: Marianne taught in kindergartens in Auckland for 20 years before joining the ELP team as a professional learning facilitator in 2013 “Building respectful relationships with teachers and children responsive to their cultural settings the concept of ako is important to her, acknowledging that learning happens most powerfully when we are responsive to and respectful of each others strengths, passions and cultural knowledge”


Workshop 27:  Learning Stories: A pathway to strengthening your appraisal and registration documentation

Presenter: Jo Colbert, Chelsea Kindergarten

This year I have been using a narrative approach for my appraisal and registration. Central to this are the Learning Stories I have written for children. I have written my appraisal/registration in a narrative form, similar to a planning story and have woven through reflections on my learning stories, on my teaching practice and on the goals I have set myself over the year. In this session I will share some of the work I have done over the year and there will be space and time to have discussions about using a narrative approach to appraisal and registration.

Personal bio: Jo has worked in the early childhood sector for many years and has had a long relationships with Learning Stories, writing them first in 2000, supporting teachers for many years while she worked with Educational Leadership Project and more recently as a teacher at Chelsea Kindergarten in Birkenhead. Jo is passionately interested in the documentation of children’s learning and over the last 12 years has facilitated many sessions with teachers on strengthening their Learning Story writing. She is always excited to hear the stories that teachers share and to be a part of their Learning Story journey, it is through this sharing that Jo learns and her Learning Story writing is strengthened too.


Workshop 28: Conversations with Wendy Lee on Learning Stories and assessment

Presenter: Wendy Lee, ELP

Learning Stories emerged from research on what might assessment look like now we have Te Whāriki as a curriculum. They are now embedded in New Zealand teachers practice and they have inspired teachers throughout the world.

Join Wendy for an informal, open forum, discussing your questions and issues around Learning Stories and assessment.

Personal bio: Wendy is the director of Educational Leadership Project Ltd. and was previously co-director of the Early Childhood Learning and Assessment National Exemplar Project 'Kei Tua o te Pae'. Wendy has over 45 years of experience in early childhood education. In recent years, Wendy has worked as a researcher with Professor Margaret Carr on a number of projects including: the Assessment in Early Childhood Settings Research Project; the Marsden Project Dispositions in a Social Context; and the Centre of Innovation Projects with Roskill South Kindergarten and Greerton ECC. She is also a co-director on the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative Project - "Learning Wisdom". Wendy has authored several papers and books.


Workshop 29: Teachers stories

Presenter: Jessica Dubois, Pennington Kindergarten, Adelaide

Professor Carla Rinaldi inspires us to understand that a competent child deserves a competent teacher. This workshop shares a story about the power of reflecting on the purpose of education and the role this plays in supporting the creation of a strength based culture in your site. Jessica will share how they have upheld a commitment to understanding the principle of listening from the Reggio Emilia educational project together with a commitment to harness the power of stories to make visible a staff team’s strengths and philosophy. Hear how Learning Stories are being used to make visible the competent teacher and the possibilities this enables for inspiring educator’s own professional learning and growth. 

Personal bio: Jessica’s experience as the Director of Pennington Kindergarten in an Inner Western suburb of Adelaide is supported by her years of working as a primary school and early childhood teacher and leader in a remote Indigenous community in South Australia. Jessica recently travelled to Reggio Emilia and uses this inspiration from her study to continue growing an educating community for children, families, teachers and community members. In March 2018, the Pennington team moved into their brand new, purpose built Children’s Centre which was designed with the pedagogy of listening in mind. 


Workshop 30:  Design for Learning, why is it important to engage children in authentic learning?

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE

Presenter: Michelle Flower, ELP

The story of how this workshop came about… in conversations with teaching teams, some are finding the process of planning for children’s learning a real minefield.

So reflecting on the learning possibilities of this workshop…let’s explore how through the narratives of children’s play, learning stories, how teachers can collaborate and plan to strengthen children’s learning pathways.  When the interests of children are incorporated into the curriculum children are more likely to engage in a wide range of experiences.  This workshop will allow time for discussion around the standard Design for Learning.

What do we know now that we didn’t know before about…making children’s learning visible and accessible in a community of learners, provides opportunities for children and teachers to revisit and reflect on their experiences and learning. To add another layer to this, what could be the possibilities if we were to value the contributions of family/whānau and the wider community?

Personal bio: Michelle has 22 years of teaching experience across a broad range of early childhood settings including Playcentre, home-based care, and community based early learning centres. Michelle recently joined the ELP team, coming from 13 years in a Centre Manager role at a successful setting in Hamilton. Michelle values the individual strengths of all teachers within a team, she believes we are growing and learning alongside the children, and that relationships are the foundation of all learning.


Workshop 31: Mathematics in the early years: Much more than counting and shapes

Presenter: Karen Ramsey, Kim Parkinson and Nadine Preibs, Roskill South Kindergarten

Our current inquiry is researching “What does mathematical learning look like through the lens of Te Whāriki 2017?” The teaching team are growing their mathematical mindsets and developing their knowledge and understanding, to unleash children’s potential through innovative pedagogical practices.  This workshop will explore possibilities for worthwhile mathematical exploration and how a love of mathematical learning can grow. Learning Stories have transformed the teaching and learning practices at Roskill South Kindergarten, and we will share documentation to illustrate meaningful learning outcomes for children.     

Personal bio: For many years now the team at Roskill South Kindergarten have developed a culture of research and enquiry.  Over time successful changes to their practice has seen many innovations emerge and this has improved learning outcomes for all ākonga. The teaching team has been involved in research both internally and in projects that are funded externally, inspiring many teachers nationally and internationally. Karen, Kim and Nadine share many years of early childhood experience between them and are passionate about documenting children’s learning in a meaningful way that shows complex learning and progress.


Workshop 32:  Joyful stories from a whānau setting 

Presenter: Lorraine Sands, ELP

This workshop investigates the way Learning Communities tune into children’s energies, passions and spirits differently; when children consistently explore in a play focussed, free age mixing environment, designed to stretch learners’ identities of themselves as resilient, resourceful, empathic, imaginative and collaborative learners. When children are able to consistently explore challenging, vibrant learning experiences with children older and younger than themselves, they expand their love of learning. They design and pursue goals that go far beyond what teachers could set for them. Learning Stories that focus on the process of what it takes to be a learner, inside a collaborative community, enable each and every voice to be heard and to flourish.  

Personal bio: I have worked for ELP with teachers across all diverse settings in Aotearoa New Zealand since 2001. During this time I have drawn on my work at Greerton Early Childhood to support teachers to build learning cultures that enable each and every child to thrive as they begin to develop their learning identities. I have thought deeply about how current theory and research might be integrated into children’s, families’ and teachers’ learning lives in natural ways, that enable children’s learning identities to flourish. Whenever I work with teaching teams we have conversations about the value of Play in children’s lives.  We start with understanding that ‘play’, uninterrupted, complex opportunities for children to be in charge of their learning, is the key. It is in play that children are able to experience every aspect of social competency, of resilience, of social justice and resourcefulness. These are the building blocks of a strong identity as a learner who will be successful long term.


Workshop 33: Finding the Balance: Learning Stories Within a Primary School Context

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 1
LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 2

Presenter: Amanda King and Sarah Weston, Oropi School

 

Over the past 5-6 years, Oropi School has transformed it’s junior class programmes from traditional teacher-led classrooms, to a Learning Through Play environment where students follow their interests through rich child-led play.  As part of this process, teachers are now writing Learning Stories to demonstrate authentic learning that is happening as the children are engaged in play. Through writing Learning Stories, teachers are becoming more in-tune with noticing and responding to the learning they are observing.   In this workshop, Amanda and Sarah will share how they are managing to fit Learning Stories into their busy days, alongside more traditional quantitative data gathering. They will explain their continuing shift away from traditional primary school assessment and reporting, towards using Learning Stories as the primary way of reporting to parents.

Personal bio: Sarah Weston and Amanda King have been working alongside their colleagues, teaching in a Learning Through Play environment at Oropi School, Tauranga, for the past five years.   Sarah has a background in Early Years education, and has more recently started teaching in the Primary School setting. Amanda is primary-trained, but spent time in Playcentre while her children were young, where she gained knowledge in the use of Learning Stories to show the rich learning that occurs during play.  Sarah and Amanda are loving the seamless transition they offer between early childhood education and primary school for their learners.


Workshop 34: "Ka ngaro te reo, ka ngaro taua, pēra l te ngaro o te moa' lf the language is lost, we are lost, we will become extinct as has the moa” (Tamati Reedy)

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE

Presenter: Carol Marks, ELP

One of Mason Durie’s goals for Māori advancement within education was for Māori to live as Māori. This responsibility sits with whānau and hāpu and Ka Hikitia has challenged all teachers to ‘step up’ in their understanding and implementation of a bicultural curriculum. This workshop offers an insight into a local centre run by tangata whenua and the learning stories written to strengthen Māori identity for tamariki.

Personal bio: In her role as professional learning facilitator for ELP Carol has worked alongside teachers to strengthen learning environments and practice through deepening understanding of internal evaluation and assessment and planning. This assessment, using Learning Stories helps build relationships and connectedness within learning communities and recognises the important role that all people within learning communities play, to build meaningful learning for children, parents and teachers.


Workshop 35:  Toddlers - Caretakers of their place

Presenter: Anita Homewood, ELP

Toddlers love to take responsibility - for themselves, their space and their peers. This is a time where they are asserting their autonomy, finding their place, and making sense of their world. It, therefore, challenges us as teachers to create an environment to nurture their identities as kaitiaki, or caretakers. Te Whāriki sees this as a valuable part of the curriculum, going hand in hand with a Curriculum of Care. This workshop will provide an opportunity to see how Learning Stories can celebrate the capable and competent toddler in their role as ‘caretakers of their place’.

Personal bio: I have always been curious about making sense of my world and am constantly in awe of the way infants and toddlers are driven to do the same. I have been writing Learning Stories to capture this valuable learning for infants and toddlers for a number of years now. I have been working with ELP for four years, and continue to practice as a teacher of infants and toddlers.


Workshop 36: Stories of Courage 

LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 1
LEARNING STORY EXAMPLE 2

Presenter: Kelly Goodsir, Kelly Goodsir Consultancy Pty Ltd, Australia

The latin meaning of courage is “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart”

Every day children show us their heart and courage as they navigate difficulty, persist with challenges and face the unknown in their learning about life. Through their words, creations, actions and play behaviours children’s stories of courage unfold before us.  

Can you hear them?  Do you see them?

Courage recognises children’s persistence in a challenge, creative problem solving and the power of standing up and out on issues that concern them.  As teachers, we have the privilege to narrate these stories of courage in ways that speak back to children’s developing confidence, positive self-esteem and identities as learners. Finding ways to celebrate children’s courage in our learning stories means pushing past the barriers of ‘nice assessment’ and pushing into ‘real assessment’- the spaces that hold the real stories.  

This workshop will unpack:

  • Courage and associated learning dispositions
  • Seeing the strength in the challenge
  • Strategies for engaging with deeper learning - ‘the bigger narrative’
  • Stories of courage - children as teachers

Personal bio: Kelly Goodsir is the Managing Director of Kelly Goodsir Consultancy, a professional learning company that focus' on improving pedagogical practice through strategic educational change in early childhood education.  Kelly has 20 years’ experience within early childhood settings across both New Zealand and Australian contexts.  She has dedicated her career to her own and others development of pedagogy, quality and educational leadership in early childhood and believes whole heartedly that through ‘thinking and learning collaboratively’ anything is possible.  Kelly has been sharing about learning stories in Australian contexts for over 10 years and is a passionate advocate for writing stories that matter.  She authored her own children’s book “My Family is a Team: a story about mental illness” in 2016 to support reducing stigma and providing the language to teaching teams to engage the complex in simple ways.


Workshop 37: Healthy in Mind, Body AND Spirit

Presenter: Tania Bullick, ELP and Lisa Dorothy, Old MacDonald’s Rural Care and Education Centre 

Te Whāriki’s aspiration for children in Aotearoa New Zealand is to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.  

Inspired by Te Whāriki and Te Whatu Pōkeka, there is a strong movement from western practices toward an indigenous world view where teachers are acknowledging and empowering the spiritual nature of children through the assessment practice of Learning Stories.  In this workshop, Tania Bullick from ELP and Lisa Dorothy from Old MacDonald’s Rural Care and Education Centre will present the work of the Old Mac's team of mainstream teachers and will explore examples of how they have intentionally grown a culture of recognising and writing about children’s spiritual natures and how this practice affirms children, families and teachers and has built strong and meaningful relationships.

Personal bio: Tania finds that teaming up with whānau and listening carefully to children’s preferences grows a programme that reflects the community of learners. This is particularly true of and important in the areas of social competence and bi-cultural development. Tania has found that narrative assessment has the power to happily impact family’s perceptions of their tamariki and of themselves to participate, express their aspirations and be agentic in their children’s education. In this way families and early childhood education becomes mutually constitutive.

Lisa Dorothy is the lead teacher of The Saplings room at Old Mac Donald's rural education and care centre in Hamilton. Alongside her passion for teaching, Lisa is also a busy Mum to three Stella (13), Dylan (10), Blake (8). Lisa has been fortunate to work and grow our new centre alongside Tania from ELP for the last 2 years.

 

To book your spot please click here now


 

Some feedback form our 2017 Conference:

'I found this conference one of the best I have attended. Certainly value for money and really informative with great workshops. Would highly recommend :)'

'...a day full of inspiration and passion! So much food for thought that will provide great reflective discussions.... I can't wait for next years conference'

'Very impressed with the way the day was organised. Very interesting and rekindled a passion for new directions of writing Learning Stories. Just what I needed to stretch my own practice'

'The conference was very well organised. Everything was done in a timely manner. The speakers were very motivational and had great ideas on teaching and learning. The food was delicious and there was plenty of it! Thank you'

'Very inspiring, especially from the keynote speakers. Good selection of workhsops. It was very emotional to hear what Annie, Annette and Leslie shared about their journeys of using Learning Stories as an assessment tool in the States! 'Learning Stories are a living document, meaningful to the child and their families'!'

'A fabulous day. Well worth the trip over the ditch. It has been a beautiful "Retreat" for me to draw closer to my history as a kiwi teacher. See you next year!'