This page showcases fantastic Articles written by practitioners from throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand. 

Here you will find Articles written by ELP Facilitators, and other fabulous professional learning educators and teachers.  We also feature the ecARTnz e-magazine of professional practice that show-cases examples of excellent visual art education for infants, toddlers and young children.

You can download all articles for free.

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Lorraine Sands (2016) - Connection: The beating heart that drives learning

Connection with each other and with our environments, is crucial to the act of learning, and thus as teachers we must strive to improve the connections for children in our care with the people, places and things in their world.....



Ann Hatherly and Lorraine Sands (2002) - So what is different about Learning Stories?

The answer lies in a number of premises about the nature of learning, assessment and documenting which underpin the Learning Stories framework. For most of us, some if not all of these premises represent a substantial shift from what we probably learnt as students and have practised since.....



Lorraine Sands (2017) - Learning Stories: are these powerfully reflecting the learning culture of your setting?

Learning Stories are teachers individualised planning for children. Teachers write the narrative (story) followed by an analysis and then think how to grow this learning further (planning). These three parts are what Margaret Carr considers narrative assessment and individualised planning....

 



 

Lorraine Sands (2017) - Learning Stories: Tracking learning progress, making a difference in children’s learning lives…..

...Stories have been told ever since we could scratch marks onto cave walls. They have been powerful forever, across all cultures, all time. The ones we remember are the funny, sorrowful, poignant, bumpy, joyful ones that capture our hearts and minds...



Marianne MacPherson (2017) - Learner Identity: The ways we contribute to shaping this through the messages we share

...There are many ways we share messages with children and families in our learning environment that gives powerful feedback to children contributing to the building of their learner identity. Are we aware of the messages and values we are shaping for or to children through our everyday ways of being and doing?...



Gillian Fitzgerald (2015) - Unpacking My Kete: Ko Te Kore

...It’s important to also remember that all the principles of Te Whāriki - Empowerment, Family and Community, Holistic Development and Relationships - also speak about partnerships, ako and supporting the child as a whole. When teachers implement all of the principles they are in turn nurturing the mana, wairua and mauri of Māori children... 



Marianne MacPherson (2015) - Building Resilience and the Important Place of Empathy

...Children come to us as capable and com- petent. Empathy then means understand- ing that as Jaymee traversed the transition into kindergarten, she was being brave. Certainly, developing the recognition or awareness of others as learners, was cap- tured for Jaymee as we researched the language or discourses of learning to- wards shared empathic understandings of each others learning paths...  



Lynn Rupe (2014) - Growing Motivated, Leaderful Teaching Teams

...Just as we see exploration gain momentum as passionately interested children gather a group around them, we see the same momentum occur for a learning and teaching culture as teachers articulate their ideas to their colleagues and their commitment and enthusiasm rubs off... 



Alison Brierley (2013) - Passionately Interested in Planning

...Through thinking deeply about intentions and purposes a new vocabulary is emerging that better decribes the process of planning.  Terms such as 'noticing, recognising and responding' and 'supporting the continuity of learning' often replace the words 'programme planning'.  Teachers are discussing, documenting and articulating what 'planning' looks like in their place...

 



Carol Marks (2013) - The Power of Pretending

...Re-enacting actual home situations can allow children to make sense of their lives, form their own beliefs and theories and can become serious drama for both boys and girls.  Super hero play can also have a positive impact for children as they learn to understand emotions and feelings...



Gillian Fitzgerald (2013) - "Dispositions" Isn't A Dirty Word

...Many teachers are working with a dispositional framework to analyse and describe the learning they see. Some of this noticing and recognising is documented in Learning Stories as ‘What learning do I think happened here?’ Teachers are foregrounding dispositional learning by describing learning as being able to try something new, being playful, persisting, using trial and error, making mistakes, choosing hard work, keeping going when things get tough, being brave and curious...



Gillian Fitzgerald (2013) - "I Just Can't Help Myself": Understanding the Links Between Urges and Play

...If we believe the child is an empty vessel, then we see our role as that of filling the child up. If we believe on the other hand that the child is a person and an equal partner then this would drive us differently and impacts on the environment, both physical and emotional that we create... 



Gillian Fitzgerald (2013) - Mud, Glorious Mud

...We need to remember that tamariki learn with their bodies before they learn with their minds. In my view, a healthy mind is the product of the brain and the body working together in perfect harmony. With many of our tamariki spending a significant part of their lives within early childhood environments it’s imperative that we get the ‘mix’ right ensuring that not only do our outdoor environments reflect what research is telling us but that our attitudes towards the outdoors do too!... 



Lynn Rupe (2013) - Toku Reo, Toku Ohooho: My Language, My Awakening

...The important theme connecting each of these centres is the acknowledgement that the teachers are continually striving to gain a better understanding about creating best outcomes for all children. Each of these setting reflect on their practice and make improvements...  



Tania Bullick (2013) - Reconnecting and Connecting With Nature

...Early childhood settings who are taking children on excursions into nature environments are assessing the benefits as exceptionally high and meeting our risk averse culture head on. While working to ensure children are safe, teachers are empowering them to be on the edge of learning, acknowledging their competence to assess their own limits and building their confidence to persist with difficulty across contexts... 



Carol Marks (2012) - A Potentiating (Powerful) Environment for Life Long Learning

...When we think of the learning happening for Max, we can reflect on the important values of learning: to love, to communicate, to have pride, to share, to contribute, to survive, to be within a close knit community who cares for each other...



Carol Marks (2012) - Do You Know Me? How Teacher Attitudes Towards Gaming Influence Learning?

...Within early childhood, people have strong and emotive views about the values of gaming.  Many teachers see little value in gaming or else make sure the games fit into what they see as appropriate learning.  Many games have prescribed or narrow outcomes around problem solving, such as focussing on colours, numbers or shapes...



Christina Leef, Lorraine Sands & Melissa Osmond (2012) - A Walk In the Park

...We wanted our learnig and teaching settings to be connected and to make the transition process a seamless one that builds on children's strengths and interests.  We also wanted to support children and their families, through strengthening relationships and so we began conversations about possibilites and 'what-ifs' with open minds and thoughtful, collegial discussion...



Jo Colbert (2012) - Welcome To A World of Possibilities: Exploring Digital Technology In Early Childhood Education

...We live in exponential times, from one week to the next there is a new device released onto the market and it is hard keeping up with this rapid change and working out what is relevant for our early childhood settings. I do have a sense of sitting on top of the mountain and what I know about digital technology is the top of the mountain and there is so much (the bulk of the mountain) that I do not know...



Robyn Lawrence (2012) - Talking With Lions and Swimming With Elephants: Being Brave and Courageous - Overcoming Fear Through the Support of a Trusted Companion

...Living life to the full requires people to take risks and participate in challenging and often frightening experiences which require courage and bravery. Maybe we are talking about choosing to position ourselves as teachers alongside children outside their comfort zone in times of uncertainty...  



Lorraine Sands (editor) (2012) - Provoking Surprise and Uncertainty: A Disposition of Mindfulness
Reflections from the teachers at Greerton Early Childhood Centre through their Centre of Innovation (COI) research project.

...At Greerton, teachers have worked to protect and strengthen mindful and open-ended social identities. We have been challenged by notions of the teacher’s image of the child, of their views of themselves as learners, of our concepts about how learning occurs and the teacher’s role in enhancing or constraining learning...



Alison Brierley (2011) - "Remember you have to share" - How Do Teachers Grow Children's Social Competence?

...Let's think about school for a moment.  How can we help children participate and thrive in this environment that might be very different from their early childhood context?  What are some of the things that might have been helpful when you started school?...



Jo Colbert (2011) - The Beauty of the Storm: Making Connections Between Dispositions and Building Learning Power

...When we talk about the how of learning with children we need to reflect on how we ask children about their learning. It is about being as obvious and deliberate as asking “I wonder how you learnt that?” or “How did you learn that?” You might ask children to think about what the tricky parts of what they were doing were...



Kathryn Delany (2011) - Waking the Third Teacher

...A culture of compliance and minimums leaves the giant sleeping, whereas, creating an expansive learning environment wakes the giant. An environment where the third teacher is awake is a place for dreaming for all participants. It is an environment where adults are engaged with, and in childrenʼs learning... 



Lorraine Sands (2011) - Self Review: Questioning Our Practice Through Thoughtful Investigation

...When teams set a reflective question and methodically go about the task of answering it, they explore together aspects of their practice that are vital to building a more vibrant learning community. When we see ourselves as researchers, we are much more likely to question our taken-for-granted assumptions, put a magnifying glass over our learning and teaching and map the journey...  



Wendy Lee (2010) - Leading By Heart and Soul: Using Magic, Being Moral, Creating Merriment and Mobilising Others

...We need to encourage a community of learners who is eloquent, persuasive, strong, energetic and willing to debate and contribute to the community of practice. Professional learning is a key to building these strong rich communities, communities of teachers where everyone knows that there contribution is valued...  



Wendy Lee (2010) - Leiten mit Herz und Seele durch Wunder, Werte, Wohlbefinden, Weiterentwicklung.
Deutsche Übersetzung von Wendy Lee's Leading By Heart and Soul Artikel

...Wir müssen eine Lerngemeinschaft ermutigen, die wortgewaltig, überzeugend, stark, voller Energie und willens ist, die gemeinschaftliche Praxis zu debattieren und etwas dazu beizutragen. Professionelles Lernen ist der Schlüssel zum Aufbau solcher starken und reichen Gemeinschaften, Gemeinschaften von Pädagogen, in denen jeder weiß, dass sein Beitrag geschätzt wird... 



Wendy Lee (2010) - Teachers As Powerful Learners
Reproduced with permission from the Education Gazette

...The pedagogy of relationships involves promoting close collaboration and reflection in a safe environment. In the words of Vivian Gussin Paley: “Any classroom – I know the kindergarten best – should develop into a close-knit community of people who care deeply about each other.” Sustained professional development has built strong, resourceful, provocative, challenging – and caring – environments; not only for children but for adults as well... 



Anita Homewood (2006) - Making Mealtimes Meaningful

...The chair is designed to allow infants to sit with their feet on the ground and have their backs supported.  this is vital in encouraging the development of their ballance and finding their centre of gravity, which is beneficial for their overall physical development...



Jo Colbert (2006) - New Forms of an Old Art: Children's Storytelling and ICT
Reproduced with permission of NZCER Press

...Greater experimentation with, and exploration of, ICT led to more complex understandings about the different purposes ICT could be used for. Stories increased in complexity when ICT was introduced. The length of the stories and the time and perseverance required to complete work also increased...


 

Articles From Leadership Inspiration Days

Alison Brierley - Growing Strong Social Competence Inside A Community of Learners

...What is social competence and how do we grow this? What leads children to make wise decisions and to know what to do when they donʼt know what to do? What conditions for learning will be optimal conditions for growing social competence?...

 

Jo Colbert - Exploring Literacy and Numeracy Possibilities: How Wide and Deep Can We Go? 

...When we (teachers) work alongside a child, and recognise their ongoing passions, how do we highlight who this child is as a learner and how do we support the disposition to learn through their passions? Can literacy and numeracy be supported here in authentic ways? It might be drawing a map to the zoo, making a sign for a construction or a graph for a survey...

 - Violet's Learning Story


 

Melissa Osmond - Transitions: Shifting From What We Comfortably Know To New Possibilities

...When we think about transitions, no matter how big or small, we must remember what it feels like to be placed into a strange place, often without choice. Transitions are fundamental in establishing reciprocal relationships with children and whānau. They set the benchmark for all future events. So whatʼs important to forefront when we consider transitions? What do we value and are these values based upon sound theoretical findings?... 


 

Lorraine Sands - Growing Leaders From Infancy Up!

...I want to keep my thoughts connected to real learning and it seems to me, there is no better way than to support these ideas with thoughtfully written Learning Stories that provide reflections around real events... 

 - Hunters Learning Story
 - Sam's Learning Story
 - Ruby's Learning Story
 - Jackson's Learning Story


 

 

Articles From Our Infants and Toddlers Inspiration Days

Lorraine Sands & Jo Weston - Slowing Down To Catch Up With Infants and Toddlers: A reflection on aspects of a questioning culture of practice.  Reproduced with permission by The First Years: Ngā Tau Tuatahi.  New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 12(1), 9 - 15.

...Adults who are engaged with infants and toddlers all have stories to tell; their ‘windows of wonder’ open for our very youngest children’s learning endeavours. These are the magic moments that keep us involved and excited, caught up in the intensity of seeing learning unfold. So what might this look like in practice?... 


Kathryn Delany - Seeing Through the Looking Glass

...We need to reflect upon what happens to our practice and our settings when we truly consider what it means to be a robust and resilient learner – a learner who is a curious explorer of their world... 

 - Pipi's Learning Story



Sharon Barrett, Karen Fowler, Karen Hose & Lorraine Sands - And Who Will Be My Child's Special Teacher?Reproduced with permission by The First Years: Ngā Tau Tuatahi.  New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 12(2), 32 - 37.

...There are many and varied ways across Aotearoa New Zealand for children and families to begin the process of building a sense of belonging just as there are many approaches from teachers designed to support this process. We want to hear more about these, so together we raise the profile of how critically important these early beginnings are in creating successful, enduring learning pathways... 



Robyn Lawrence - Learning To Move: Moving To Learn

...Restoring the balance of power between teacher and child so that the space becomes a collaborative space where the opportunity for dialogue, spoken and unspoken, exists, restores the balance and returns to the young child in many ways the power to choose...