?In our work together we have learnt how powerfully Learning Stories can offer an insight into the ways children drive their learning. Our intention is to connect with our infants, toddlers and their families, to build our understandings together and support the amazing learning that happens moment by moment for our very youngest children. Learning Stories have enabled us to share insights with each other, think deeply about our practice and become better learners and teachers as a result.
Tania Bullick attended Kate and Tiffany's workshop Learning Stories that Support Vibrant Learning for Infants and Toddlers:
"Kate and Tiffany revealed to us the collaborative approach to Learning Stories teachers enjoy at Greerton. The process follows that once a teacher has written the first draft of their story, it is then made available for other team members to view, make suggestions and add to, after which the teacher edits the draft and produces the final copy. Learning Stories also play a central role in staff meetings at Greerton Early Childhood Centre with each teacher bringing a story to the meeting to share and discuss. Kate and Tiffany credit these processes with building relationships and cohesion between team members and maintaining a powerful learning culture which was evident to my fellow participants and me. I could see that this collaborative approach supports and grows teachers' knowledge and practice through open, professional discussion. Both Kate and Tiffany spoke with wisdom about best practice and talked of how theorists and theory supported their teaching and learning. Tiffany suggested that teachers might use Learning Stories as a platform for promoting and discussing a favourite theorist's ideas. Learning Stories are the basis of much of the documenting processes at Greerton and Kate and Tiffany provided inspirational yet practical examples of Learning Stories being used for registration, staff appraisal, planning stories and stories of interest and self-review.
It is evident that the work Kate and Tiffany and their teams are doing at Greerton is one of high quality professionalism, with the tamariki enjoying responsive and reflective teaching informed by narrative assessment practices firmly embedded within the culture of the centre and providing a springboard for strong relationships with children, whanau and team members. I, for one, returned to my kindergarten on Monday morning with renewed enthusiasm to share and discuss their ideas with the teaching team. Thank you so much, Kate and Tiffany, for sharing your teaching and learning with the group in a way that was practical and usable while philosophically inspirational.
Lorraine Sands has expanded on these practices in her blog posts Learning Stories: Are these powerfully reflecting the learning culture of your setting?and Navigating the bigger narrative of planning around Learning Stories."