Dr Rangimarie Turuki Rose Pere works extensively in education, health, conservation and social welfare.  She bases her teaching on Te Wheke - a traditional Māori model of learning and teaching that is very relevant for today.  Rose will be talking about her renowned book Te Wheke: A Celebration of Infinite Wisdom

Welcome to each and everyone…come on a journey of sharing the ONENESS of the eight dimensions of my total well-being and development.  The energy that I link into for my total well-being and development, is the Octopus.  This model of learning and teaching has been transmitted  from my ancient ancestors Nga Potiki and Nga Uri- A- Maui, who have always lived here in New Zealand as Peace- keepers, and intermarried with our other ancestors who came to New Zealand in the Great Fleet from the Pacific Islands approximately a thousand years ago.

Morning Workshops

Workshop 1

Language Culture and Identity  - Kathryn Delany

Ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko take reo matapihi mauria
My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul

This workshop considers why language, cultural and identity are so powerful in nurturing children’s mana and mauri underpinning children’s right to learning success.

Workshop 2

Leadership through the lens of Te Whāriki - Kim Hope

Ehara taku toa, i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.  My success should not be bestowed onto me alone, as it was not individual success, but success of a collective. Cooperation of many can bring best results.” 

This interactive workshop provides an opportunity to explore distributed leadership that: is empowering for all; values reciprocal relationships; is holistic and results in a community of learners.

Workshop 3

Brain Development, Social Competence… It’s LOVE Actually - Tania Bullick

With the plethora of brain development research over recent years, early childhood teachers have unprecedented access to theorists, writers and speakers who have much to offer them to inform their thinking and practice around social competence.  Te Whatu Pōkeka supports and extends on the brain development research by introducing us to traditional and contemporary Māori images of children.  Scratch beneath the surface and it all begins to look and feel a bit like love actually.  This workshop explores notions of love and it’s place in our role as teachers, the nurturing of socially competent people and the science behind it.   

Workshop 4

Learning Stories - Bringing the stories of learning to life! - Carol Marks

The importance of those first beginnings. “New knowledge for the child is not seen or regarded as more important than the everyday tasks a child can already perform with confidence.... new knowledge builds on what the child already knows. - Rose Pere (1997).

This workshop is an opportunity for teachers to reflect on the importance of connecting with the other contexts in children’s lives and how they might make connections to their stores of knowledge, interests, passions and skills and document these in their assessments.  While thinking about how they can make their learning stories be more complex and connected to what is important learning for preschoolers.

Workshop 5

It’s Only Natural… - Anita Homewood

Infants are born ready to learn, driven to explore, motivated to make sense of their world.  They learn and grow holistically - mind, body and spirit - and when allowed to do so in their own way and in their own time, mind, body and spirit remain in-sync.  Infants are able to take the lead in their learning, following their inner drive and rhythms.  So how do we create an environment which supports their natural development?  Where we trust an infant to take the lead in their learning?  Where does that leave us in our role as ‘educators’?

We will look at the natural development of infants, and at creating an environment to support infants to be able to follow their inner drive and take the lead in their learning.  We will also examine our role in working with infants, as well as ways of documenting and making their learning visible.

Workshop 6

Waking Up the Third Teacher - Marianne MacPherson

Many teachers in early childhood settings in Aotearoa New Zealand have been considering the potential and power of the ʻ third teacherʼ, the environment. The early childhood setting environment is a powerful influence on all learning and teaching that happens ʻhereʼ.  However, many struggle to ʻwake upʼ the sleeping giant.

Waking the giant is challenging.  But like most sleeping beings it can be tussled, uncovered, shaken, and awoken.  When awake, this giant is powerful and informs and shapes the kind of learning that happens in our early childhood education settings.  When teachers consider having the learning environment as the wide awake ʻthird teacherʼ they are mindful of their teaching intentions.

In this workshop we will be considering teachers at their learning best and environments at their teaching best.  A workshop with many inspirational examples and ideas.

Workshop 7

Framing Self Review Processes Around Learning That Matters to Children - Lynn Rupe

David Perkins has this to say about learning “It’s never just routine.  It’s about thinking about what you know and pushing further. It involves open ended or ill-structured problems and novel, puzzling situations.  It’s never just problem solving, it involves problem finding.  It’s not just about right answers.  It involves explanation and justification.  It’s not emotionally flat.  It involves curiosity, discovery, creativity, camaraderie” (Making Learning Whole, 2009, p.29).

What could our settings look like if we are intent on fostering the kind of learning David describes, fit for purpose in a 21st century world desperately in need of creative, collaborative thinkers and learners.  In terms of self review documentation, how would we know we’re on the right track?

This workshop considers practical ways to ensure we work effectively to document learning and teaching through self review processes that celebrate the varied and vibrant learning that matters to children.

Workshop 8

Gifts of Papatuanuku - Ephemeral Art  - Gillian Fitzgerald

Ephemeral art is special because it requires us to pay attention to the small and beautiful moments that unfold in life, celebrating the everyday.  This workshop will be an opportunity for both inspirational reflection and practical exploration, as we unpack Ephemeral art and investigate meaningful ways for teachers to weave the gifts of Papatuanuku - the Māori concept for the Earth Mother into their settings.  Visual art learning experiences contribute significantly to the creativity and visual literacy of tamariki. By incorporating this style of art experience, teachers support our tamariki in developing an awareness of environment and a respect for the world they live in.

Afternoon Workshops

Workshop 9

Toddlers As 'Learners-In-Action': Creative Thinkers, Imaginative Explorers, Problem Solvers and Loving Companions” - Lorraine Sands

Passionate!  Spirited!  Misunderstood?

Toddlers: How might teachers leave room for imagination...for possibility...for creative energy to thrive and nurture these fabulous learners to be all they can possibly be?

Elusive!  Engaging!  Enigmatic! Impossible?

This workshop looks at teachers image of toddlers.  It considers how this view of these fabulous learners supports or constrains their learning.  

Workshop 10

If Mathematics Is All Around Us Are We Talking About It? - Lynn Rupe

Te Kākano  was developed as a tool for ECE services - this workshop will discuss this mathematical resource.  This is a fabulous tool for deepening mathematical learning and teaching.  “As you strive to understand the children’s learning, the framework helps to highlight mathematical ideas and allows progress to be documented. Te Kākano also provides a lens through which to view and reflect on the ‘food’  that might strengthen exploration and use of these mathematical ideas and perhaps foster new ones.”

During this workshop deepen your understanding of mathematical learning inside a sociocultural framework.  How can we strengthen mathematics learning in our early childhood setting?  How can we provide a rich authentic learning environment to sow the mathematical seed; the Kākano?

This is an interactive workshop - if you have a Learning Story or a resource that focuses on mathematics please bring this to share.

Workshop 11

‘We Teach Who We Are’ - Cultivating Teacher Presence  - Kathryn Delany

Being present is not as easy as you might think!  How often have you arrived somewhere and suddenly realised that you have very little recollection of the journey?  Or maybe you reach for that cup of tea only to discover you have already drunk it?  Where were you?  In this workshop, we will explore growing presence, mindfulness and intention in our teaching and lives. How can we grow responsive teaching interactions?

Workshop 12

KINDNESS is the Heart of the Matter - Wendy Lee

Manaakitanga is an important value for all of us (respecting others – their differences, showing hospitality, kindness, friendship, nurturing and care for everyone). Piero Ferrucci argues that it is this trait that will not only lead to our own individual happiness and the happiness of those around us, but has the potential to strengthen powerfully the relationships that surround us.  In this workshop, I will explore some of the key ideas around kindness and how it can transform our views about teaching and learning.  I believe kindness has the power to transform us and the communities we support.

Workshop 13

Literacy - the Bigger Picture.  - Tania Bullick

Te Whatu Pōkeka asks us to view the child, not as an individual but as a part of their wider, generational whānau from who they inherit the dispositions and spiritual traits that they bring to their learning. This fits beautifully with a broad view of literacy and the sociocultural literacies that a child brings with them from their whānau and their lives.  Viewing literacy as simply reading and writing does not fit with this broader view and does nothing to acknowledge and grow the richness of literacies each child contributes.  This workshop explores these ideas and more. 

Workshop 14

Rich Learning Through Purposeful Investments in Technology.  - Beverly Kaye

Promoting rich child-initiated explorations, development of children's working theories around abstract concepts, and building opportunities for considered discussions with peers and adults, through purposeful investments in digital technologies.

With considered purchases, technology is a valuable tool that does not need to dominate a centre programme, or child’s world. Through my e-fellowship I have seen the potential for safe, robust, and rich opportunities for children’s self guided digital exploration - just as children read books on their own, explore in the sandpit on their own, play in the family corner on their own.  Self guided exploration helps them develop their own ideas of the world before engaging  and sharing their working theories with others.  Quality apps that are well considered and researched can provide similar opportunities for children’s self guided explorations, particularly around less tangible concepts.

Workshop 15

“I am a Learner, I am Me” - Carol Marks

This workshop is an opportunity to think more deeply about our learning environments and pedagogy that strengthens or weakens this learner identity for a young child. What are our children experiencing in these early years within a New Zealand Aotearoa context?  How are we helping them to be life long learners through developing strong learner identities?


Workshop 16

'Dispositions' Isn't A Dirty Word - Gillian Fitzgerald

Margaret Carr wrote 'Dispositions are linked to our attitudes and feelings about ourselves and our views about the different identities or possible selves.' (Carr, 1995, p. 4).  We look at one teaching team's journey towards strengthening learning partnerships with children and parents to advance the stakeholders understanding of dispositional learning.  Although the teaching team began by incorporating dispositional language within a Learning Story framework they recognised that this alone wasn't enough and so the journey began.