Please note that this is the programme from the 2014 conference.


Professor Margaret Carr - Making Connections: Learning Stories and the Multimondial Child

Margaret is a Professor of Education at the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research at the University of Waikato.  She was a Co-Director of the NZ Early Childhood Curriculum Development project that develoed the national curriculum, Te Whāriki, published in 1996.  After Te Whāriki was published, she researched in five different early childhood settings - a childcare centre, a kindergarten, a playcentre, a kōhanga reo and a home-based setting to develop, with the teachers, Learning Stories as a narrative assessment practice that was aligned with the sociocultural focus of Te Whāriki.  Since then she has researched and published widely on issues of curriculum and assessment in the early years. 

Formerly a kindergarten teacher, Margaret has taught student teachers in the undergraduate and graduate teacher education programme at the Faculty of Education, and she has a great enthusiasm for co-researching with teachers on action research projects, where the topics are dilemmas and puzzles about curriculum development and assessment that interest the teachers.

Wendy Lee - What can Learning Stories Teach us about Love and Empathy?

Wendy is the Director of the Educational Leadership Project, a professional learning provider for the early childhood sector in NZ.  Wendy has been involved in the ECE field as a teacher, tutor, lecturer, manager, professional development facilitator and researcher.  She has collaborated on three research projects in early years settings with Margaret Carr: question-asking and question-exploring, learning wisdom and learning in the making: disposition and design in early education.  Prior to this she was a Co-Director with Margaret of the National Early Childhood Assessment and Learning Exemplar Project that developed the Kei Tua o te Pae books on assessment for learning in early childhood for the NZ early childhood sector. 

Wendy has a deep interest in curriculum and leadership issues for ECE.  She has presented at conferences on early childhood curriculum, leadership and Learning Stories throughout the world, including the UK, Germany, Japan, Iceland, Belgium, the USA, the United Arab Emirates, Norway, the Czech Republic, CAnada, Australia and Sweden.


Morning Workshops

Workshop One

Keryn Davis & Simone Whalley - Engagement and Collaboration through Play-based Learning

Simone and Keryn be sharing the story of change at Mairehau Primary School using Learning Stories to illustrate the outcomes for children, plus discussing the contribution Learning Stories are making to making learning visible.

About Simone and Keryn

Simone Whalley is a New Entrant teacher at Mairehau Primary School in Christchurch.  Keryn Davis is a Senior Researcher with CORE Education based in Christchurch.   Simone and Keryn met in late 2013 when Simone called Keryn to talk about making some big changes to her new entrant classroom.  Since then, they, along with the rest of the new entrant/year 1 team, have been rethinking and redesigning their approaches to teaching and learning in their classrooms.

Workshop 2

Karen Ramsey - Stories of Interest: The Big Story!

How do you make visible the curriculum that you weave at your place?  Stories of Interest (planning stories) is an approach that retrospectively documents group interests and tells ‘the big story.’ This documentation builds rich possibilities and opportunities that enables each community to weave their own unique whāriki.

In this workshop I will share our journey of discovery as we searched for a planning framework that is respectful of following children, families and teachers interests, strengths and passions.  We will look closely at how this documentation is responsive to children and contributes to the development of a leaderful learning community.

About Karen

Karen is a teacher at Roskill South Kindergarten and has been apart of this learning community since July 1997.  In 2000, Karen participated in the Education Leadership Project professional development programme. The discovery of Learning Stories transformed Karen’s teaching and learning practices.  This ignited her interest  and passion for documenting children’s learning and her vision for the use of ICT began.

Karen went onto lead the Roskill South Kindergarten Centre of Innovation Project (2003-2006) and researched, How the use of ICT in pedagogical practice builds community, competence and continuity.   The Roskill South Kindergarten community has generously shared their stories with many and Karen has disseminated and inspired teachers throughout New Zealand and beyond.

Workshop 3

Gavin Kerr - Learning Stories: A Way of Life 

In our work together we have learnt how powerfully Learning Stories (Carr, 2001) can offer an insight into the ways children drive their learning. Teachers who shift the power balance into shared endeavour and sensitively engage with children as they explore their world with wonder and awe, playfulness and curiosity, perseverance and determination share a space that nourishes the amazing learning happening moment by moment as children set hard, edgy goals and pursue these with vigour. David Perkins makes these observations: “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).

About Gavin

Hi.  My name is Gavin. I currently occupy a position termed ‘Teacher' at Greerton Early Childhood Centre.  When this conference rolls around, I will be entering my eighth month as a full-time member within this fantastically diverse gaggle of notably certifiable teachers.  However, a stranger to working alongside children I am not.  I have held the title of 'reliever’ here for much of my time studying and, having worked my magic sufficiently in that time, I guess they just couldn’t live without me in the end. 


Workshop 4

Brenda Soutar, Miria Wipaki & Prof. Margaret Carr - He Rere Arorangi (Flying Towards the Heavens)

This workshop presents the first 6 months of our Marsden Fund research project that began in April this year, including some of our paki ako (our particular teacher documentation).  The title 'He Rere Arorangi' is taken from the Māori language text of Te Whāriki - "... ka whakawātea i ōna whakaaro kia rere arorangi.  Ko tōna wairua tēnā" pg 31.  Our research is about children building their creative capacity through museum visits.  At Mana Tamariki we are interested in our children's engagement with taonga in a wide variety of physical and cultural contexts.  Te Whāriki reminds us of the importance of freeing the mind to fly towards the heavens whereupon the child may express that which her/his whatumanawa (seat of emotions) has seen.  This is one Māori view of creativity that we will discuss.

About Brenda

Brenda is Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Awa.  She is Kaitiaki (Tumuaki/Senior Teacher) at Te Kōhanga Reo o Mana Tamariki in Palmerston North where she is a pedagogical leader.  She lives with her partner, Milton Rauhihi, in Foxton.  Together they have three adult children and four grandchildren.  They are most proud of the fact that all of their grandchildren are being raised by their parents with te reo Māori as their first language.



About Miria

Miria is Tūwharetoa from Taihape.   She is Kaitiaki (Kaiako Kaiarahi/Head Teacher) at Te Kōhanga Reo o Mana Tamariki in Palmerston North.  Her role in the kōhanga is to ensure the smooth daily running.  Miria lives with her partner in Palmerston North.  She has two children who were raised and educated in te reo Māori.




About Margaret

Margaret Carr is Professor of Education and Director of the Early Years Research Centre, He Kōhanga Toi Tangata, at the University of Waikato. She is a co-author with Wendy Lee of the book entitled 'Learning Stories: constructing learner identitles in early education'. She leads a Royal Society Marsden Fund research project entitled 'Children Visiting a Museum: information gathering or creative capacity building?'. 




Workshop 5

Tania Jack - Tōku Mātauranga Oranga - My Journey in Learning - Taitoko Kindergarten Transition to School Booklets

All tamariki that leave our kindergarten to embark on their next learning journey at Primary School carry a taonga of many strengths and dispositions. The Tōku Mātauranga Oranga-My Journey in Learning booklets provide new entrant teachers with a snapshot of the child’s ako and offer a tool to further deepen the relationship with the child. The links between Te Whāriki, the School Curriculum and the key competencies highlight how the two curriculums weave together ako.The booklets are also a tool for deepening ECE teachers relationships with their local schools and new entrant teachers.

About Tania

I started my teaching journey in 2001 in Levin and have been teaching at Taitoko Kindergarten since 2006 and in this time have grown as a person and a teacher. This growth is reflected in our team’s philosophy of empowering tamariki, and whānau creating a community of learners. My home life is all about my family and my children’s interest of ponies, and motorbikes and my newest interest ,gardening. All of which are creating great memories!

Workshop 6

Lynne Paul & Margie Meleisea - Front Framing Boys For Success!

Keeping boys in the front frame!!!!   Using dispositional learning to support boys to be successful as they navigate the complexity of learning.

Learning Stories provide a vehicle for teachers to unpack the importance of play for boys in an environment that affords them the places, spaces and time to develop an understanding of themselves as successful learners.  The teachers at Nayland Kindergarten encourage boys to move to learn, to struggle with difficulty, to set themselves goals and negotiate the complex web of social relationships.

To afford boys an environment that supports them to be successful learners demands a strong ethos of reflective teamwork and an environment that invites, stimulates and challenges boys to engage and lock onto learning.

This is our story at Nayland Kindergarten about keeping boys in the front frame.... keeping learning real, relevant and responsive.

About Lynne & Margie

Margie and I have worked together for over 8 years at Nayland Kindergarten, we both share a passion for “boys as successful learners”.  During this time we have engaged in a 3 year research project with Core Education and the Ministry of Education which highlighted the role of ICT in children’s creativity through the visual arts.  This amazing opportunity highlighted boys passions for technology as a tool for learning and boys as literate visual artists.  Further research 2 years later with Core Education highlighted boys as being highly successful literate and e-literate learners.  

Together we have presented our research a number of times at Ulearn conferences, at a Wintec Arts Conference and at a Reggio Emilio Conference.

We are excited to be able to celebrate boys as successful learners and we are always out there looking for opportunities to further our learning and to share our passions, interests and spirits with who ever wants to listen.




Workshop 7

Kelly Tahiwi, Treeza Coldstream & Lorna Tawhiti - Matariki - Seeing Through Little Eyes

In 2012, three local Early Childhood Centres in Ōtaki entered into a cluster to strengthen their early childhood practice.   Matariki, a traditional celebration, was undertaken that involved the early childhood community of Ōtaki.  This presentation is a journey of our collaboration and how Matariki, a celebration of our ancestors brought a community together and created shared learnings.

Kia ata titiro mai ki ō mātou rā whakanui a Matariki.

About Kelly

I am of Ngati Raukawa and Muaupoko descent, and currently the Kaiwhakahaere (Centre Manager) for He Iti Nā Mōtai,  a learning centre for kaimahi and tauira of Te Wananga O Raukawa, Ōtaki.  I am passionate about my whānau, hapū and iwi have been working in hapū and iwi learning centres for all of my 10 years in ECE.  My partner and I have 3 tamariki, and we live in Levin.  I enjoy participating in social sports and fitness like netball, waka ama and Mau Rakau.  But mostly love catching up with my whānau and creating meaningful pathways together.

About Treeza

Ko Tararua te maunga

Ko Ōtaki te awa

Ko Tainui te waka

Ko Ngāti Raukawa te iwi

Ko Ngāti Pare te hapu

Ko Raukawa te marae

Ko Treeza tāku ingoa

Kia ora te whānau.  My name is Treeza Coldstream and I have been a qualified teacher for the last 12 years but have been teaching for 14 years.  I am the teacher for unders at Ōtaki Early Learning Centre.  My philosophy is that I believe all tamariki should be treated with respect, dignity and compassion.  Children learn better when you work alongside them at their level, and so for me this means lots of time spent on the floor with the infants and toddlers I am responsible for.  We play, talk, laugh and learn from each other and this is vitally important to their learned life skills and abilities to cope in all situations.

I am the eldest of three children and have spent the majority of my life living and working in Ōtaki.  My family mean everything to me and so I spend lots of time with them, including my young niece and nephew.  I enjoy reading, music and spending time with my friends.

About Lorna

Ko Ngai te Rangi te iwi

Ko Rangiwaea te marae

Ko Lorna Tawhiti tōku ingoa 

Nō neira tēna koutou katoa

One of the places I value is Ōtaki Montessori Pre-school and I am grateful that this is my place of work.  My connection with Early Childhood Education started way back in 1998.  The journey began at Ōtaki Montessori, curled itself around Kindergarten for a number of years and then made its way back to Ōtaki Montessori.

The things I value include people, their stories and their ways of being.  It would be fair to say that these are the things that I willingly spend time on smiley

Ngā mihi koutou

Afternoon Workshops

Workshop 8

Gary Roberts & Keryn Davis - Key Competencies, assessment and Learning Stories: Talking With Teachers and Students

In 2013 the resource Key Competencies, Assessment and Learning Stories: Talking with teachers and students was published by the New Zealand Council of Educational Research.  This professional development DVD and booklet were developed in response to a strong interest in the use of Learning Stories in schools. They are designed to answer some of the common questions asked by teachers.  The resource includes examples and perspectives from teachers and students.

This workshop will also explore:

    The Key Competencies in action;

·       ‘Split-screen’ analysis;

·      How Learning Stories engage the school community; and

·      How to get started and keep it going 

About Gary and Keryn

Keryn Davis is a Senior Researcher with CORE Education based in Christchurch.  Gary Roberts is Principal at Hornby Primary School in Christchurch.  Keryn and Gary met 6 years ago when Gary became interested in how to implement Learning Stories in his classroom.  Keryn was a member of the team who developed the Key Competencies, Assessment and Learning Stories:Talking with teachers and students resource, and Gary is one of the teachers who stars in the DVD of this resource.  Keryn and Gary share a mutual interest in engaging all children and their families in learning, and supporting teachers in their work. 









Workshop 9

Julie Killick - Springing From the Diving Board: Taking another look at the Learning Analysis

Writing the narrative part of the Learning Story is usually pretty straightforward.  Deciding what to include and how to approach the analysis of the narrative can be a bit more challenging.  In this workshop I will invite you to join me in taking another look at the learning analysis part of your learning stories. We will look at how we might enrich this part of the documentation and make our stories a site for engaging in authentic research with the child and her/his family.

About Julie

Julie graduated from Waikato teachers college in 1981 and has been in Early childhood ever since. She has worked as a Head Teacher in Kindergartens, and also in Adult education with Auckland Kindergarten Association and as a facilitator with ELP.  For the last four years she has been the Head Teacher at Stanmore Bay Kindergarten.

This year Julie has started her masters degree, and is enjoying the challenge of lots of essays to write and a mountain of material to read.  Julie has had a long enthusiastic and committed relationship with learning stories. She is passionate about teaching and learning and has a special love for the arts. She once delivered singing telegrams as a gorilla, be very afraid.

Workshop 10

St. Luke's Mokopuna & Tamariki- Learning: What Matters to Children - Embedding Cultural Values Inside Te Whāriki

The teachers at our Punanga want our children to be confident and competent lifelong learners.  We want our children to have respect for one another and to be fully immersed in our Cook Islands' Māori heritage, so they have a strong understanding of their language, culture, identity and spirituality.  We actively set up positive learning environments where children can be curious explorers in a 21st Century world.  We actively organise a safe environment while still offering children challenging experiences. 

Anoano maata to te au puapii pera katoa te au ruru komiti ete koputangata ote apii St Luke’s Mokopuna & Tamariki Apii Punanga Reo kuki Airani………Kia riro mai ta tatou au tamariki ei tamariki aru’aru ite kimi anga ite kite no runga ite apii anga ito tatou turanga natura koia oki: Akangateitei tetai ki tetai Te reo tuatua ia utu’utuia.  Te peu tupuna tanumia, utu’utuia.  Moupiri I to tatou turanga vaerua  Ki roto I ta tatou apii kia kore e ngaue’ue, no te uki ote tuatua ki mua. 

This workshop will give you an insight into how the team at St Luke's Mokopuna and Tamariki Apii Punanga Reo are offering children a vibrant, challenging learning setting, working with and alongside children and families, with courage to think differently about how learning and teaching nurture life long successful learners, strong in their cultural identity.

About the St. Luke's Mokopuna and Tamariki team

St Luke's is a Cook Island centre in Tokoroa.  The teachers embed language, culture and identity into a vibrant learning environment where children have long periods of time to lead their own learning and work with and alongside teachers and children in ways that nurture life long learning.


Workshop 11

Robyn Lawrence - Narrative Assessment that is 'Up with the Play' 

It is easy for busy teachers to remain on the peripheral  of children's plans and ideas.  Children’s thinking and deeper learning can at times seem to be a mystery.  Therefore planning that emerges from children's thinking almost an impossibility.  The good news is that it doesn't need to be like that.  This work shop foregrounds the skill of writing Learning Stories that have the potential to be  the foundational documentation that informs planning. These Learning Stories keep teachers on the edge of children's exploration and familiar with  the strategies they use and the dispositional strengths that support their learning. 

About Robyn

I have been closely connected to the journey Learning Stories is taking both nationally and internationally since 2001 through Educational Leadership Project.  I am passionate about narrative assessment and the power of stories in peoples lives.

Having retired from being a regular ELP Project Facilitator in June 2013 I have repositioned myself, taking on small ELP contracts again and I enjoy working at a more  leisurely pace.  My home centre is Awhi Whānau Early Childhood Centre, a centre I have worked both in management and in teacher support for at least eight years.Together with my partner we enjoy the company of 10 grandkids and our four families. I remain passionate about learning and teaching especially with the very young. I am engaged in a satisfying  life long journey.

Workshop 12

Sue Fahey -Te Whatu Pōkeka: A Journey From Theory to Practice

‘Ko te kai rapu, ko ia te kite.’  He who seeks will find.  The commitment the team at Matangi Āwhio/Auckland Point Kindergarten made to support tamariki Māori to achieve success as Māori, led to an exploration of the kaupapa Māori assessment framework within Te Whatu Pōkeka. We discovered a framework that not only supported us to write learning stories describing multiple ways of knowing, being and doing, but also strengthened our bicultural practice. This workshop presents some of our thinking as we started to use Te Whatu Pōkeka within our infant toddler setting, along with the sharing of learning stories written using the framework.  

About Sue

Tēnā koutou katoa.   Ko Sue Fahey tōku ingoa.  He kaiako ahau ki te kōhungahunga o Matangi Āwhio, Whakatū. Nō Murihiku ahau, engari, ināianei e noho ana au ki Whakatū.  Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Kia ora. My name is Sue Fahey and I have stepped into the Head Teacher role at Auckland Point Kindergarten (APK) in Nelson for 2014. More usually I am an infant toddler kaiako at the kindergarten, and am passionate about excellent quality infant toddler care and education, within an environment steeped in Māoritanga.

Workshop 13

Sharee Ormond - "It All Begins With Observation": Recognising Learning in Infant and Toddler Discoveries

What are we looking for in infant and toddlers play?  Moving deeper in our observation to challenge ourselves past the obvious interests of infant and toddlers.  Taking the time to look through different lenses to recognise their learning and incorporate this in quality assessment for learning.

In this workshop I will share with you the shift in practise to achieve this and useful tools.  Offering approaches that enable educators to successfully gain insight into children’s learning, support and nurture this with children and share with their whānau.

About Sharee

Kia ora, I’m Sharee and my journey in early childhood started in 2004 as I embarked on my teaching Degree at Victoria University in Wellington.  During my studies I was fortunate to undertake a teaching practicum at Ngā Tamariki Early Childhood Centre; 10 years later and I am still there and currently the centre supervisor.  I love that no two days are the same and the joy and smiles each day brings.  I am very passionate about high quality early childhood education and love working in the community based whānau environment my centre offers.


Workshop 14

Andria Cross - Te Rourou Whakatipuranga O Awarua - Composing Narrative Assessment Through Whanaungatanga

As kaiako this is an implicit part of our teaching practice at Te Rourou.  The strong connection to Marae, Whānau, and Community provides the links for our Tamariki well-being and belonging.  Tupuna dispositions are visible within our Tamariki and the way in which they learn about the world around them, with strong connections to Marae and community through Whakapapa and Whanaungatanga, this workshop will provide you with evidence of how whanaungatanga forms the basis of narrative assessment. When writing Learning Stories whānau-tangata is weaved throughout, and highlights to Whānau the quality and importance of relationships that set the foundations for quality learning and development.  Throughout this workshop examples of assessments reflecting whanaungatanga and dispositions for learning will be provided as a guide you may utilize within your own teaching practice.  

About Andria

Kia ora Koutou, I am of Kai Tahu, Whakatohea and Ngāti Ruanui descent, born and bred in the southern town of Bluff, and currently working at my own local marae based bi-lingual early childhood centre, Te Rourou Whakatipuranga O Awarua as a Kaiako, our Marae is Te Rau Aroha.  I am married with three children, two of which are adult and my youngest 16, we live on a small lifestyle block just 5 minutes out of the township of Bluff within the small community of Greenhills.