ELP Presents: Early Childhood Professional Learning Lecture Series
Hamilton & Auckland

The 2017 Lecture Series is our most inspiring yet!  Our facilitators have put together presentations that are engaging, connected and driven by the incredible research that is constantly unveiling.

Make sure you don't miss out on these incredible lectures, they are bound to encourage, challenge and empower you in your practice.  The full 2017 programme features 10 powerful lectures from February to November, please see below for the full details.

Individual Lecture: $40 per teacher | $30 per full-time student

Season Pass (all 10 lectures): $275 per teacher | $200 per full-time student 
The Season Pass can be used as a concession card for your centre to have 10 teachers attend one lecture, or 5 teachers attend 2 lectures etc.

Unfortunately enrolments for this series of lectures has now closed - please keep an eye out for more wonderful professional learning opportunities in 2018. 


Lectures, now completed:





It's not just about art: What image do we hold of children as artists?
- Presented by: Marianne MacPherson

I do not view myself as an expert on art - but as a teacher with a real appreciation of art and a keen interest in exploring the rich opportunities visual art programmes and opportunities can provide for young children’s learning and exploration.

Kei tua o te Pae shares the image of an arts education that “... explores, challenges, affirms, and celebrates unique artistic expressions of self, community, and culture…”

In this workshop I am interested in considering not only examples of what this might look like but also the way the image of the child we hold possibly impacts or influences opportunities for children to explore unique artistic expressions of self.


Marianne MacPherson
ELP Professional Learning Facilitator

What's the story?
- Presented by: Julie Killick

“What's the story?” Do you remember this saying? It was a a type of colloquial greeting at one time in NZ. A casual little phrase, but actually when you unpack it, quite profound! What IS the story? What are the stories we create that in turn shape our lives? Marni Gillard writes "We need to look hard at the stories we create, and wrestle with them. Re-tell and re-tell them, work with them like clay. It is in the re-telling and returning that they give us their wisdom."

I acted in a company called Playback theatre for several years. This was a group of improvisational actors and musicians who re-enacted people’s stories on the spot, at a public performance once a month. Being part of Playback Theatre was such a privilege, and it really showed me how powerful stories are and how entertaining and therapeutic re-telling them and seeing them being acted out is. Then I was lucky to meet Vivian Gussin Paley at her Auckland lecture, and went on to read her books. Somewhat like Playback theatre Vivian works with children in telling and re-enacting their stories. This nudged me to take my Playback theatre experience and use it with children in a similar way to Vivian. In this lecture I will share how we have developed a culture of story telling with children and parents at Chelsea Kindergarten and how this has impacted all of our lives.

Evaluation Form feedback:

"Thanks for sharing all your wisdom, experience and zest for life :)"

"What can I say - fantastic"!

"I appreciated the essence of your message - the love, respect, the richness making deep connections..."



Julie Killick
Chelsea Kindergarten

Self determination theory - the ABC of motivation

- Presented by: Tania Bullick

'Edward Deci and Richard Ryan have developed the ‘Self Determination Theory or the 'ABC of Motivation' and tell us that Autonomy, Belonging and Competence are inherent psychological needs just as water, food and oxygen are inherent Physiological needs of all human beings - even our very youngest.  Autonomy has become my favourite word lately as I explore what that means for children and teachers in ECE settings. Join me in understanding how children and teachers need for autonomy in early childhood education can be met along with belonging and competence, and how children's enthusiasm for learning, confidence in their own capabilities and dispositions manifest from being intrinsically motivated.’

Evaluation Form Feedback:

"It was wonderful! So much food for thought. I loved the way that Tania engaged us in discussion"

"It was interesting to reflet on Autonomy, Belonging and Competence in relation to intentional teaching and our amazing Te Whāriki"


Tania Bullick
ELP Professional Learning Facilitator


Cultural Pedagogy: What might this look like in an early childhood setting?
- Presented by: Wendy Lee

“The culture of the child cannot enter the classroom until it enters the consciousness of the teacher’’. For me very powerful anonymous quote makes me contemplate what it might mean for teachers in our bicultural and multicultural society. This is because culture is central to learning and shapes our thinking. I believe a teacher who acknowledges, notices, recognises and responds to the cultural context and experiences of children and whānau within an early childhood setting will exemplify the best in cultural pedagogy.

Ladson-Billings (1994) listed the characteristics which he believed were central to culturally responsive teaching and I will discuss these in more detail in this lecture they are:

  • Positive perspectives of parents and whānau
  • Communication of high expectations
  • Learning within the context of culture
  • Child-centred learning
  • Culturally mediated education
  • Re-shaping the curriculum
  • Teachers as facilitators

These ideas align strongly with the research carried out by Professor Russell Bishop and his team at the University of Waikato entitled Te Kotahitanga. I will show how they are linked and will strengthen cultural pedagogy in NZ early childhood settings. 


Wendy Lee
ELP Director & Professional Learning Facilitator

Te Whāriki: Past, Present, Future
- Presented by: Professor Margaret Carr

An incredible opportunity to hear from one of the original writers of Te Whāriki. Join Margaret Carr as she explores the past, present and future of Te Whāriki in New Zealand. 
Revisit the birth of Te Whāriki and reflect on the growth and development of the curriculum. 
Celebrate in the success of Te Whāriki, and the international recognition for the curriculum’s ability to capture the essence of early childhood education.
Discover the updates to Te Whāriki, and explore the opportunities to continue to develop children's interests, passions and relationships.

Evaluation Form Feedback:

"I really enjoyed this lecture, found it insightful and hope to attend many more like this".

"Margaret is a treasure to listen to, no matter what the occasion! Such a real sense of how things are, a well-rounded picture of the issues/ideas".

"It was wonderful! Thank you for the effort you have put into this lecture".


Professor Margaret Carr
University of Waikato

Loose parts = Imagination + Creativity
- Presented by: Gillian Fitzgerald

Imagination is about seeing the impossible and creativity is about using imagination to unleash the potential of existing ideas in order to create new and valuable ones. If we are wanting to support our tamariki to become confident capable learners in the 21st Century then we need to create environments that foster this.  Albert Einstein said ‘Creativity is more important than knowledge’ 

This lecture will look at how loose parts can help to grow  imagination and creativity in our tamariki.

Evaluation Form Feedback:

"What a great workshop, very insightful. Thank you for this amazing two hours. I hope to have the support to introduce this teaching practice in our centre. I am very excited to try."

"As usual, another great workshop - thank you. Loved the handouts - it meant I could listen more"

"Thank you for this lecture. I found it to be very inspiring and full of great ideas for introducing loose parts into our centre"


Gillian Fitzgerald
ELP Professional Learning Facilitator

Challenging the myth of ability
- Presented by: Carol Marks 

What makes learners more expert?  What are some of the expectations and goals of the teachers they are involved with to create an expert learner? What are the links between the deliberate practice of the skills of teaching and leadership and a learning curriculum that enables working theories and learning dispositions to be important learning outcomes within our early childhood settings to help set the foundations for ‘expert’ learning.

Evaluation Form Feedback:
"Was fantastic! Absolutely loved the lecture and how it was delivered. So much wonderful info that will help me in my personal life, as a teacher, and my team. Many thanks."

"Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge this evening! It certainly has made me to reflect a number of matters/things/areas in my daily practice, so thank you."


Carol Marks
ELP Professional Learning Facilitator

Lifelong learning and leading
- Presented by: Kathryn Delany

Carol Dweck reminds us 'that having a Growth Mindset creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment and that virtually all great people have had these qualities.' She found that a “growth mindset” creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval.  Brene Brown says that “Healthy striving is self-focused: "How can I improve?" Perfectionism is other-focused: "What will they think?”  Human qualities like intelligence and creativity, and even relational capacities like love and friendship be cultivated through effort and practice.  In this lecture we will look at how being vulnerable and developing a growth mindset  supports us in being a lifelong learner and leader.

Evaluation Form Feedback:
"You have provided so many wonderful quotes and things to think about for the way we work with children. I appreciate and value your honesty and determination to move forward."

"Loved it, so empowering. Bring back the simple enjoyment of teaching."

"Excellent workshop. We had fun learning tonight. I appreciate Julie & Kathryn. Arohanui."


Kathryn Delany
ELP Professional Learning Facilitator

Back to basics, back to nature
- Presented by: Lynn Rupe

What do we have our roots in?  What is New Zealand culture? What do we value? What makes us unique? What is all the fuss about green?  Guy Claxton talks about rock and water thinkers - the rock thinker lament over the obstacles in the way and think if only we could.  Water thinker find the gaps and go for it anyway.  What is it that we truly value about Aotearoa and the opportunities it allows for children?  When I talk with teachers often the answer to this question is our love of outdoors.  The question is then are children experiencing enough of the great outdoors.

In the past decade, the benefits of connecting to nature have been well documented in numerous scientific research studies and publications. This research shows that children’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they have daily contact with nature. 

Experiencing nature assists children with their holistic development.  Come and discuss why experiencing a natural outdoor environment is vital to children’s holistic development.  Look at what is possible lift our view from the rock, find the gaps and go for it anyway.

Evaluation Form Feedback:
"You have encouraged me to grow an awareness of how my own children and the children I work with interact with nature and how else I can ensure there is plenty of opportunity to engage with nature in as many ways as possible."

"Wow this P.D. was great. It opened my mind, gave me new ideas to share with my team and children. I can’t wait to go back to work and try these. I liked that we are wrapping our tamariki in cotton wool, let them be resilient!"


Lynn Rupe
ELP Professional Learning Facilitator

Learning: What matters to children 
- Presented by: Lorraine Sands

We know from Te Whāriki that learning happens socially through culture, and the kind of learning culture we actively build in our settings has a very significant impact on the growing identity each child is building of themselves as learners.  

I want to think deeply about my practice and grow learners who love learning. I invite you to join me during the lecture series, as we explore how we all might actively build a culture of learning that tunes into children’s energies, passions and spirits and grow vibrant, creative, imaginative learners for the life they live now and into their future.


Lorraine Sands
ELP Professional Learning Facilitator