ELP Presents: Early Childhood Professional Learning Lecture Series

Hamilton & Auckland 2018

If you missed this year's fantastic series of lectures, don't worry we will be advertising our 2019 series very soon - make sure you grab our Season Pass to save!

All lectures are in the evening, from 7:00pm-9:00pm. 

To print a 2018 brochure please click here. Alternatively full details of each lecture are below.




Children formulating working theories: what does it look like? presented by Lorraine Sands in February

Children who are 'up for a challenge' realise that anything worth doing takes time, effort, patient exploration and a willingness to explore possibilities. This lecture investigates the kinds of settings, relationships and conversations that enable children's working theories to expand in imaginative, curious, inventive ways that will carry them into learning success lifelong.

Some feedback from Lorraine's lecture:

'Amazing workshop, very informative. Love the examples of real children developing real theories in their own time; supported by the teacher but not stifled'

'Great blend of stories/videos and personal experiences - reminds us all to be very grounded and be mindful of not only giving time to children to develop working theories but also to give time to ourselves to watch the learning blossom and grow'.

'Your provided thought provoking and beautiful examples of children's working theories and our role in ensuring children experience such valuable learning opportunities'

Who said 'good is good'? presented by Lynn Rupe in March

Guy Claxton wrote, "We are built to learn by imitation. Evolution has equipped us with brains that are designed from the moment of birth to do what people around us are doing." The questions are then what are we modelling, what are we teaching by just being? Thoughts and ideas that hopefully will provoke discussion and reflection about the messages we are giving children moment by moment. Discussion that may leave you wondering 'who is my authentic self?'.

Some feedback from Lynn's lecture:

'Tena koe Lynn, what food for thought. I felt very supported by your lecture. I love your growth mindset and feel empowered by what you shared. You are so easy to listen to and kept my attention, well done. ELP lectures really empower and support my teaching. Thank you'

'Lynn presented really well. She discussed and explained and let us into her 'mind', what she was grappling with. Really thought-provoking - thank you!'

'Love it's relatableness - great work!'

Being an activist: Testing times in ECE, presented by Wendy Lee in April

This will be a lecture that will both share information about the current development of Baby PISA and also explore key ideas around formative assessment, keeping the principles of Te Whāriki in view as a crucial lens through which every NZ early childhood professional lives. It is imperative that teachers and managers of early childhood settings are able to inform those within their communities about these critical elements of education and especially the role of assessment in the development of children's learning.

Some feedback from Wendy's lecture:

'Bring back the life' WOW, I love listening to you sharing your views. You get very excited about where we are taking ECE'

'This is my first one of your talks and WOW - you are an inspiration.... thank you'

'I absolutely enjoyed your lecture - very interesting and thought provoking'

The capable and competent infant and toddler, presented by Anita Homewood in May

As teachers, our aspiration is for "children to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society'. This is just as pertinent for infants and toddlers, and Te Whāriki has been instrumental in bringing this rich learning to life. We will revisit a curriculum for infants and toddlers, and consider how the Principles of Te Whāriki in particular support a Curriculum of Care. We will also take time to reflect on our role in creating the space for infants and toddlers to flourish as capable and competent learners.

Some feedback from Anita's lecture:

'I just loved it! Well done. The conversations with team members allowed us to reflect together and affirm what we do. The video clips let us fully understand another view point, and your passion for children showed through'

'A wonderful workshop - lots to take back to my practice'

'Thank you Anita, another brilliant lecture, you spoke of such wonderful ways of engaging with our tamariki. Wow, outstanding team ELP, another meaninful, deep and informative lecture - can't wait for the next one, thank you'

Expert weavers, presented by Lynn Rupe in June

Te Whāriki talks about the early childhood and primary school curricula being “based on similar principles and have similar approaches to valued learning.”  We start the weave in early childhood then the woven whāriki continues on seamlessly with no gaps into primary school. To continue the learning journey from early childhood to primary school the expert weaver requires knowledge, skill, time and to work in collaboration in order to create a beautifully taonga.

Some feedback from Lynn's lecture:

'Very thoughtful lecture, Lynn, thank you for making me think more deeply about my responsibilities as an ECE teacher'

'Very enjoyable lecture, full of valuable insights and robust arguments for hwat we are doing well...'

'Fantastic lecture - thank you'

Portfolios that 'carry on', presented by Professor Margaret Carr in July

Portfolios can be more than a place to store Learning Stories. They can have a robust role to play in education, and there are many ways in which this role plays out. Maybe e-Portfolios do too, and we can have a conversation about this during the evening of this lecture. One of the roles that interests me in particular is the philosophical notion that, in portfolios, stories and collections of drawings and photographs can be a space of authoring. Tim Ingold, an anthropologist, in a book entitled Anthropology and/as Education writes (p.12): “Stories overlap, with each telling leaning over and touching the next. So too do the lives of which they tell. That’s the way they carry on”. I will talk about  this idea for early childhood and Te Whāriki.

Let's take another look, presented by Tania Bullick in August

For some of us, it has been a long time since we trained and were first exposed to the theorists that have shaped early childhood education in New Zealand. This lecture will take another look and revisit some of the people and their theories that have been so influential to both international and New Zealand early childhood eduction and reflect through examples how they have shaped the outcomes for tamariki.

Some feedback from Tania's lecture:

'Very informative, lots for me to take away and delve deeper/challenge me to know more about the theories that affect my teaching practice'

'It was a wonderfully rich and enjoyable lecture. With delightful insights and 'fun facts' that brought to life how much I can still learn'

'It was nice to spend two hours in this PD. Hopefully I'll have more opportunities to attend some more related PD to extend my knowledge'

Art: Take 2, presented by Marianne MacPherson and Kathryn Delany in September

Following the 2017 lecture we are giving further consideration to art experiences that offer children opportunities to explore their creative and expressive selves. We will consider the rich opportunities for art that sits inside Te Whāriki as a bi-cultural and socio-cultural curriculum and ways art can be woven through our curriculum design. We will revisit the image of art education from Kei Tua o te Pae that “... explores, challenges, affirms, and celebrates unique artistic expressions of self, community, and culture…” and how we allow and support this to grow in our learning environments.

Some feedback from Marianne and Kathryn's lecture:

'So enjoyable - a lovely mix of styles and wealth of knowledge and encouragement to take on the challenge'

'My 1st ELP event, thoroughly enjoyed myself'

'It was engaging and varied - thank you!'

Chelsea Club Sandwich, presented by Jo Colbert, Julie Killick and Jo Behse in October

We have been working together for about a year and a half and in this presentation we will share our journey so far around supporting continuity and complexity in learning. We will share some stories of interest that have developed and built over several months. We will also explore the various ways we have strengthened our connection with language, culture, and identity in our Cheslea Kindergarten community. It's going to be a little club sandwich full of flavour, something tasty for you to bite into!

Some feedback from Chelsea Kindergarten's lecture:

'This was an amazing workshop!! So inspiring and fantastic to see a team that are so passionate about what they do and supporting each other. Thank you!'

'It was awesome - I would love you gals to share some more amazing teaching and learning moments'

'I loved this workshop so much. Just seeing the sewing focus and interest and the importance of sharing our interests as well as the children's. Very inspiring!'


Go outside and play! Presented by Kim Hope in November

As an early childhood educator reading about the new gorilla space for Orana Wildlife Parks’s $6 million ‘Great Ape Enclosure’, I can’t help but reflect on the lack of access to natural and authentic environments most very young children experience, in their time in government funded education. 
Commercialisation within the education sector has led to the haphazard development of outdoor play environments based on cost effectiveness and promoting a false safety. Increasingly, I see that these are too often inadequate in providing for the unhampered growth of values-centred dispositions and qualities of childhood.
The life-threatening oppression of safe play spaces sounds dramatic and extremist, but …..
It is so important that we look after these endangered animals and create the best possible environment for them to thrive? However, is this more important than the future of our precious children?  It makes me question what needs to happen to enable the following key statements in Te Whāriki to be realised for our tamariki
All children are born with immense potential. Quality early learning helps our children begin to realise that potential and build a strong foundation for later learning and for life. 
New Zealand’s early learning standards are amongst the highest in the world and almost all of our children are participating and benefitting from a rich array of relationships and experiences in our early learning settings. 
Unique in its bicultural framing, Te Whāriki expresses our vision that all children grow
up in New Zealand as competent and confident learners, strong in their identity, language and culture. 
In this workshop, I am interested in considering how to maximise opportunities for outdoor play to give young children the kind of unsupervised play that is needed for them to flourish. Particularly, but not only, In centres where:
  • the size of the space is challenging, 
  • equipment is not challenging for all children’s ages and stages of development
  • where there is limited or no access natural areas