Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Update on progress of programme starting in Shenzhen

Update on the progress since last year at the Shenzhen Experimental Kindergarten, China

Rainy shares work from each of the classrooms. All have set up areas for portfolios and couches to sit on and read the portfolios. Jane and I look at the work - very impressive. 
During the week long programme, teachers are also taught by the Shenzhen teachers who share the work they have been doing on Learning Stories

Wendy and Zhou Jing (translator) redefine the "PLAY (play / game)" and their value to the teachers. The children are constantly exploring and discovering the world around them by playing / playing the game. Teachers should pay attention to and support them. Children provide a safe, rich environment, and plenty of time to explore. Teachers should also learn to listen, physical and mental state to be in the state with the children, find the child's WOW time, and timely record the child's flash point.

Environment Creation | Middle Class Mixed Area Museum
Shenzhen Experimental Kindergarten team shift to the regional activities as the starting point, combined with the characteristics of each class area, to build the middle class mixed area museum, so that children choose, explore, operate, through the material, environment, peer interaction to promote children All-round study and development!
In a class of environmental creation theme is "super town" role of the game center. Class within the use of various types of cloth, clear lines and other materials, showing a warm and gentle atmosphere of life. "Super town" can not only reflect the imitation of children's symbolic game, but also to meet the child's imitation and the psychological needs of independent games. One of the characteristics of the district is: super joy theater, super seafood it, super book bar.

"Come to the customer" - Shenzhen Experimental Kindergarten 26th Pioneer Technology Festival opening it!
This is the opening of the Technology Programme. There are two very strong parent clubs at this kindergarten, one for fathers and another for mothers. They are key lparticipants in this special production….

The images with balloons is the start of another Shenzhen Experimental kindergarten - I had a visit to this kindergarten and meet with a number of teachers for a discussion around documentation and learning stories.

Dehui Shuangxiu - Shenzhen experimental kindergarten "wisdom college" was formally established
This is another development at Shenzhen Exp Kgtn. They were launching a new new professional learning initiative called the Wisdom programme. I was invited to address the gathering and assist with the launch.
Wisdom Institute is initiated by the Shenzhen Experimental Kindergarten and set up a teacher training camp for teachers to provide a learning and practice of the power field, designed to cultivate freedom, innovation, content, hard work teachers. Here, anyone has the opportunity to express, any ideas can be respected, there is no standard answer, there is no black or white right or wrong, you can always find their own supporters.

Traditional growth file VS learning story growth file
Shenzhen experimental kindergarten teachers, began a new attempt to challenge the traditional growth of the file to "study the story" for children in the kindergarten to establish a happy file.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The impact of Neuroscience on our practice

What an absolute pleasure it was to have Neuroscience Educator; Nathan Wallis, join us in Hamilton to present a seminar: The impact of Neuroscience on our practice.  This was a Ministry of Education sponsored seminar, organised by ELP.

An extremely informative presentation covering many vital topics of neuroscience and child development. 
Some of the key concepts Nathan covered were:  
-  The four parts of the brain, and their role in learning – neurosequential development
-  The importance of the first 1000 days
-  The dyad relationship
-  Social/emotional learning
-  Reinforcement of dispositional learning
-  Risk and protective factors

Here is a sample of some of the feedback we received from the participating ECE teachers; covering what new insights/useful strategies etc. they gained from this seminar; and how it will impact/change their practice.

“Importance of the dyad. 4 areas of the brain. Fundamental importance of the first 1000 days.”

“The key importance of relationships in the first three years for brain development”
“Looking at how our team works - using key teacher practice correctly rather than sticking to rosters. Understanding the brain and what needs to happen to support healthy brain development.  Realizing that the brain is moulded by the environment and the implications of this on our children.”

“Understanding the ‘calmness’ approach to learning. Going back to the basics of human relationships.”

“The children in our centre need love and encouragement for their interests to show. This will then help us plan for interests. The new information reminds me to remember what brain they are in to help them develop. Also helps re-think our rosters and mat times.”

“The importance of neuroscience knowledge in ECE. The importance of the first 1000 days – Wow! So very interesting and informative.

“I have a better understanding of how our two year old children find it difficult to be part of a programme set up for 3 and 4 years old. To develop a way for our two year olds to have more of a relationship with one teacher. I will share this information with other teachers and parents. I will consider more where the two year old children fit in our programme.”

“I will continue to practice with respect and by building strong dyadic relationships with my primary care children. I have always believed that they are important but I do have a better understanding of why.”

“By documenting with my educators about planning for children where they are at, not where I think they should be.”

“Doing further research and reviewing dyad relationships.”

“Reinforced a lot of what I already know. Reinforced not to ‘push’ cognitive learning in the early years even though that is often what parents ask for especially around age 4½.”

“I have gained more knowledge about what children actually need rather than preparing them for the next stage. This will support my evaluation and curriculum documentation as I will be able to look at what children need now to inform how we provide the curriculum.”

“It will enable me to write [learning stories] with more assurance about the importance of dispositional learning and enable me to disseminate current research to both colleagues and parents.”

If you would like more information on these research findings, please follow this link to resources that will provide more information and detail on these topics.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Exciting News!

--> This is very exciting news. The following three New Zealand books have been translated into Chinese, they are: 

1.Assessment in early Childhood Settings: Learning Stories by Margaret Carr

2.Learning Stories: Constructing Learner Identities in Early Education by Margaret Carr and Wendy Lee

3.Learning in the Making: Disposition and Design in Early Education by Margaret Carr, Anne Smith, Judith Duncan,Wendy Lee, Carolyn Jones and Kate Marshall

Learning in the Making, has made the Chinese list of the top 100 books that are influencing teachers in 2016. This list was initiated by the Chinese Education News Network, and the Chinese Education Press Agency is the supervising board of this network.

The list was decided based on readers' feedback, major educational book publishers’ recommendations and a group of expert judges’ opinions.

There are 6 catagories of the books:  educational theories, educational psychology, teachers’ professional development, early childhood education, general education, and culture.

“Learning in the making” is one of books chosen under the early childhood educational books category. It is one of only 9 early childhood books that made the list and it rates number 52 on the list of 100.

All of the chosen books were published in 2016, and they are regarded as high quality books and have good influences on teachers.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I Have Been Reading........ Kathryn Delany

Ruta McKenzie shared this important quote with us, “The culture of the child cannot enter the classroom until it has entered the consciousness of the teacher” (Samoan saying).
This quote makes me wonder: How does the culture of a child and their family and whānau enter my consciousness? I think people, books, reading and practicing new things have been a large part of my bi- cultural journey.
So... having put my hand up to review some books  I was left thinking what books have been most important to me on my journey towards bi- culturalism?
And there are many. Both books for adults and children have been part of this journey for me. Thinking of the notion of this Early Childhood Education setting as being a place of learning and teaching I have taken many opportunities in reading books and using resources with children that have enhanced my use of Te reo Māori, ngaTikanga Māori and understanding of Te Ao Māori.
We have a list of great books on the ELP Website’s resource section with small reviews and guidelines about each book’s content (http://elp.co.nz/Educational LeadershipProject_Resources_Books_Maori.php).
It was very hard to select one or two books but here goes: 

My favorite book and one that I consider essential to all teachers is Te Wheke by Dr Rangimarie Turuki Pere CBE. Dr Pere shares her wisdom and understanding in every word. It has been a read that supports the culture of the child to enter my consciousness. Even if you have read this book already I recommend keeping it at hand and dipping into occasionally.
This book is especially useful if you use the concepts (chapters) for pedagogical discussion topics to grow bi- cultural teaching and learning practices.
Choose one concept (e.g. Aroha, Mauri etc.), read it as a team and then have a discussion framed up by “What are the implications for my/our practice here?” 

In the Beginning by Peter Gossage is my next choice. It offers learning opportunities to adults and children alike.
In this delightfully illustrated and written book Peter Gossage introduces us to the creation story. To Papat
ūānuku and Ranginui and their children. The illustrations are vivid and the text flowing and brief.
I hope you enjoy some rich exciting reading experiences that provokes and inspires us to support all children’s whakapapa and funds of knowledge and to draw in to our consciousness their culture.