Friday, July 6, 2012

Early Childhood Teachers Discuss Curriculum

I have spent a few days down south in Invercargill. It was certainly very cold as they have had some amazing frosts in the south, the hearts of the people are however very warm. Lots of very wonderful teachers, spending professional learning time together, reflecting on the ways in which they are deepening their practice around learning and teaching and Te Whariki.... 

The following is an article that was published in the Southland Times

Southern early childhood teachers went back to basics yesterday with a two-day conference focusing on delivering the curriculum in the 21st century. 

Convenor Pam Wilson, of Kindergartens South, said it was the second time the conference, held every second year, had been run in Invercargill. 

While some Early Childhood Education (ECE) teachers had attended the I love Teaching Conference for primary teachers, also held every two years, they had wanted to set up something specific for ECE, she said. 

The ILT and ILT Foundation supported the conference, she said. 

About 110 teachers from Dunedin and Invercargill attended the event, which finished today and was themed "Back to Basics - Te Whariki in the 21st Century". 

Te Whariki is the ECE curriculum document which was released in 1996, Mrs Wilson said.

The conference focused on rethinking the document and how it was put into practice in the 21st century.

Guest speaker Lyn Foote, director of Early Childhood Education at the University of Otago College of Education, yesterday spoke about the document, and getting the teachers to reflect on how they were using Te Whariki from a teaching and learning perspective. 

One of the biggest changes since the document was released in 1996 was the recognition of how much learning happened in the first five years, she said. 

Another change had been technology, something guest speaker Wendy Lee, director of the Educational Leadership Project, would discuss today. 

That had had a huge impact, particularly around documentation and the way teachers could share a child's progress with families, she said. They would also look at what children needed in order to express their ideas, be resilient, how to take responsibility, and how to use their imagination.

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