Saturday, March 2, 2019
Over the next few weeks we will be releasing a series of video conversations that I had while in Canada. These video conversations are focussed on Learning Stories and we are interested to see what interest there is in this way of delivering some of the pedagogical ideas in early childhood education.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Celebrating Children’s Stories with Wendy Lee
September 12, 2017On Saturday, Early Childhood Ireland, in partnership with DCU, Institute of Education, presented Celebrating Children’s Stories, A Masterclass in Documentation with Wendy Lee. An inspirational day of questioning and reflection as Wendy straight away set the tone by reminding us that huge responsibility comes with teaching in ECCE: ‘How many jobs can you go to each day and have the chance to make a difference in a child’s life? Who we are and how we are around children is at the heart of teaching. Relationships are critical, children need to feel deeply respected and deeply loved’.
The use of story, connects children and families, it tunes teachers into the moment and it allows all children to share their experiences and their understanding of the world around them. Learning stories catch the complexity of children’s learning, it also makes every voice credible. It is about children recognising and valuing who they are by teachers that know them and care deeply for them.
We would like to thank the following guest speakers who generously gave their time to share their own learning stories and experiences. Each speaker brought us on a different journey, showing how they weave stories into the fabric of their settings.
Nickola Cullen from Beverton Preschool and Roots and Wings Centre Donabate
Maxine Ryan and Aine Harrington from Clare Family Resource Centre Ennis
Anne Macken and her team from Happy Days Ballyporeen
Alicia Cormican from Darndale Integrated Childcare Service
You too can submit stories that show significant learning moments or events that happen through play in your service. Go to Learning Stories section on our website.
In the afternoon, Dr. Play, Carmel Brennan delivered an emotionally charged and passionate presentation, her last one as part of Early Childhood Ireland before her retirement next month. A call to ‘re-wild’ the child and remove the structure. Encouraging deep reflection, she referred to Jim Greenman’s quote “childhood is when human beings should fall in love with the world.” “Are we giving the children in our care the opportunity to fall in love with the world?” she asked.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Our final two days in Queenstown were an exploration of the township and surrounds, which included viewing the fabulous painting by Tim Wilson that was reported in the Herald. This painting has just fetched the highest price paid for an artwork by a living New Zealand artist, a Sheikh from the UAE paid $575.000 for this painting entitled ‘Summer Rains’ - an impressionistic landscape of Doubtful Sound. This painting took 2 years to complete and it quite spectacular. It changes dramatically as the light changes on the painting. We visited the Goldfields and did a little panning for gold, visited Carrick winery to see the lovely sculpture exhibition there as well. We lunched at Mt Difficulty vineyard and passed through Arrowtown and travelled beside Lake Hayes. We also went on a visit to Cardrona and watched the ‘highflyers’, a visit to Millbrook and a farewell lunch at Jack’s Point. A fabulous way to end a very enjoyable holiday!! The final image in this series is of a sculpture done by local artist Mark Hill that is sited at the Queenstown airport, this sculpture represents the Maori Chiefs assembled as a welcoming party to welcome all the visitors from afar!!
|Dave and Wendy at Mt Difficulty|
|These are the gold fields, places my grandfather started life in NZ|
|Time to farewell Queenstown!|
Day three on the Hollyford ...Today it was time to explore Martin’s Bay Spit, a famous landmark separating the powerful Tasman Sea from the Hollyford Valley, and a coastal landscape that’s a world away from the previous days. We travelled by jetboat to the Spit. The day was initially very cold, wet and felt a little like we were on the north pole! Most keep on their lifejackets to protect themselves from the freezing wind. Kahu our guide talked about lifestyle of the early Māori and their pounamu trails that pass through the valley. This was also a chance to explore the isolated beach and sand dunes giving some of us the chance to reflect on this intrepid journey. We also visited the site of the MacKenzie house. We stood under the most incredible macrocarpa tree, and listened to the stories of the families of old. The tree was teaming with birds in full song. After a walk along the beach we returned to Martins Bay Lodge for lunch.
Day two on the Hollyford... First stop was Lake Alabaster and learning the history and geology of the area. This was totally spectacular. The lake was so still land the fabulous atmosphere of the mist lying quietly across the space. We then crossed one of Fiordland’s longest swing bridges before walking to board our jet boat. Then it was off to enjoy a scenic ride down the Hollyford River and along Lake McKerrow. After calling in at the early pioneer settlement site of Jamestown, we walked through ancient Podocarp forest amongst native forest giants, some up to 1000 years old. Thunderous surf on the West Coast was a prelude to a bay of boulders where the rare Fiordland Crested penguin is a seasonal visitor. Further on Long Reef plays host to a rookery of native New Zealand fur seals. This evening you’ll be hosted at Martins Bay Lodge, close to the mouth of the Hollyford River. Again a beautiful meal in a lovely lodge before settling into bed!!
Early start departing Queenstown, travelling alongside Lake Wakatipu we headed towards Te Anau where we picked up the final members of our group. We then travelled through the Eglinton Valley on our way to the start of the Hollyford Valley. We visited Gunn's camp and museum before heading alongside the swift clear waters of the Hollyford river looking up at the Southern Alps including Mt Tūtoko and Mt Madeline. We tramped through the native beech forest and beside the impressive tumbling waterfalls. The landscape was stunning. Through paths of rock, mud, stone and tree roots we climbed. It was a very long first day and I know that I was very happy to see Pyke Lodge that evening. A beautiful meal was cooked and enjoyed with wine and good friends. Later there was an opportunity to feed eels and visit the glow worms.... Sleep came very easily that evening!!!!
|Wendy and Dave|
|Waterfall on the Hollyford|
|Peter, Robin, Wendy and Dave|