Friday, October 19, 2012

A few photos from Oporto, Portugal

Check out that sun!

The Railway Station was extraordinary, the internal tiling magnificent.

Here I am with Klara, exploring the city!

Here we are by the river, check out the new hats!!!
We are now on the boat, exploring the river.
Such a beautiful place!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Portugal, our first stop!

Six members of the ELP team set off  to spend four weeks sharing the work of Learning Stories in Germany. This is part of ongoing work we have been doing in Germany over several years. The work began in the early 2000’s when Margaret Carr and I visited Germany on the invitation of the Youth Institute. The Head of the Institute had read Margaret’s book on Assessment and was very interested in the work around dispositions. Learning Stories are now found all over Germany and in many different forms. Many reciprocal visits have subsequently taken place in Germany and New Zealand. This is the second major trip to Germany. Seven of the ELP team went to Germany 2 years ago for a month long trip around Germany sharing our work.

Our first stop was Oporto in Portugal. 
ELP team from left to right: Jo Colbert, Kathryn Delany, Alison Brierley, Lorraine Sands, Robyn Lawrence & Wendy Lee

The European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Annual conference was being held here and we all were successful in having our papers accepted and so we presented two Symposia. These were:

Symposium 1
Strengthening the community of learners using action research as the key pathway to pedagogical change.

All three papers submitted for the EECERA Conference stemmed from action research. They describe the experience of building strong learning communities in three very different contexts:
1.     An Early Childhood Setting, with a teacher-led service.
2.     A Playcentre Setting, with a parent-led service.
3.     A group of Early Childhood centres working within and beyond their own settings.
All of the settings discussed here were committed to strengthening their community of learners and building a stronger, professional learning community. The three papers were:

Awi mai awhi atu. Helping me, helping you.
Fostering social competence in a mixed-age early childhood centre.
This paper was presented by Alison Brierley

Mātauranga: building knowledge, wisdom and understanding in a leaderful community
This paper was presented by Jo Colbert

He iwi whānui o ngā kaiako ākonga
A Community of Teacher Learners; Aspects of effective professional development.
This paper was presented by Kathryn Delany

Symposium 2
Building a Research Culture of teachers working with Infants and Toddlers in Early Childhood Settings in NZ
As Project Facilitators working within the Educational Leadership Project (ELP) in Aotearoa New Zealand we put together three perspectives that each consider some of the ways in which we are working with infants and toddler communities to both strengthen and enhance a research culture to strengthen early childhood learning. The three papers were:
·      Growing Leaders from Infancy
·      Enhancing and Strengthening Courage and Bravery Through the Support of a Trusted Companion in a Leaderful Community
·      Constructing Identities as Professional Lifelong Learners
This work illustrates the transformational  power of professional learning and it consolidates the support of everyone in the wider community to become life long learners in the 21 century.
The notion of both teachers and children as researchers is being embedded in the fabric of early childhood education in New Zealand and these three papers presented exemplars in which both children and teachers are the co-constructors of their own learning. Teachers’ voices highlighted aspects of shifts in practice based on researching pedagogy, transforming competence, and exploring leadership. The three papers were:

Growing leaders from infancy
This paper was presented by Lorraine Sands

Enhancing and Strengthening Courage and Bravery Through the Support of a Trusted Companion in a Leaderful Community
This paper was presented by Robyn Lawrence

Constructing Teacher Identities as Lifelong Learners and Researchers
This paper was presented by Wendy Lee

Margaret Carr was the first keynote speaker of the conference!
Margaret was introduced by Margy Whalley
The main conference lecture theatre
Me enjoying morning tea, time to catch up with people!
Conference Dinner held in a spectacular location high on hills overlooking the river.

 I think I will add a few photos from Oporto in a couple of days. Cheers, Wendy