Kinder­garten teach­ers learn skills

Napier Courier - - NEWS -

Around 100 Napier Kinder­garten pro­fes­sion­als gath­ered at the Napier Me­mo­rial Con­ven­tion Cen­tre last week to en­gage in their 15th con­sec­u­tive an­nual Napier Kinder­garten As­so­ci­a­tion (NKA) Teacher’s Con­fer­ence. Napier Kinder­garten As­so­ci­a­tion ed­u­ca­tion man­ager Beth Hud­dle­ston says the con­fer­ence has been hailed as the best ever.

“It was a fan­tas­tic con­fer­ence — filled with laugh­ter, singing and con­nec­tions. The mes­sages from each of the speak­ers com­ple­mented each other, with themes of pro­tect­ing the planet for the fu­ture, pro­tect­ing our chil­dren’s cre­ativ­ity and in­her­ent in­tel­li­gence.”

Board of Trustees vice pres­i­dent Sarah Nash says she was as­tounded at the pas­sion for teach­ing and learn­ing at Napier Kin­der­gartens.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited about the high cal­i­bre of speak­ers that joined us for the two days.”

The con­fer­ence was a chance to cel­e­brate the new ver­sion of Te Wha¯ riki — the early child­hood cur­ricu­lum for Aotearoa New Zealand — which was launched in April last year. The first fi­nalised ver­sion of Te Wha¯ riki was pub­lished in 1996 af­ter an ex­ten­sive and in­clu­sive process of en­gage­ment with the whole ECE sec­tor in Aotearoa New Zealand, Sarah says.

“This re­sulted in a universal up­take and ‘buy in’ of this cut­ting edge and rev­o­lu­tion­ary doc­u­ment writ­ten by Sir Ta­mati and Lady Tilly Reedy, Pro­fes­sors Mar­garet Carr and He­len May.

“We be­lieved it timely to put to­gether a Teach­ers’ Con­fer­ence in 2018 that firstly cel­e­brates the longevity and won­der of Te Wha¯ riki from its emer­gence in the early 1990s to present day. To take time to marvel at the trans­for­ma­tive ef­fect it is has had not only on New Zealand early child­hood but on in­ter­na­tional ECE world and now in­creas­ingly be­ing taken up by pri­mary school ju­nior class rooms,” says Napier Kin­der­gartens ed­u­ca­tion man­ager, Eileen Kennedy.

Pro­fes­sor He­len May spoke on the de­vel­op­ment of Te Wha¯ riki and ground­break­ing re­search work on in­tro­duc­ing Te Wha¯ riki as the cho­sen cur­ricu­lum for new en­trant chil­dren. The Con­fer­ence fo­cuses on strength­en­ing sub­ject knowl­edge for teach­ers.

“If tamariki are to ac­cess the breadth of a rich cur­ricu­lum then as teach­ers we are bound to con­tinue our life­long learn­ing of spe­cific sub­ject knowl­edge,” Eileen says.

Co-founder of Child Space Robin Christie worked with teach­ers on science and de­sign ex­per­tise. Ruud Klein­paste spoke to teach­ers about the nat­u­ral world and how this links to spe­cific sci­en­tific and math­e­mat­i­cal knowl­edge. David Trubridge pre­sented his nar­ra­tive of the creative process and why cre­ativ­ity must be fos­tered. Doc­tor and poet Glenn Colquhoun dis­cussed oral lan­guage and ex­pres­sion for adults and in teach­ers’ work with chil­dren. Teach­ers’ en­thu­si­asm to en­gage in in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ences that chal­lenge them to un­der­stand and ar­tic­u­late their world views on Te Tir­iti o Wai­tangi part­ner­ships was a fea­ture of this ex­pe­ri­ence.

Napier Kinder­garten Teach­ers prac­tice their dra­matic skills while form­ing an im­promptu ka­zoo band dur­ing the re­cent con­fer­ence.

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