International Association of Nature Pedagogy Conference -  Adelaide, Australia 2017

 

Nature Play

 

 

Keynotes

 

DAY 1

 

Claire Warden  'International Connections'

This keynote will inspire you to consider the place of culture, climate, curriculum and community within the way that nature is experienced in different countries around the world. Claire will share inspirational stories to inspire each of us to see the possibilities of nature based education inside, outside and beyond.

 

 

Doug Fargher – 'Everyone is welcome in the bush'

Learning in outdoor environments has been shown to support and enrich the lives of many children and families in a way conventional education has not. The evidence from around the world informs us that teaching in a natural space benefits children who have a diverse range of needs.  In addition, nature can provide an inclusive environment for families and groups who may find themselves isolated in more traditional early childhood settings.


During this keynote Doug will explore how successful outdoor programs value diversity and champion social justice.

 

 

DAY 2

 

Adam Bienenstock – 'Natural Playgrounds, Place and Pedagogy: How the built environment can affect child development'
The outdoors is a springboard for learning.  This is especially true when designing and building a natural playground that is pedagogically sound.  Adam Bienenstock will take you on a journey to understand how a well-planned outdoor space needs to engage all the senses, provide opportunities for risk benefit analysis, and  follow good design principles, while at the same time supporting a child’s creative, cognitive,  language, social, and gross motor skills.  
 
This keynote starts with defining the desired outcomes of parents, educators and children, and then walks us through the development of nature play features and designs to achieve these results. Backed up with loads of research and real life examples from projects from around the world, Adam makes a compelling and entertaining case for understanding how to combine excellence in  design process, pedagogy and natural features to  provide a learning environment that best meets the needs and development for all children.

 

 

Wendy Lee 'Capturing the Spirit of the Outdoors'

This keynote will share some of the ways in which teachers are capturing the influential nature of the outdoors as crucial, rich, learning environments. John Hattie’s book Visible Learning finds that the most important family variable is parent’s aspirations for their children. Parents and children’s hopes and aspirations, are grown by a good portfolio of Learning Stories and as teachers, we can help shape the environments, which will in turn shape the lives of our children. Capturing these vital aspects of the child’s learning through our documentation is the trace of our professional lives. It matters, and shows us the privilege and the power we have in our hands. We must use it wisely.

 

  

Seminars (Day 1)

 

1 - Continuing the Conversation with Claire Warden

 Join Claire as she explores the concepts of her keynote in greater depth.

 

2 - Without Doors presented by Rebecca Thompson

Have you ever thought about how being outdoors enacts children's rights? Opening the door helps to re-imagine traditional methods of curriculum that binds us to 'age appropriate' toys and time slots for thinking. Join Rebecca as she brings attention to the practices we engage in everyday in nature-based education and how it supports the inclusion of every person that walks through the door. Rebecca will share stories of practice on how to provide meaningful access to nature-based curriculum. Natures door is open, everyone is welcome.

 

3 - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder presented by James MacDiarmid

 We are living in a world that has entered the fourth industrial revolution “characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”[i] It is undeniable that this fourth industrial revolution is disrupting almost every industry in every country as transformations of entire systems take hold. Education is of no exception but what if there were simple methods to using simple technologies? What if nature provided a lens for us to use in sharing timeless stories across (these) blurred lines?

 

[i] Klaus Schwab. 2016. The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond. [ONLINE] Available here

 

4 - From inspiration to application - a bush kindy story from Alice Springs presented by Zara Kaye
Ah inspiration! Isn’t it wonderful! But how do we bring that wonder and intrigue into our knockabout, push-and-pull everyday organisations? Education is inevitably a very contested site, so how do we weather the storm of differing points of view, values and priorities for the children in our care, whilst forging ahead with inspired initiatives which we believe can transform our learner/teacher experiences for the better? This seminar is the story of Bush Preschool in Alice Springs and how we sailed our small boat from Inspiration to Application. Let us share our map with you.

 

5 - Linking the curriculum between Inside, Outside and Beyond presented by Wendy Gorman

The educator listens, watches, shares interests, ask questions, scaffolds investigations and play and plans to link the learning from outside the classroom to inside. (Wynne and Gorman, 2015, p12)

 

The role the educator plays ensuring that links between the learning outside the classroom door and beyond the classroom fence to the learning inside the classroom is essential to the provision of a high quality program. Case studies from early childhood classrooms will be shared expanding on how the educators link the curriculum, develop dispositions for learning and extend children’s thinking and learning across a variety of wild spaces.

 

6 - Embedding learning in a nature based play environment presented by Catherine Hunt & Suzanne Dawson (POLA)

The DECD preschool outdoor learning project has committed to creating 20 new outdoor learning areas in South Australian preschools between 2014 and 2018. This government initiative represents a $6 million investment over 4 years. The project has now been delivered at 10 sites across South Australia.

 

The design and build of each area takes into account authentic contributions from children, families and the local communities. The engagement process is helping to create culturally appropriate environments that strengthen local communities. Adelaide Miethke Kindergarten (Woodville South) participated in the project during 2015/16. The upgraded outdoor space was officially opened by the Premier of South Australia The Honourable  Jay Weather on 25 November 2016. Join the staff team at Adelaide Miethke as they share their incredible professional development journey to maximise the teaching opportunities  that the upgraded space offered preschool and occasional care staff. Key themes includes STEM, Numeracy and Literacy embedded within a nature based play philosophy.  

 

7 - 8 Ways of Learning: Incorporating Aboriginal Pedagogy into Nature-Based Education presented by Rachel Buckley and supported by Elodie Gidou and Annabel Brown

Gain an experiential taste of the 8 Ways of Learning framework. Experience language, narrative and metaphor as important dimensions of nature-based pedagogy and spend time with an Indigenous education specialist, Aunty Rachel Buckley of Wirradjurri descent. With this workshop you will take home a range of simple, practical ideas to be incorporated into existing class times and be able to generate powerful questions to guide personal practice.


At the Aurora Southern Highlands Steiner School in NSW, nature-based education is a key theme and is incorporated into many aspects of school life- from wilderness play around their creek, to bush regeneration, kitchen gardening, farm and bush excursions, seasonal learning programs and seasonal celebrations. Over the past year they have established an Aboriginal education program that brings Aboriginal cultural learning to all students- indigenous and non-indigenous. 

 

8 - Continuing the Conversation with Doug Fargher 

Join Doug as he explores the concepts of his keynote in greater depth. 

 

 

BACK TO MAIN PAGE

 

Workshops (Days 1 & 2)

 

1 - Creating Small Worlds presented by Simon Hutchinson

Using natural, open-ended materials learn the value of creative play as you dabble in making your own small world.  See how this play encourages brain development, experimentation, mathematical thought, problem solving, risk-taking, creativity and imagination.  An easily transferable activity that allows you  to combine some of what you have and know, to make a whole that's greater than its humble parts.

 

2 - Counting on Whittling presented by Anthony Morris

Learn how to incorporate mathematics into your nature pedagogy practice. Join Anthony in exploring how to recognise and include mathematics into your program by creating materials for use, by children and adults within your classroom. Learn safe techniques and procedures for using tools with children and listen to the opportunities to develop conceptual understanding through the use of accurate mathematical language will be shared. Develop an understanding of how to include all areas of mathematics through both teacher directed experiences and incidental learning opportunities. Connect with the environment and learn about sustainable use of materials and resources. 

 

3 - Weaving with Nature presented by Carly Garner

Come and sit in circle, create beautiful and functional objects for yourself and your service, made from and in earth. Learn the slow art of weaving using natural materials such as lomandra, banana fibre and lemongrass and weeds such as cats claw and corky passion vine. We'll make cordage and weave a small basket, coil weave or flat weave piece, and discuss the value of a weaving circle to the children - and staff - in your setting.

 

4 - Bush Toy Making presented by Natasha Livock

Linking Indigenous art forms and nature with sustainable practices is the focus of this workshop. Come along and engage with straw and wool as we create bush toys/sculptures. This is a unique and personal way of creating toys that can be used for dramatic play, story-telling and connecting with culture. Also, an opportunity to explore the STEM elements underpinning this learning experience.

 

5 - The Magical World of Felting presented by Briony Brooks

Welcome to the magical world of needle felting and wet felting. Imagine transforming wool into one of a kind creations in this one hour workshop. Learn how to make your own felt from sheep’s wool, create your own miniature bowls and balls, or could they be a nest and eggs? Create your own miniature garden complete with ladybirds, flowers and bees. You are only limited only by your imagination.

 

Needle felting is easy to learn and can be made into both flat and 3-dimensional work. The felting needle has tiny barbs near the tip that will grab hold of some fibres when you push the needle into a wad of wool. When you pull the needle out again, the fibres are left entangled where you pushed them. Felt is formed when the fibres are entangled together so tightly that they cannot be pulled apart. Wet felting methods use soap, water and friction to entangle the fibres (Ashford Book of Needle Felting, Barbara Allen, 2008).

 

6 - Igniting a Curiosity for Fire presented by Hayley Corston

Ignite your student's curiosity for fire by learning the conceptual knowledge and practical skills that will enable you to teach your students about the benefits, risks and opportunities that fire brings.  You will discover how to safely start and keep a fire, learn the practical uses of fire including cooking and charcoal making, explore possible lines of enquiry, understand how you can link it to the Australian curriculum and how you can satisfy. This workshop will help you overcome your fears in offering fire as a learning experience so you can enable children to reap the benefits of learning a life-long skill whilst growing their connection to the natural world. 

 

 


 

Seminars (Day 2)

  

1 - Continuing the Conversation with Adam Bienenstock

 Join Adam as he explores the concepts of his keynote in greater depth. 

 

2 - Without Doors presented by Rebecca Thompson

Have you ever thought about how being outdoors enacts children's rights? Opening the door helps to re-imagine traditional methods of curriculum that binds us to 'age appropriate' toys and time slots for thinking. Join Rebecca as she brings attention to the practices we engage in everyday in nature-based education and how it supports the inclusion of every person that walks through the door. Rebecca will share stories of practice on how to provide meaningful access to nature-based curriculum. Natures door is open, everyone is welcome.

 

3 - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder presented by James MacDiarmid

 We are living in a world that has entered the fourth industrial revolution “characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”[i] It is undeniable that this fourth industrial revolution is disrupting almost every industry in every country as transformations of entire systems take hold. Education is of no exception but what if there were simple methods to using simple technologies? What if nature provided a lens for us to use in sharing timeless stories across (these) blurred lines?

 

[i] Klaus Schwab. 2016. The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond. [ONLINE] Available here

 

4 - From inspiration to application - a bush kindy story from Alice Springs presented by Zara Kaye
Ah inspiration! Isn’t it wonderful! But how do we bring that wonder and intrigue into our knockabout, push-and-pull everyday organisations? Education is inevitably a very contested site, so how do we weather the storm of differing points of view, values and priorities for the children in our care, whilst forging ahead with inspired initiatives which we believe can transform our learner/teacher experiences for the better? This seminar is the story of Bush Preschool in Alice Springs and how we sailed our small boat from Inspiration to Application. Let us share our map with you.

 

5 - 8 Ways of Learning: Incorporating Aboriginal Pedagogy into Nature-Based Education presented by Rachel Buckley and supported by Elodie Gidou and Annabel Brown

Gain an experiential taste of the 8 Ways of Learning framework. Experience language, narrative and metaphor as important dimensions of nature-based pedagogy and spend time with an Indigenous education specialist, Aunty Rachel Buckley of Wirradjurri descent. With this workshop you will take home a range of simple, practical ideas to be incorporated into existing class times and be able to generate powerful questions to guide personal practice.

  

6 - Continuing the Conversation with Wendy Lee

Join Wendy as she explores the concepts of her keynote in greater depth.

 

 

7 - If sticks had wings and rocks could sing: Playing in nature through the lens of the child presented by Sally Cook

How do we discover what matters to children?  As educators we strive to understand how each child learns best through observing, listening and engaging with them. If we are truly committed to the image of the child as capable and competent, creative and curious and believe in nature-based play, then nature needs to be at the heart of our pedagogy. 

 

Strategies will be shared exploring the interconnected role of the educator and the child in a nature based program.  Emphasis will be placed on environment, resources and people with examples of how a whole of site approach promotes the child’s nature-learning journey. Participants will reflect upon their current practice and role in teaching as individuals and within their site team with a view to taking opportunities for pedagogical change

  

8 - It fits naturally presented by Woodleigh School

Woodleigh strives to be a global leader in personalised learning. We support the development of the whole child through a broad experiential educational program. Explore how you can create an authentic nature pedagogy program within a busy school curriculum.