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The University of Auckland, Faculty of Education and Social Work

74 Epsom Ave

Auckland, Auckland 1023

New Zealand

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Early Childhood Seminar Series 2018


Collaborative research partnerships to create new STEM learning ecologies

Professor Nicola Yelland, Flinders University, South Australia

Thursday 22 November | 4.30pm - 5.30pm

J1 Lecture theatre, Epsom Campus

In this presentation Professor Yelland will consider a research project that involved multiple partners, roles and perspectives in a research endeavor. The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Bridge project was initiated by the Department for Education in South Australia in order to create contexts for collaborations between preschool educators and new entrants teachers in six sites across the state. Using STEM learning as the context, the focus of the project was on building bridges to support the transition of learners between preschool and school. Our research questions were: in what ways can preschool and reception teachers collaborate to facilitate transition? Does STEM learning provide a useful context to encourage collaborative learning designs for preschool and reception learners? And, What pedagogies are enabled in this collaboration? The findings focus on our shared experiences of creating contexts to extend the educators pedagogical repertoire, and having access to the professional language to articulate the shift in pedagogies over the course of the year. We explore the ways in which the project elevated pedagogical conversations around children’s voice and advocacy, the practices of noticing and generating questions as the basis of investigations, and extending play-based inquiries into the school context. In re-thinking the learning ecologies that the young children were immersed in, the educators reflected on the changes in their ideas and attitudes to learning over the year. They highlighted their increased awareness about the value of flexible approaches to the use of space and shared materials, to build the connections between the preschool and school environs, and approaches to pedagogies and learning. They also reflected on the ways in which their different curriculum imperatives could be incorporated into these changing learning ecologies. Finally, the educators reflected on the shift from a traditional view of transition as being ‘school ready’ to one in which discussions of pedagogy were elevated to focus on the learner.



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Location

The University of Auckland, Faculty of Education and Social Work

74 Epsom Ave

Auckland, Auckland 1023

New Zealand

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