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J1 Lecture Theatre. The University of Auckland, Faculty of Education and Social Work

74 Epsom Ave

Auckland, Auckland 1023

New Zealand

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Appreciating, respecting and valuing children’s interests: Taking a deeper look

Inaugural Lecture for Professor Helen Hedges

5.30pm A201 drinks reception

6.30pm J1 Lecture Theatre, Epsom Campus

Free parking Gate 2, 76 Epsom Ave

Please join Helen, her colleagues, friends and family from 5.30pm for a drinks reception in A201

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and why? In this lecture, Helen Hedges will address Carl Bereiter’s (2002) criticism that adults tend to trivialise children's interests through showing that interests are much deeper in nature and content than some adults assume.

Helen will suggest that children’s interests, a common element of early childhood curriculum construction, are much deeper than the common interpretation of the activities or focal topics that individual children show a preference for. Her research includes evidence that interests can reveal children’s growing present and future-focused identities as learners, communicators, friends and adult citizens.

In order to have greater understandings of teaching and learning in early childhood education, a richer understanding of children’s – and teachers’ – interests is needed in order to recognise, appreciate, respect and value interests more analytically, and reconsider early childhood education environments.

Professor Helen Hedges is one of only three professors in early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand and the first at the University of Auckland. Her research and teaching examines children’s and teachers’ interests, knowledge and learning, and the ways these combine to create curriculum in early childhood education. Her expertise has been recognised in invitations to participate in international research collaborations and to offer keynote addresses to national professional organisations. She has published widely for academic, policy and practitioner audiences using sociocultural theoretical framings and concepts for her work in order to position teachers and children as agentic members of their cultural communities. Helen was one of four academic members of a writing team to revise Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum document, in 2016-2017.

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J1 Lecture Theatre. The University of Auckland, Faculty of Education and Social Work

74 Epsom Ave

Auckland, Auckland 1023

New Zealand

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