Sightlines Initiative

promoting creative and reflective practice in early childhood education

** NEWS & SHORTCUTS **

2020-21 Conferences & Seminars

(including Reggio Study visits)

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Events Archive

Madely LoE edit 3'Making the Parts Whole' Madeley Nursery 2019This session will explore the concept of ‘languages of evaluation’ – the idea that there are many different ways of understanding and conducting evaluation, and not just evaluation as ‘performance management’, a language that is very dominant today.
In particular, we will consider what language of evaluation can do justice to a complex and distinct pedagogical project, for example, that of the municipal schools of Reggio Emilia or many of the Children’s Centres in England, in a way that embodies the value of participatory democracy, and supports researchful education.
Peter Moss, from UCL Institute of Education, will share some of his preliminary thinking about this challenge; while Louise Lowings, from Madeley Nursery School, will share some examples from current practice that have evolved from a two year international research project in early childhood centres.
There will be time for questions and discussion about this vital subject.

Documentation as a tool for assessment/evaluation gives us an extremely strong 'antibody' to a proliferation of assessment/evaluation tools which are more and more anonymous, decontextualised and only apparently objective and democratic.

Carla Rinaldi, President of Reggio Children Foundation

 

Date Wednesday 21st October 2020
Price £35
Member Discount £5
Presenters

Professor Peter Moss

Louise Lowings

Times 4 - 5.30pm
Location/Map: online

01 ELiN SI

A five-session online course intending to guide you through helpful beginnings in developing your pedagogy in nature, with discussions of narratives from 'Learning to Learn in Nature', preparation guidance and general readiness.

Learning to Learn in Nature is about young children learning in wild places, and educators learning with them. It is about being in connection with nature and bringing that connection back to the classroom. But it is also about something more, something that is seen very clearly when children are given the freedom to explore the wild outdoors on their own terms, with daring and imagination.

It is about learning as a process of continuous enquiry: an expression of insatiable fascination with the world, in which children learn together and individually, and educators and children work together to discover and make meaning. School life is part of human life, connected to its cycles, desires, dreams, wonderings. Educators best meet the interests of children when fundamental human values inform and shape their pedagogical practice.

Our Autumn 2020 course will echo the framework of our action-research publication Learning to Learn in Nature: Discovering the Forest, Meeting the Unknown, Competence and Autonomy, Building a Culture Together, Journeys of Change.. Each session will feature  a presentation of material, invitations to help you structure your encounters in nature to encourage yours and your children's iimagination & learning, group discussion and questions.

05 EdRoles SI

Date Thursday 15th October 2020
End Date Thursday 11th March 2021
Price £195
Member Discount £25
Presenters

Robin Duckett

Cetherine Reding

Liz Elders 

... & others

Please Note:

Planned seminar dates:

15th October

12th November

14th January

11th February

11th March

(all Thursdays)

Times 4 - 5pm on each date
Location/Map: online

Viburnum thicker Dark Green Outline.fwThis online session is for Sightlines Initiative Network members and settings to reconnect, share journeys, and current planning in this ongoing time of global health crisis.  

What a strange time this has been and is!  

There have been so many challenges to the early years sector both financial and emotional big decisions had to be made. Was it safe to open? How could we keep safe but also still be here at the end of all this? How could we support our children at home?  How could we stay connected? 

Log in first in order to register - see 'Community Login' at the left of the webpage.

Date Wednesday 7th October 2020
Please Note: This is a free session for Sightlines Initiative Network members
Times 1.30pm - 3pm

3 ways

In this session we will considering our ideas of play – what is it? what is it for? who determines this? – to focus on playfulness. The basis for this will be an exploration of children’s naturally playful learning and how this compares with adults’ constructs about play.

Adults who begin by closely considering children’s feelings associated with playfulness are far better placed to be insightful in their provision of dynamic learning environments.

We will

  • look at how we can foster playfulness and creativity through our relationships and ways of being with children
  • explore playful possibilities within the learning environments we create, and
  • discuss the value of developing our own playfulness to work in reciprocal, playful ways with children.

This seminar is organised in collaboration with House of Imagination, of which our guest presenter Dr. Karen McInnes is an associate.

Dr Karen McInnes has a background in working with children as a speech and language therapist, early years teacher, play therapist. Her PhD focused on play and playfulness in young children, and she continues to research, write and present on play and playfulness.

Date Tuesday 6th October 2020
Price £35
Member Discount £5
Presenters Dr. Karen McInnes
Times 4 - 5.30pm
Location/Map: online

Our profession needs to be researchful, and connected with its libraries of evolving thinking, research and knowledge.on gaints collected1

The last 33 years or so (in the UK), exemplify the blank slate model of teacher and educator development.
The trouble started in 1987. In the years before the (UK) Education Act of 1987, by and large, teachers did their own thinking, turning to a variety of sources to enrich their understanding and help them make a case for their principled pedagogical decisions. But soon after the arrival of the DES National Curriculum document, the first signs of professional amnesia appeared in our midst. Slowly but surely teachers began to act as if professional knowledge were only to be found in glossy ring folders, training packs and videos and all manner of other pronouncements from politically-led authorities.

[from Mary Jane Drummond, Professional Amnesia, Refocus Journal 2008]

Transformative change requires attention to pedagogical as well as structural principles….we have the good fortune, in evolving pedagogical principles and educational action, of a rich tradition of educational thought and experience. We must take full advantage of the invaluable cultural heritage represented by the thought and work of past pedagogues such as Froebel, Dewey, McMillan, Isaacs, Freinet, Freire and Malaguzzi.
Drawing on these cultural reserves, as well as the intelligence and expertise of today’s practitioners, a pedagogical transformation can be embarked upon, turning away from a culture of targets [and] measurement.

[from Peter Moss, Transforming Early Childhood in England 2020]

In this session we will be reflecting on the contributions of some of the recent giants of educational thinking so that we can better articulate and explain the beliefs and understandings that can and ought to underpin our practice. We will examine a range of perspectives developed through the last century, so that we can draw on these in the choices we make for children and to tell a better story about the nature of education, based on the way young children learn rather than on the target-driven instincts of politics.

We will provide participants with further reading and references, to continue your encounters ....

Date Tuesday 29th September 2020
Price £35
Member Discount £5
Speaker Dr. Christine Merrick
Times 4 - 5.30 pm
Location/Map: online

learning to learn in nature cover image

A one-hour online session to introduce the principles of 'Learning to Learn in Nature'. It is for all early years and primary educators who want to engage in creating investigative learning opportunities and develop thier reflective. creative pedagogy.

Learning to Learn in Nature is about young children learning in wild places, and educators learning with them. It is about being in connection with nature and bringing that connection back to the classroom. But it is also about something more, something that is seen very clearly when children are given the freedom to explore the wild outdoors on their own terms, with daring and imagination.

It is about learning as a process of continuous enquiry: an expression of insatiable fascination with the world, in which children learn together and individually, and educators and children work together to discover and make meaning. School life is part of human life, connected to its cycles, desires, dreams, wonderings. Educators best meet the interests of children when fundamental human values inform and shape their pedagogical practice.

During October 2020 - March 2021 we will be offerring a five-session online course - this September session will introduce the contents.

Date Thursday 17th September 2020
Price £35
Member Discount £5
Presenters Robin Duckett, Catherine Reding, Elizabeth Elders
Times 4 - 5pm
Location/Map: online

Clay Forest 2018 Photo Paolo Ferla smClay Forest 2018: House of Imagination

An invitation to explore an education of co-enquiry, humanity and relationship, from Directors of Sightlines Initiative, Robin Duckett and Liz Elders alongside Dr Penny Hay, Director of Research, House of Imagination, Research Fellow and Reader in Creative Teaching and Learning at Bath Spa University.

Our organisations are grounded in the awareness of the potentials of all children as innately creative, ready and eager to explore and make sense of the world. They have the right to expect an education which recognises that.

In the spirit of opening doorways for interest, we will be presenting examples from our portfolios which illustrate how we are working to demonstrate ‘environments of enquiry’ and how we can co-construct an education based on these principles, rather than from the dominant performance-led agenda of treating children as empty vessels to be instructed and tested.

There will be opportunities for reflection and discussion as part of the one-hour session.

Date Thursday 9th July 2020
Cut off date Thursday 9th July 2020
Price £35
Presenters Robin Duckett, Dr Penny Hay, Elizabeth Elders
Times 4 - 5pm
Location/Map: online

learning to learn in nature cover image

A one-hour online session to introduce the principles of 'Learning to Learn in Nature'. It is for all early years and primary educators who want to engage in creating investigative learning opportunities and develop thier reflective. creative pedagogy.

Learning to Learn in Nature is about young children learning in wild places, and educators learning with them. It is about being in connection with nature and bringing that connection back to the classroom. But it is also about something more, something that is seen very clearly when children are given the freedom to explore the wild outdoors on their own terms, with daring and imagination.

It is about learning as a process of continuous enquiry: an expression of insatiable fascination with the world, in which children learn together and individually, and educators and children work together to discover and make meaning. School life is part of human life, connected to its cycles, desires, dreams, wonderings. Educators best meet the interests of children when fundamental human values inform and shape their pedagogical practice.

During September 2020 - February 2021  we will be offerring a five-session online course  - this July session will introduce the contents, and also give some ways into pleasurable holiday-time preparation.

Date Wednesday 8th July 2020
Price £35
Member Discount £5
Presenters Robin Duckett, Catherine Reding, Elizabeth Elders
Times 4 - 5pm
Location/Map: online