ECA 2019 conference kicks off as practitioners, researchers and thinkers head to Hobart

by Freya Lucas

September 26

More than 1,300 early childhood practitioners, researchers and thinkers have converged in Hobart for this year’s Early Childhood Australia National Conference

 

Commencing yesterday with the opening of the inaugural Making Marks exhibition, the Conference will see delegates from around Australia gather to hear and learn from prominent international and Australian early childhood leaders. 

 

Created by the B4 Early Years Coalition, a Tasmania Government initiative, the exhibition worked with several partners, including ECA Tasmania, Tasmanian children, artists, educators and families and seeks to celebrate and honour the voices of young children from Tasmania through art. 

 

At the Conference itself, in the coming days, those attending, either in person or with a virtual delegate pass, will have the opportunity to share  ideas, knowledge and experiences aimed at improving early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Australia. 

 

A range of keynote speakers have been prepared to support the program, including Professor Emerita Gunilla Dahlberg

 

Professor Emerita Dahlberg is best known as the architect of Sweden’s early childhood policy. Her work on children’s participation in the world has informed early childhood thinking for more than 45 years. Her keynote will explore documentation as a tool for change (from the lens of an ethical paradigm). 

 

Emeritus Professor Peter Moss will also be speaking, continuing his advocacy work which aims to move “beyond quality” in early childhood education. 

 

Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney will speak on ‘culturally responsive education’ and encourage questioning and thinking in relation to how western methodologies have created knowledge about rather than by Indigenous peoples. Through the presentation, those attending will be encouraged to remake their understanding of the past, and reimagine possibilities for the future. 

 

Associate Professor Shelia Degotardi of Macquarie University will be in attendance. She is best known for her role as a leading Australian researcher who explores how the youngest children learn, particularly in the power of talk in shaping early experiences.

 

Dr Kate Highfield will share her thoughts in relation to ECAs Statement on Young Children and Digital Technologies, and its impact on practice. Dr Highfield is best known for her work in relation to how digital play, technology integration and healthy media use can be used as a tool to enhance learning. 

 

The Sector will be providing the highlights of the conference via our social media channels, along with sharing insights and opportunities from exhibitors at the Conference, including our nutrition partners, Wholesome Child

 

The full conference program, and collection of speaker biographies, is available here

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