In dialogue with… – 5 part online series

February 01, 2021

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KU Children’s Services


In dialogue with… – 5 part online series

All early childhood professionals are invited to join us for our ‘In dialogue with ….’ series. This is an opportunity to explore the complex issues which confront us daily. Each of the five sessions features a prominent topic expert who will share their knowledge followed by questions to provoke discussion and dialogue. We will create a space where facilitators and participants can:

  • Explore differing narratives and viewpoints
  • Contribute to the discourse
  • Rethink ways of understanding the issues
  • Reimagine ways of responding to questions of practice





Part 1: A matter of children’s rights: perspectives and practice

Presented by Dr Deborah Harcourt
Date: Tuesday 23 March
Time: 4.00pm – 5.30pm

Early childhood educators guided by the Framework will reinforce in their daily practice the principles laid out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (the Convention). The Convention states that all children have the right to an education that lays a foundation for the rest of their lives, maximises their ability, and respects their family, cultural and other identities and languages. The Convention also recognises children’s right to play and be active participants in all matters affecting their lives. (EYLF, p.5)

The Early Years Learning Framework highlights the significance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In early childhood we hear the words participation, citizenship and identity used frequently. What do these words mean in terms of children’s rights? How do we create a culture of practice in our centres where these rights are honoured?



Part 2: Transition to school

Presented by Prof Sue Dockett
Date: Thursday 6 May
Time: 4.00pm – 5.30pm

Children’s transition to school raises many issues. Many early childhood educators find it challenging to balance the concerns of families and schools with early childhood philosophies. and to develop transition programs that reflect this. We know that transition to school programs should:

  • establish positive relationships between the children, parents and educators
  • be flexible and responsive to children’s circumstances
  • be based on mutual trust and respect
  • rely on reciprocal communication among participants

In this session we examine questions such as ‘what does transition to school’ mean and ‘how do we stay true to early childhood practice’?



Part 3: Fair play: gender equity in early childhood

Presented by Assoc Prof Kylie Smith
Date: Wednesday 21 July
Time: 4.00pm – 5.30pm

As educators, we find it hard to break down the stereotypes about gender. We also struggle to counteract societal influences on children’s constructs of fairness and justice for all genders. In this session we examine gender as:

  • An element of identity
  • A question of social justice
  • An issue of power and opportunity



Part 4: Agency Matters: how and why?

Presented by Fiona Zinn
Time: 4.30pm – 6.00pm
Date: Thursday 9 September

The topic of agency in young children’s learning has generated debate and discussion in different settings around the world; many educators are familiar with this term but remain unsure about how agency shapes the learning and teaching process and their own role. In this session we examine questions such as:
What does agency mean when working alongside young children?
How does agency change our view of children, families and ourselves?
How does agency change the way we see our spaces and places of learning?
What is the role of the educator in all of this?



Part 5: Ethics and everyday practice

Presented by Assoc Prof Kylie Smith
Date: Wednesday 6 October
Time: 4.00pm – 5.30pm

Ethics is the process of questioning, discovering and defending our values, principles and purpose. It’s about finding out who we are and staying true to that in the face of temptations, challenges and uncertainty (The Ethics Centre). In early childhood services the National Quality Standard requires educators to have a high level of awareness of the ethical standards that underpin their practice. This session will address the issues that educators have in:

  • identifying and tackling everyday ethical dilemmas
  • creating a strong culture of ethical practice


This event is suitable for experienced early childhood professionals.



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