As we have mentioned in previous posts, Flinders will be presenting at the Early Childhood Australia Biennial Conference in Melbourne in September this year. We are extremely excited about and grateful to have this opportunity, not only to present our work in relation to the Making our Mark project, but also to be a part of the professional learning community that will be attending the four day event. Educators from Flinders have attending ECA Conferences in the past and have come back feeling inspired and excited about their experience, ready to find ways to translate new ideas and theories into practice at Flinders.
We will be presenting on the Saturday of the conference, and our paper is titled Making our Mark. The Making our Mark project has been discussed in previous posts on this blog, so head back through our history to find out a little more.
As a part of the preparation process for the paper presentation, the Programming Educators have been involved in an intense one month period of writing, meeting and thinking hard about the data we have collected so far. As we have reflected, thought, conversed and challenged ourselves and each other, we have come to some very exciting new ideas and understandings about the role of mark making in children’s learning, our role in facilitating mark making experiences, and how various theories can act as lenses through which we can analyse our work.
Without giving the entire paper away, we are looking forward to sharing our ideas in relation to the holistic nature of children’s learning and how this is reflected through mark making; the way in which children access mark making as an expressive language; how children express their identity, learning and understandings through mark making; and the impact of the environment, quality, and the educator on mark making.
Perhaps most importantly, we are recognising the significance of ongoing professional dialogue and projects as a means of deepening our understandings regarding children’s learning. Though the month has been intense, we have had many light bulb moments, and feel we have discovered things about early childhood education that are opening up many possibilities for the future. We are all feeling enthusiastic, passionate and inspired, and we haven’t even made it to the conference yet!
We feel we are learning a great deal through this project, and are excited that we are not even half way through; what more will we discover over the coming eight months?
You can find out more about the conference by clicking on the link below…