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Celebrating Learning Stories Conference 2022

March 5 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm



Saturday 5 March 2022


Two Keynote Presentations, Two Workshop Sessions with 20 Workshops, Networking and More….


The Te Whāriki curriculum and the philosophy that it represents

1990s: Learning the story of the ‘challenge’ of the Te Whāriki curriculum
Presented by Emeritus Professor Helen May, University of Otago

It is hard to imagine the world of ECE prior to Te Whāriki and indeed, a generation of professionals have grown up only knowing Te Whāriki. It is easy to be complacent about this. Margaret and I first met in 1987 at Hamilton Teachers’ College lecturing in a kindergarten course that was siloed into school subjects, play activities, ages, stages, care and education. Our journey towards our role as the directors of the Curriculum Development Project in 1991 was unexpected, even unwanted amidst difficult political times. Our project became a political act, a bicultural learning journey and collaboration, but also a pedagogical opportunity that cumulatively fuelled the possibility of ‘Te Whāriki as promise’. In retrospect we were foolhardy and brave. The Te Whāriki curriculum was a challenge to past curricula and cultural understandings and practice. It also confronted powerful education agendas fuelled by new right goals for a ‘knowledge economy’ with measurable skills and knowledge. This presentation is a sharing again of the Te Whāriki story.

2020s: The philosophical position within which the Te Whāriki curriculum can be transformative
Presented by Emeritus Professor Margaret Carr, University of Waikato

In Te Whāriki, learning is integrated within a supportive environment; this makes up the weaving. This was one of the significant inspirations for Helen and me from Tamati Reedy and Tilly Reedy. The curriculum, as a weaving in education contexts, cannot be unravelled; this is its cultural inheritance – and its challenge. Te Whāriki adds a sociocultural approach to learning, where knowledge and knowing and teaching are attached to weavings that acknowledge the context and therefore provide the meaning. Assessment follows from this; this is why we value story – learning stories and paki ako – to make sense of the learning, the developing knowledges, skills and dispositions over time. This is also why the knowledges etc. are kept in portfolios, re-visited, as we know, by families and whānau. A few published examples of learning stories will be added to this presentation if there is time.

The Pedagogy of Te Whāriki, a Pathway to Progress

Brenda Soutar, Tumuaki at Te Kōhunga Reo o Mana Tamariki and Dr Lesley Rameka, Senior Research Fellow at the Faculty of Education, University of Waikato

Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum document was published in 1996 and shaped early childhood education practice in Aotearoa, New Zealand for over 20 years. From the outset, the writers of Te Whāriki; Emiritus Professor Helen May, Emiritus Professor Margaret Carr, Sir Tamati Reedy and Lady Tilly Reedy, were committed to producing a document that honoured, Aotearoa, New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi.

In 2017, Te Whāriki was updated to reflect the changes to context, theory, and practice that had occurred over those years. The updated Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa Early childhood curriculum includes a stronger focus on bicultural practices, and stresses the importance of language, culture, and identity to the learning of mokopuna within our Tiriti-based context. The updated Te Whāriki has strengthened Māori values and beliefs, integrating more te reo Māori, tikanga Māori, and Māori concepts, pedagogies and practices.

This presentation will explore these values and beliefs in order to support kaiako to develop deeper understandings of the Māori child, Māori culture, and ways of seeing and knowing the world from a Māori perspective.



8:00-9:00am: Registration
9.00-9:15am: Mihi Whakatau
9.15-10:15am: First Keynote Presentation
10:15-10:45am Buffet Morning tea
10:45-12:15pm Workshop Session One
12:15-1:15pm Buffet Lunch
1:15-2:45pm Workshop Session Two
2:45-3:45 Second Keynote Presentation
3.45-4:00 Poroporoaki

All attendees are required to select workshops for both Sessions.


We have teamed up with some local hotels so we are able to offer you special Conference deals for accommodation in the city. Please email admin@elp.co.nz for more info.


We have an exciting selection of 20 workshops for attendees to choose from! Please click the button below to read the programme in full. Attendees are required to pick workshops for both sessions and will be able to choose their first and second choice for each session. These workshops tend to fill up fast so please don’t be disappointed if you don’t get your first choice.

Cancellation Policy: We acknowledge these are uncertain times.  Should we have to cancel or postpone this event for any reason we will refund your full registration cost.  Please note the usual cancellation policy applies should you cancel your individual registration.

Testimonials from previous conferences:

“The quality of the workshops, the accessibility of the information and the presenters and the amazing keynote speakers were all so inspiring. Greatly informative and excites me to be my very ‘best self’ as a teacher and to engender that in the children and families we are privileged to work with.”

“This whole day has been outstanding. I’ve been so impressed with the mahi our people are doing and their willingness to share. My expectations have been far exceeded. Thank you to everyone who has shared so openly – true tāonga”

“Loved the whole day – wonderful speakers, high quality content, lots of provocations/reflective thinking/learning.”

“What an inspirational day! My heart and kete have been filled and fuelled!”

“As always thoroughly positive and inspiring day. There is always a spark to take away and encourage us to keep pushing our learning boundaries. Thank you for another amazing day. The emotion expressed at the end of the day was a true reflection of how this day has touched our hearts. Best value for money PD ever!”

“I continue to be inspired by all of ELP, you have such great hearts,  thank you for leading the way.”

“So many amazing choices given by so many passionate people! It strengthens my resolve to try harder, pursue excellence and stretch my goals in my teaching practice.”

“Thank you ELP team for creating the opportunity to celebrate learning stories in this way! Inspiring as always. Loved the keynotes, lots of information and knowledge to unpack and reflect on.”

“Great conference! The selection of speakers, the diversity of experiences and backgrounds enriched the exchange of ideas and encourage new perspectives.”

“This was everything I had hoped for and spurs me on to push for Play Based Learning at my school and really explain the value of learning stories as opposed to the formal testing/assessment people think we still need….. It’s been amazing to hear other peoples stories and journeys.”

“All the workshops I attended have made a shift in my thinking that I’m looking forward to implementing in my learning process with/alongside my tamariki.”


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Celebrating Learning Stories Conference 2021 - Early Bird
$ 200.00


March 5
9:00 am - 4:00 pm


2 Governor Fitzroy Place
Auckland, New Zealand
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