Materials for Learning and Taking Care of Them: Two Topics one Day

Materials for Learning and Taking Care of Them: Two Topics one Day


Session 1 - Tidying up: Everything in its place and a place for everything…

This workshop considers the ‘why’, the ‘how to’ and benefits of an organised environment in which children and adults actually enjoy ‘tidying up’. Many visitors to Mia Mia comment on how tidy it is, ‘and do children actually use it?’, ‘do they help to tidy?’, to which we have always replied, ‘they certainly do’. The key elements of creating a climate of order and beauty as a stimulus for creativity and thinking will be discussed, and techniques to assist staff and children to appreciate and relish restoring spaces to their original order will be considered using video and images from experiences at Mia Mia with children aged birth – five.

 Session 2 - Dangerous materials: complicating pedagogy

Materials which offer children questions, rather than answers, complicates children’s and adult thinking. This complex pedagogy, where materials are given a new identity through use and experimentation is one rich in opportunity and uncertainty. This entanglement with materials, when the materials we (children and adults) use are unknown, then the ‘what next’ is an adventure, requiring us to listen to both the material and the children. After listening, one is required to respond and the resulting interaction and inter-activity between material, adults and children, is a tool which gives us the space and licence to act and discover the next, ‘what’s next’. This dance, or ‘entanglement’, results in a stickiness in which ideas co-shape each other.

This session will experiment with the ‘language’ of unusual materials.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Employ the most productive ways to ensure that environments and resources are cared for
  • Develop strategies for engaging children in caring and tidying up spaces
  • Identify resources and their uses which complicate children’s thinking
  • Explore and articulate with colleagues the ‘what next’ when working along-side children and materials

Completing this course – Materials for Learning and Taking Care of Them (6 hours) may be used as Teacher Identified Professional Development/Learning addressing: APTS 6.2.2 & 6.3.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation.

  • APTS 6.2.2: Participate in learning to update knowledge and practice targeted to professional needs and school and/or system priorities
  • APTS 6.3.2: Contribute to collegial discussions and apply constructive feedback from colleagues to improve professional knowledge and practice

 The National Quality Standard

This course aligns with:

  • QA 3: Physical environment
  • QA 5: Relationships with children