Creating Beautiful Learning Spaces that Inspire // Conference

Creating Beautiful Learning Spaces that Inspire // Conference


The power of learning environments should never be underestimated. They shape who we are and we shape them. There are many ways of theorising, experiencing and setting up spaces for learning - this takes a level of creativity and understanding. Each and every one of us can remember a space that remains so memorable in our hearts and minds. The memories that come from this experience provide us with comfort and at times nostalgia. This conference aims to lift your spirits, provide limitless inspiration and start you on a journey of discovery and thinking that will last a life time. Regardless of your role in an early childhood program this is a conference not to be missed. So, if you are searching for inspirational ideas or wanting to understand how to turn the ordinary into the extra ordinary then this conference is for you.

Speakers include – Clare Warden (UK), Anthony Semann, Kirsty Liljegren, Dr Stefania Giamminuti and Janet Robertson

Clare Warden - Pedagogy behind the Design- Creating a risk rich learning environment.

Take a step behind the design of a variety of nature based learning environments to consider their effect on the development of pedagogical values of the adults, and the children in relation to risk taking. This session will challenge the concept of ‘risky play’ and explore if it is possible to design environments for appropriate risk taking.


Anthony Semann – For the love of beauty it really does matter… both for the heart and soul

Let’s move beyond trivialising the environment as something that has little or no impact, and let’s move beyond the rhetoric of the environment is the third teacher if we don’t really believe it. The environment and all that it’s worth has a major impact on those who come in contact with it. This presentation will reach into our hearts and souls and offer us all a glimpse of hope as we reimagine possibilities for learning and beauty and as we begin to explore the opportunities that await us all, should we wish to rise to occasion and really believe that beauty matters. 


Stefania Giamminuti - Environments of solidarity and artistry: collective meaning making in Reggio Emilia

Dr Stefania Giamminuti draws on her research collaborations with the municipal infant-toddler centres and preschools of Reggio Emilia to reimagine early learning environments as places of solidarity, artistry, and beauty. She conceives of environments as places of welcome and research, disrupting dominant images of early childhood educators as melancholy implementers of policy. Through rich visual data from the infant-toddler centres and preschools, Stefania invites us to counteract the loneliness of this profession, inspiring us to seek ways to embrace culture, solidarity and inventiveness in early childhood pedagogy and leadership. 


Janet Robertson - Love the one you’re with: The neglected playground.

‘The grass is greener on the other side’, the chance to yearn for the other, can blind us to the realities of our present, the place we are in. This chance that somewhere else will be better, a place that will provide a nirvana of opportunity and beauty for outdoor education could be the reason the place we have remains, as Les Murry phrases, a ‘boutique of despair’. The playground, in which young children can spend the majority of the day, is often the least funded, maintained, staffed and respected space in an early childhood setting. I imagine we would recoil with the notion that it was acceptable to promote a value of ugliness to young children, or indeed ourselves to work or live in spaces which impart an unintentional shabbiness, one that says ‘nobody cares’, but too often the playground is, perhaps unintentionally, ugly. Indeed, it may also be considered empty of the elegant complexities of a thoughtful pedagogy which utilises the very wonder and beauty which is absent, or unseen. This presentation invites us to fall in love with the one we are with, to make the very best of what we have, to create spaces which are wondrous for children’s every day experiences and thinking.


Kirsty Liljegren - Enabling environments worthy of beautiful minds

Environments for learning and teaching have the scope for fueling children’s capacity to learn, but are we utilising the environments we have? What conditions and climate do you see as being conducive to a harmonious learning environment that honours the community of learners? In this presentation, scenarios from practice will be unraveled to explore the concepts and questions to consider when creating an environment that befits an aspirational vision for learning and teaching. 


The Australian Professional Teaching Standards

NSW: Completing – The Creating Beautiful Learning Spaces and Places Conference will contribute 6 hours of NESA Registered PD addressing: APTS 6.2.2 & 6.3.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

Other States: Completing – The Creating Beautiful Learning Spaces and Places Conference Children (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



This course aligns with:

QA 1: Educational program and practice

QA 3: Physical environment