Kelly Boucher – Dialogues with Materials

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Dialogues with Materials

Presented by Kelly Boucher on Saturday 23 July 2016 at Scotch Oakburn College, Launceston TAS, and on Saturday 12 November, 2016 at the Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange, VIC

About the workshop:

How do children think with materials? How do materials invite actions?

Participants in this workshop engage in different ways of looking at and thinking about materials typically used within an early childhood setting. They are challenged to re-think current ideas about sustainability and be prompted to look at ways to develop ethical practice.

Participants explore:

  • Contemporary teaching practice
  • Innovative ways to engage children with new and existing materials
  • Where materials come from and how they are used in early childhood settings to explore ideas of becoming, belonging and place

This workshop discusses materiality as pedagogy and describes how children experiment with materials – those known and those less familiar. Drawing on the emerging framework of materialism (and in particular, ‘new materialism’) within the early childhood space, this session will discuss materials as ‘joint participants’ with children in experiences. By investigating materials as ‘meeting places’ and focusing on materials as agentive objects that invite actions, we play with possibility and explore new potentials. Thinking with materials and developing playful strategies to use them in different ways, is a starting point for repositioning materials as participants in experiences. This workshop offers early childhood educators different ways of seeing, investigating, playing and experimenting with the more-than-human objects co-inhabiting their kindergarten spaces.

About the presenter:

KELLY BOUCHER is an arts specialist with broad experience teaching in both the arts and education sectors. Her research interests include:

  • children as studio-based practitioners and co-collaborators in research
  • sustainability in early childhood through architecture and the design of place
  • materiality in early childhood and the agency of materials

In her own studio-based arts practice she engages with materials and processes typically used in early childhood settings to explore ideas about identity, belonging and place. Kelly is an Academic Teaching Scholar at Victoria University in the College of Education.

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