Why should we continue to be learners?
We all know that saying “everyday is a learning day” but why leave that to chance.
Over the years I have had many conversations about CPL. Teachers and practitioners have said they ‘love it’, learn loads, are ‘amazed at what they didn’t know’ but many follow those types of comments with but then the job takes over and I don’t have time, ‘I need motivation to put changes in to place’. It may also be that you come back full of passion and plans for and your team push against the modifications and action research you suggest.
I have also had conversations with those who fund much of the CPL. They suggest they see little impact compared to the value of money spent. In fact a recent survey carried out by Tapestry, an online platform used by nurseries and schools suggested that 49% of them reported the CPL accessed in the passed year had “little or no impact”.
Having spent the last 15 years focused on designing and delivering CPL masterclasses, seminars, workshops and conferences days I found this frustrating, disappointing and concerning.
So I did something. I responded the only way I know how, to be positive and adapt. We know deliver CPL in two major ways.
Continuous Quality Improvement
Our biggest change in the way we deliver CPL is online. Our Adventures with Alice programme (AWA) is continuous. We have taken all of our content, past, present and future thinking and packaged it. There are many benefit to this approach to CPL.
We are known globally to be one company that take the theory and thinking and translates it to practice, to make sense for play experiences offered today. Our package ensures through films that person connection is still very much there with humour, encouragement and motivation. The magazine echoes and deepens the knowledge we are sharing and the poster activity cards highlight a wealth of ideas that can immediately benefit the play shared with children.
Additional to training we deliver in person, the ‘trainee’ can
- Access the content 24/7 for 1 year
- Check and recheck valuable and important statistics, theories and policies mentioned
- Watch golden nuggets to motivate outstanding practice on a daily, weekly basis
- Share with everyone in the team many times
Many of the in person training evaluations we have had have mentioned being inspired to make change, to share the knowledge gained, to take ideas and use them. So too have those evaluations suggested “wish my whole team could have heard”, “could listen again”, “wish we could have bottled this”.
With the AWA programme we have done all of this. We have also suggested taking two months on each adventure. An example would be to
- take the 15 mins videos , watch one a week to
- try each activity child led and adult led,
- share extracts form the magazine with a member of your team once a week.
- Each week record on a graffiti board 4 things that have happened as a result of this share.
The second big CPD adaptation at Alice Sharp Ltd is our introduction of our Pedagogy Residentials. We take twelve delegates for four days to a beautiful location and learn together. Its informal slippers and pj’s can be worn but oh my goodness incredibly rewarding.
Sharing time debating, discussing doing and designing play for the future. Having 24/7 access to a professor of pedagogy, a social entrepreneur of early years, a specialist in outdoor learning and an imaginer not to mention eleven other highly motivated, excited and professional delegates sharing over 200 years of experience between them!!
Paola Lopez, Founder and Executive at Kinderoo Children’s Academy, Inc. Florida shared her thoughts surrounding our professional development sessions, where she said “This professional development experience was the most enriching I’ve ever seen! The pedagogical conversations helped strengthen my profession by connecting theory and practice. You are there to think and reflect— think deeply about our vocation, the reason behind our approaches, and reflect on innovative techniques and research to improve our everyday practices with children. You are left invigorated and wanting more! More dialogue, more debates, more stories from the field, more reflection, and more fun! I can’t wait to go back for more! It’s a rewarding experience for anyone that seeks to take their career to new heights.”
The informal, extension dialogues allow a much deeper awareness and understanding to take away, ponder on, revisit with all the materials shared and dip in with the new network of thinkers and doers that have been created.
Early feedback leads us to believe that we are successfully seeing a more positive impact on our play and that both of these approaches are seeing significant change.
“I feel so valued being given the opportunity to be part of this unique experience. Not a Teams call or PowerPoint in sight. Just four inspirational facilitators with great ideas, activities, conversations all backed up by theory and evidence. I left feeling inspired, empowered and refreshed….. Got to say a wee bit mind blowing but that was only because I absorbed every bit of information as it was delivered in an inspiring way.
I was also humbled to spend four days with an amazing group of delegates, the professionalism and passion for our children was brimming over and the fun and laughter which also took place just cemented what was just an amazing experience”
Our Pedagogy and Play International conference, four day residential.
Our mini residentials and Volume Three – Leading Pedagogy in Adventures with Alice.