All posts by Karen Hope

Karen Hope Consulting was established in 2014 and provides a disruptive approach to professional development workshops and teaching that aims to challenge dominant discourses and taken for granted practices. Karen is an early childhood consultant, associate lecturer and freelance writer who has extensive experience in a broad range of services within the early childhood care and education context. Karen’s consultancy practice and writing is strongly influenced by the Reggio Emilia project and this is reflected in her work and writing as a point of reference, resource, inspiration and difference. Karen writes and delivers work that is specific to each individual service developed in consultation with you. The delivery of sustainable professional development that results in real change is a key feature of her work. She can be contacted by email or via her website at: karenhopeconsulting@gmail.com www.karenhopeconsulting.com

Portfolios: Pedagogical documentation or souvenir?

KAREN HOPE shares some key discussion points after facilitating a group of educators, who were delving into re-thinking ways to document learning and development for educators and children. Karen asked the group ‘what current documentation practices might they leave behind?’—This opened up ideas to what changes could be implemented to create documentation to improve ideas, […]

Orange is the new surveillance

‘Putting children on a hi-vis alert in the community is depriving them an opportunity to take responsibility for their own safety.’ KAREN HOPE and HELEN JENNINGS, explore what this means and give their perspective on pre-school aged children wearing hi-vis clothing when outside the enclosure of their child care setting. In parks, museums and other […]

Why is the Reggio Emilia project so important for early learning environments in Australia?

Why is the Reggio Emilia educational project—which exists in a context so far removed from ours, culturally, politically and geographically—so important in our Australian context? While this project now has networks in many countries around the world, its influence in Australia has been significant both in our application of its theoretical and practical ideas. The […]

Crabs in a bucket

What do crabs in a bucket have in common with Leadership? More than you would think writes Karen Hope in this blog—which first featured on the ECA Leadership Program recently. Leadership is a constantly evolving concept and what fits in the corporate world isn’t always how it works in early childhood educational settings. Read on […]

What’s love got to do with it?

‘Half way down the stairs is a stair where I sit There isn’t any other stair quite like it. I’m not at the bottom; I’m not at the top So this is the stair where I always stop’ (Milne, 1932, p147). There are approximately 194 900 early learning staff currently employed across Australia, with long […]

8 ways to take care of yourself

The early childhood care and education sector has a workforce that often places the welfare and needs of others above their own. Because of this, in the face of ever competing demands and responsibilities, we, as educators, do not pay due diligence to our own wellbeing. Educators often overlook their own physical, mental and emotional […]

Is it time to rethink professional development in the early childhood sector? The ‘expert’ model may not be delivering much bang for our training buck.

‘And beware of advice from experts, pigs, and members of Parliament’ (Henson, 2007). In early December 2013 the Federal Government announced that it intended to redirect unused funding from the Early Years Quality Fund, which was established to support the implementation of the National Quality Framework (NQF), to a new professional development programme: the Long […]

Hair Straighteners in the Home Corner

A year ago I wrote a blog piece called “Hair straighteners in the home corner. Is this what Froebel intended?” This piece was published on Early Childhood Australia’s blog The Spoke on October 14, 2015. When I was thinking of contributing to this forum I noted that the blog guidelines for contributors stated that: “opinion […]

The documentation pilgrimage

In the children’s literature classic Alice in Wonderland there is the following exchange between the curious, brave and intelligent Alice and the mysterious and devious Cheshire cat. “Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? The Cheshire Cat : That depends a good deal on where you want to […]

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