Melbourne: The Pedagogy of Loose Parts

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



Caulfield Grammar School

217 Glen Eira Road

Saint Kilda East, VIC 3183


View Map

Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

Event description


The Pedagogy of Loose parts

Enhancing a creative, thinking curriculum through the use of ‘intelligent materials’

Workshop Descriptor:

When children interact with loose parts, they enter a world of ‘what if’ that promotes the type of thinking that leads to problem solving and theoretical reasoning. Loose parts enhance children’s ability to think imaginatively and see solutions, and they bring a sense of adventure and excitement to children’s play

Daly and Beloglovsky, 2015

Utilising a variety of materials in our environments can optimise the potential for meaningful learning for children. But is providing the materials enough? This workshop will explore the role of the intentional, listening, researching educator in creating the conditions that enhance opportunities for learning with loose parts.

Theoretical underpinnings of loose parts play will be explored to enable partipcants to reflect on and make connections with their own pedagogical practices and beliefs. This will be complemented by a variety of examples from practice in different contexts as well as a hands on component where participants will play with ideas and build knowledge as a community of learners.

There will be a particular focus on:

  • Creating a culture for optimal learning, rich in communicative potential through the use of ‘intelligent materials’.

  • What to consider when inviting children to engage - how to present and organise materials

  • The role of playful inquiry and reflection, to enable children to encounter and build conceptual understandings.

  • The ‘grammar of materials’ (Vea Vecchi, 2010) - a way of thinking about materials inspired by the educational project from Reggio Emilia

  • Documenting children’s learning processes to inform curriculum planning and our understanding of children

  • The provocation of technology- the possibilities for learning when loose parts meets the digital world

  • Being mindful of the sustainability and the ethics of the use of the materials available to children

What the audience will gain as a consequence of attending the workshop (outcomes of the workshop)

Participants will:

  • Reflect and build on their knowledge of how children learn effectively

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the role of the environment in creating meaningful and generative opportunities for learning

  • Build on their knowledge of how to introduce materials to children successfully to encourage participation and deep level engagement

  • Explore how the process of documenting children’s learning can inform responsive and differentiated planning

  • Share and acquire ideas of where to source complex and interesting materials

What to bring:

A container of loose parts- either natural or man made

Useful to bring-

A digital device (phone, Ipad, computer)


Early childhood teachers, lower school teachers and leaders

Workshop Leader Biography:

Name: Kirsty Liljegren

Kirsty has had extensive experience as a practitioner and leader in a variety of contexts in early childhood, with the most recent as Director of Cornish College Early Learning Centre, in Victoria. Many educators from around the world have visited the early learning centre as a place of provocation, innovation and inspiring practice. Kirsty was awarded a national excellence in teaching award for innovative practice together with a State and Territory award for Victoria for her contribution to the early childhood sector.

Kirsty has been a long-standing committee member of the Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (REAIE). This philosophy has had a profound influence on Kirsty both professionally and personally, continuing to fuel a hope for children, all children to be respected, understood and to encounter places that honour the potential in all children.

Kirsty now consults and lectures widely both nationally and internationally, supporting and collaborating with educational teams to further develop their pedagogy and practice.


The hotel we have been recommended by the host school is the

Novotel, St Kilda: http://www.novotelstkilda.com.au/

The hotel is approximately a 5 minute drive from the school campus

Participants to inform on booking that you are attending IGE Conference. You will be entitled to a 10% discount on room prices at the time of booking.

Note: Novotel has set up an online booking process for participants. Please use the link below:


Transportation to and from Caulfield Grammar:

Parking at Caulfield Grammar:

For those coming by car, there is some parking on site at Gate 1 (no parking in Gate 2 or 3) but there may be Saturday sport so parking would be limited. There is parking outside around the campus.

Coming by train:

For those coming by train, the campus is about a 10min walk from Ripponlea train station.

Share with friends

Date and Time


Caulfield Grammar School

217 Glen Eira Road

Saint Kilda East, VIC 3183


View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

Save This Event

Event Saved