Welcome to the Talking About Environments Symposium brought to you by KU Learning and Development. We are excited to bring you this special virtual event.

Creating environments that support children’s learning is a key part of early childhood pedagogy. Quality Area 3 of the National Quality Standard focusses on the ’physical environment’. This is because the environment has a tremendous impact on children’s learning and wellbeing, and it influences how they think, feel, and behave. The best early childhood spaces are ones where children feel safe and secure, that interest and challenge and that invite children to explore, touch and engage. Creating such an environment takes time, thinking and planning.

This virtual symposium brings together speakers who help us to think deeply about our environments and the relationship between spaces and children as active learners. The speakers and topics are:

  • Megan Dodds and Gianna Black examine ‘The Environment and Children’s Relationships’
  • Janet Robertson presents 'Talking About Thinking in Outdoor Environments’
  • Kirsty Liljegren discusses ‘Designing Indoor Spaces: Considering Aesthetics’
  • Elly Nestler discusses ‘Environments to Support Cultural and Linguistic Diversity’
  • Robin Christie, over two episodes, speaks about ‘Risk, Resilience and Loose Parts Play’
  • Deb Watson and Fiona Harris talk about ‘Becoming Environmentally Responsible: Because We Care’
  • Gisella Wilson and Deb Mann talk about ‘Welcoming Environments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Their Families’

Each of the presentations is approximately 30 - 45 minutes in length. We recommend that you start by watching the introduction video followed by ‘The Environment and Children’s Relationships’ with Megan Dodds and Gianna Black. This will help to set the scene for the rest of the symposium. You can work your way through the remaining videos at times that suit you.

The introduction and first four videos are available in week 1 and the rest of the videos will be released in week 2.

Reflection Guides

Each video is supported by a Reflection Guide. They contain questions for consideration and recommendations for further reading. We advise that you download the Reflection Guides and refer to them as you watch the videos. If you are watching as a team, you may like to stop the video at various points, discuss the questions and consider implications for practice.

We hope you enjoy the symposium and we look forward to receiving your feedback.


Week 1 Presentations

photo of Megan Dodds and Gianna Black

Megan Dodds and Gianna Black

The Environment and Children’s Relationships

Download the Reflection Guide https://www.ku.com.au/uploads/...

Presentation available in Week 1 (Monday 23 May – Sunday 29 May)


photo of Janet Robertson

Janet Robertson

Talking About Thinking in Outdoor Environments

Download the Reflection Guide https://www.ku.com.au/uploads/...

Presentation available in Week 1 (Monday 23 May – Sunday 29 May)


photo of Kirsty Liljegren

Kirsty Liljegren

Designing Indoor Spaces: Considering Aesthetics

Download the Reflection Guide https://www.ku.com.au/uploads/...

Presentation available in Week 1 (Monday 23 May – Sunday 29 May)


photo of Elly Nestler

Elly Nestler

Environments to Support Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

Download the Reflection Guide https://www.ku.com.au/uploads/...

Presentation available in Week 1 (Monday 23 May – Sunday 29 May)


Week 2 Presentations

photo of Robin Christie

Robin Christie

Risk, Resilience and Loose Parts Play - Parts 1 and 2

Download the Reflection Guide https://www.ku.com.au/uploads/...

Presentations available in Week 2 (Monday 30 May – Sunday 5 June)


photo of Deb Watson and Fiona Harris

Deb Watson and Fiona Harris

Becoming Environmentally Responsible: Because We Care

Download the Reflection Guide https://www.ku.com.au/uploads/...

Presentation available in Week 2 (Monday 30 May – Sunday 5 June)


photo of Gisella Wilson and Deb Mann

Gisella Wilson and Deb Mann

Welcoming Environments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Their Families

Download the Reflection Guide https://www.ku.com.au/uploads/...

Presentation available in Week 2 (Monday 30 May – Sunday 5 June)