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Wendy Russell National Tour - Moonee Valley Racecourse

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Design, Local Government, Parks, Schools & Early Years

Thursday 23rd November Moonee Valley Racecourse 10.30am to 3.30pm.

Members: $132.00 Non Members: $220.00

After a successful and thought-provoking visit in 2015, four of Australia's leading advocacy organisations, supported by the Creswick Foundation, are partnering to present a unique opportunity for you to again hear from one of the worlds leading researchers on play. Let the conversations continue!

A chance not to be missed by anybody with an interest in play, play spaces, healthy communities or child development.

Dr Wendy Russell

Dr Wendy Russell

Wendy is a Senior Lecturer in Play and Playwork/Professional Studies in Children's Play at University of Gloucestershire (UK) and a consultant on children's play and playwork.

She has worked in the play and playwork sector for over 35 years, initially on adventure playgrounds and then in development work, research, education and training. She has worked with local authorities, the private sector and local, national and international voluntary organisations.

Her research interests include children's play, playwork, the politics of space, social policy and ethics. She is a member of Editorial Board for International Journal of Play.

What if and what more - the conversation continues

There are large square floor tiles in the main entrance to the museum. A young girl is carefully balancing along the grooves between the tiles in a seemingly random fashion. A short while later another girl joins in, setting her own pattern of movements. As they pass each other, the new arrival turns to the first child and says, “What happens if you fall off?”

This seemingly unimportant and inconsequential movement in-between the children and environment matters. As Colin Ward notes, children will play anywhere and with anything, as the above example clearly illustrates, and by doing so generate moments when life is a little more vibrant. They are produced by asking the question ‘what if’ and ‘what more’ can bodies, materials, imaginations and so on do to enliven the practicalities of everyday life, moments of ‘being-well’ when there is simply greater satisfaction in being alive. This, by itself, would suggest that ensuring there are favourable conditions for moments of play to emerge anywhere and everywhere becomes a matter of central concern and priority for all those who have influence, from near and afar, over children’s everyday lives (policy-makers, planners and designers, practitioners, parents – indeed all adults).

Given the nature of children’s play (spontaneous, indeterminate, and emergent), the relationship between environmental qualities and playing is far from straightforward. It is not possible or desirable to establish any direct cause-effect relationship between adult actions and children’s playful desires and expressions. However, this does not absolve adults from questioning beliefs, attitudes, habits and actions about play and associated understandings of childhood and adulthood to scrutinize how they might make environments more or less open to the emergence of playful moments.

As such, the workshops offer an opportunity to reconfigure the ways we think about the relationship between play, space, childhood and adulthood by inviting questions of what might constitute a ‘just’ environment. It will introduce a range of approaches and practices designed to foster adult ‘response-ability’, a term that expresses the requirement for adults to develop an ability to be responsive to ways in which children move through their everyday environments and keep these environments open to the possibility of the production of playful moments.

November 23rd, 2017 10:30 AM   through   3:30 PM
Moonee Valley Racecourse
McPherson St
Moonee Valley, VIC 3039
Mobile: 0419 363 666
Event Fee(s)
Non Members $ 220.00 (includes GST of $ 20.00)
View detailed Course Information in PDF

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