2023 New Zealand - China

Early Childhood Education Symposium

Date: Thursday 21 September 1:00 - 7:00pm NZT

Location: Nanjing Normal University, China & on Zoom

Sponsor: Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao, New Zealand Embassy in China; China Centre for International People to People Exchange

Co-Organiser: Nanjing Normal University

Theme: Advancing Inclusiveness in Early Childhood Education

Registration for the 2023 Event is closed.

Please email China@enz.govt.nz if you have any questions.

“As an organisation Te Rito Maioha found this experience to be overall well executed and amazed at the number of participants across China.  That was lovely to see, and should the opportunity come around again, we will be sure to increase the numbers of participants attending from Aotearoa.  The line-up of presenters from both countries absolutely showed that the early childhood sector is in good hands.”  

Arapera Card, Senior Advisor Māori at Te Rito Maioha & Presenter at the 2022 ECE Symposium


Thursday 21 September 2023

13:00-19:00 NZT

Opening Ceremony with Official Remarks

Policy Overview

Jiang Jin, Director General, Department of Basic Education, Ministry of Education of China 

Topic: Policies of Early Inclusive Education in China  

Jane Ewens, Manager Early Learning, Ministry of Education of New Zealand

Topic: Policy Overview: Advancing Inclusiveness in Early Childhood Education in New Zealand

Keynote Speeches

Professor Gail Gillon, Director of the Child Wellbeing Research Institute, University of Canterbury (pre-recorded video)

Topic: Building Children’s Foundation Language Skills for Early Reading and Writing Success

Professor Su Xueyun, Professor of Inclusive Education Research Institute of East China Normal University

Topic: Equitable and High-Quality Early Education for Every Child: The Policy and Practice Development of Preschool Inclusive Education in China.

Thematic Session 1: Curriculum practices in Early Inclusive Education

Wang Xizhen, Director of Quyang No. 2 Kindergarten in Hongkou District, Shanghai 

Thematic topic: The positive role of teachers in the implementation of inclusive education courses  

Marek Tesar, Head of School, Associate Dean International, Chair of the Early Years, Child Development and Childhood Studies Hub, Director of the Centre for Global Childhood, University of Auckland (pre-recorded video)

Thematic topic: Curriculum Practices in Early Inclusive Education: Key Lessons from Aotearoa New Zealand  

Tian Hong, Director of Huahua Kindergarten Affiliated to Suzhou Higher Preschool Normal School 

Thematic Topic: Curriculum Practice of "Double Modules and Three Variations" in Kindergarten Inclusive Education 

Nery Juarez, Lecturer - Early Childhood Education & Care & Kushla McKay, Lecturer - Early Childhood Education & Care, Te Pūkenga UCOL (pre-recorded video)

Thematic topic: Advancing Inclusiveness In Home-based Education  

Dong Xin, Principal of the First Experimental Kindergarten in Yinan County 

Thematic topic: The Power of Games—The Practice of Kindergarten Integrative Education Curriculum under the Concept of Independent Games 

Lunch Break 4-5pm NZT

Thematic Session 2: The Development and Practices in Individual Education Plan for Children with Diverse Needs

Zhang Li, Chen Xingyu, Professors of East China Normal University 

Thematic topic: Early Detection and Educational Intervention for Children with Special Educational Needs: A Case Study of an Autistic Child 

Chelsea Bracefield, Program Leader (Graduate Diploma), New Zealand Tertiary College (pre-recorded video) 

Thematic topic: Contextulising Understanding, Promoting Inclusion  

Tang Min, Director of Kindergarten of Yunnan Kunming University 

Thematic topic: Educational Rehabilitation Intervention in Early Integrative Education  

Sean Dolan, Academic Dean, New Zealand Tertiary College; & Fiona Woodgate, Program Leader, New Zealand Tertiary College(pre-recorded video) 

Thematic topic: Everybody Joins In!  

Kong Jingting, Shen Yanjin, Teachers from Xueyuan Road Kindergarten, Xihu District, Hangzhou 

Thematic topic: Integrating "Painting" and Connecting—Practice of Four-stage Intervention to Boost the Language Expression Ability of Speech-Delayed Children

Thematic Session 3: School Transition and School Readiness in Early Inclusive Education

Fiona He, Director and Founder, Tuitui Educare/ Universal Kids Early Education Centre

Thematic topic: Opening the Gateway to the Future: School Transition and School Readiness in New Zealand's Inclusive Education 

Zhao Wei, Professor of Shaanxi Normal University 

Thematic topic: Ideas for the construction of a three-level support system for young children connecting middle and high-risk children 

Phoebe Tong, Program Leader of Postgraduate; Shu-Yen Law, Program Leader (Bachelor of Education); Keshni Kumar, Lecturer of Teaching, New Zealand Tertiary College(pre-recorded video) 

Thematic topic: Children as active contributors: Preparing inclusive young learners for school  

Ma Jun, Director of Nanjing Beijing East Road Primary School Kindergarten 

Thematic Topic: Exploring Kindergarten's School Transition Practice under the Background of Inclusive Education 

Zheng Li, Professor, Nanjing Normal University 

Thematic Topic: Application of Integrated Assessment of Children's Developmental Language Disorders in School Transition in Inclusive Education

Closing Ceremony

Introducing the 2023 New Zealand Presenters

Presenters from all around New Zealand will join the Early Childhood Education Symposium in Nanjing, China and online. We are excited to share the line up of presenters from New Zealand government agencies, Universities, Te Pukenga New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, tertiary education institutions and Early Childhood Education centres.

Lisa Futschek, Education New Zealand

Lisa joined ENZ in 2013 after an 18-year diplomatic career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade which included five years as the Deputy Head of Mission at the New Zealand Embassy in Berlin, and three years as First Secretary and Consul at the New Zealand Embassy in Santiago.  

As General Manager International, Lisa leads a global team of 30, based across 17 locations around the world, focussed on profiling New Zealand as an education partner and ensuring international education contributes to New Zealand’s international relations goals. 

Lisa has been instrumental in expanding ENZ’s offshore network in Asia and establishing a permanent presence in North America. She brings a strong internationalisation lens to ENZ’s work, emphasizing the critical role of relationships and partnership for mutual benefit.   

A graduate of Otago and Auckland universities, Lisa and her husband Regan are based in Wellington. They have two teenagers, a son studying at Otago University and a daughter in Year 12 at high school. 

Dr Jane Ewens, Ministry of Education of New Zealand

Dr Jane Ewens has worked in early childhood and teacher education, and education policy for over 30 years. She has worked in parent-led, kindergarten and home-based education settings and is currently working as the Manager Early Learning Curriculum for the New Zealand Ministry of Education. Her research interests include effective teaching and bicultural curriculum.

Professor Gail Gillon, Director of the Child Wellbeing Research Institute, University of Canterbury

Professor Gillon (Ngāi Tahu iwi) is the Director of the University of Canterbury Child Well-Being Research Institute and is also Co-Director of the Better Start National Science Challenge ($34M) E Tipu E Rea, A 10 year programme of research focused on ensuring all young children have a successful start to life. Prof Gillon’s area of research focuses on understanding the relationship between spoken and written language development and, in particular, the importance of children’s phonological awareness to reading and spelling development.Active research projects include: The effectiveness of phonological awareness interventions in facilitating early literacy success in children who enter school with known challenges for reading and spelling. Engaging parents, family and community in children’s early oral language and literacy development, Facilitating literacy success in children with speech and language impairment; Understanding international speech language therapy practices in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Interdisciplinary practices across health and education to support children’s learning, Teachers’ professional development in children’s oral language and early literacy development, Oral Language Assessment measures (Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts) Phonological Awareness on-line assessments in English, Te Reo Maori and Samoan.

Professor Marek Tesar, University of Auckland

Professor Marek Tesar is Head of School of Learning Development and Professional Practice, and the Associate Dean International at the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland. He is also the director of Centre for Global Childhoods, and the Chair of Early Years, Childhood Studies and Child Development Research and Teaching Hub. His award-winning scholarship is focused on early childhood education in both New Zealand as well as in cross-country contexts. His academic work and consultancy focuses on educational policy, philosophy, pedagogy, methodology and curriculum, and draws on his background as a qualified teacher. Currently, Marek serves as a leader of two leading learned societies in his fields; he chairs the Steering Committee of the Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE), and is elected President of Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA).

Nery Juarez, Te Pūkenga UCOL

Hola, My name is Nery Juarez, originally from Mexico, living in New Zealand since 2005. I have a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education, a Diploma in Leadership, and a Postgraduate in Tertiary Teaching and Learning. I have 25 years of experience working in a variety of Early Childhood Teaching roles in Mexico, Colombia and in New Zealand. From a teaching relieving position, to ECE Centre Manager; ECE lecturer and currently Coordinator of a home-based programme at Te Pūkenga New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology UCOL.  I have a passion for ECE teaching and learning. And I believe quality teaching needs to be provided to all our future generations. 

Nery Juarez--内里--华雷斯

Kushla Mckay, Te Pūkenga UCOL

Kushla Mckay--库什拉--麦凯

Ko Tainui te Waka, Ko Waikato teAwa,

Ko Pirongia te Maunga, Ko Ngaati Mahanga te Hapu

Ko Te Papa o Rotu te Marae,

Ko Kushla Mckay ahau,

Tēnā koutou katoa,

My name is Kushla Mckay and I am a Coordinator for the in-work Early Childhood Education programme at Te Pūkenga New Zealand Institute of Technology UCOL.

I hold a Diploma in ECE and a Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership (ECE). I have spent most of my career managing Early Childhood Centres here in New Zealand. Early Childhood Education is a lifelong passion, that I have brought along with me in to the tertiary Education sector.

Chelsea Bracefield, New Zealand Tertiary College

Chelsea has a varied scope of experience within the early childhood sector including pedagogy, curriculum, and leadership. Since joining New Zealand Tertiary College, Chelsea has applied her knowledge and experience to support students, associate teachers, and her team within her role as Program Leader Graduate Diploma for NZTC. Chelsea’s research interests are cultural and linguistic inclusion with a focus on teacher leadership and mentoring.

Dr Sean Dolan, New Zealand Tertiary College

Dr Sean Dolan is the Academic Dean of New Zealand Tertiary College and the editor of the early childhood education journal He Kupu. Sean has been involved in education as a teacher and leader for over two decades. Sean’s professional interests and passions lie in the professional development of student teachers for the early childhood sector and advocating for inclusive practices. Sean has recently published on the topic of adaptive expertise in early childhood teaching and how this can be best fostered and developed for students in initial teacher education. 

Fiona Woodgate, New Zealand Tertiary College

Fiona Woodgate is the Field Practice Program Leader at New Zealand Tertiary College.  Fiona has been a lecturer at New Zealand Tertiary College since 2016, prior to this Fiona spent 11 years working in a variety of teaching and supervisory roles within the early childhood sector.  Informed by an understanding that everyone has a right to participate and have opportunities to access education, along with awareness of the correlation between quality teaching and positive learning outcomes for children has prompted an interest in supporting initial teacher education and leadership within the early childhood sector. 

Fiona He, OMEP Aotearoa and TuiTui Educare

Fiona is a seasoned professional with over 20years of experience in Auckland's early childhood education (ECE) sector. Throughout her career, she has held various roles, from being a teacher and professional leader to managing ECE centres as Centre Manager or Area Manager for both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. Her extensive hands-on experience in different centres has allowed her to embrace and understand the rich diversity of cultures, languages, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and perspectives among the children and families she serves.

Fiona holds the distinction of being the first person to introduce New Zealand's ECE practices to China through internet platforms since 2003, fostering cross-cultural exchange and understanding. Additionally, Fiona has been elected as the International Coordinator for OMEP Aotearoa, actively collaborating with the National President to keep the World body of OMEP informed about early childhood policies and developments in Aotearoa New Zealand.

With a wealth of experience and a passion for promoting inclusivity and cultural appreciation, Fiona continues to make a lasting impact on the lives of children and families, both locally and globally. Her dedication to the ECE sector showcases her unwavering commitment to nurturing young minds and cultivating meaningful community connections.

Phoebe Tong, New Zealand Tertiary College

Phoebe Tong ( 童真) is the program leader of Postgraduate program at New Zealand Tertiary College. Phoebe has worked in early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand as a teacher and lecturer for about 15 years. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Auckland. Phoebe’s doctoral study explores Chinese immigrants’ perspectives of becoming and being a teacher in Aotearoa New Zealand early childhood education. This study will contribute to a deeper understanding of teacher identities, particularly how to support immigrant and ethnic minority teachers as they develop positive self-images as valued members of the teaching profession. Phoebe also works in the editorial group of the journal He Kupu.

Shu-Yen Law, New Zealand Tertiary College

Shu-Yen Law (刘书元) is the program leader of Bachelor of Education at New Zealand Tertiary College and has a decade of experience working with teachers, student teachers, parents, and children aged 0-6 years. She has a Bachelor in Preschool Education and a Master in Education. Her previous works focus on children’s comprehension of visual texts, teaching strategies that foster critical literacy, and refugee family’s sense of belonging. Her professional and research interests include culturally responsive practices, teacher leadership, language and literacy, and brain development. 

Keshni Kumar, New Zealand Tertiary College

Keshni Kumar is a lecturer at New Zealand Tertiary College since 2016. Her research interests are in early childhood curriculum pedagogy, culture, and communities of practice. She intends to build her research capacity and capabilities by undertaking opportunities for research when presented. Keshni has a science background and a master’s degree in education with a number of years of teaching experience.

Michael Zhang, Education New Zealand

Michael Zhang is the Regional Director - Greater China for Education New Zealand and Counsellor (Education) based at the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing.

Michael brings to the role 10 years of experience as a New Zealand diplomat. Throughout his professional career he has had a strong focus on China and an extensive record of working in the international education market in China. Previously, Michael served as Acting Consul-General in Guangzhou and Deputy Consul-General in Chengdu, Michael has a deep understanding of the operating context in China.

Interested in Learning More?

Check out the write up on the 2022 Early Childhood Education Symposium that reached over 80,00 viewers on livestream in China.

Questions? The Education New Zealand China team would love to hear from you! China@enz.govt.nz

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