Rich Learning Opportunities


First hand experience: what matters to children

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First hand experience:
what matters to children

Speakers (in order of speaking)

Tim Smit is Chief Executive and co-founder of the Eden Project. He is also a director of the Lost Gardens of Heligan and trustee, patron and board member of a number of statutory and voluntary bodies both locally and nationally. He has received a variety of national awards including The Royal Society of Arts Albert Medal. In 2002 he was awarded an Honorary CBE and he has received honorary doctorates and fellowships from a number of universities. Tim has appeared on television and radio such as ‘This is Your Life’ ‘Desert Island Discs’ and recent BBC documentaries about Eden. Tim is the author of books about both Heligan and Eden and he has contributed to publications on a wide variety of subjects.

Mary Jane Drummond is a member of the What Matters to Children team and co author of . Mary Jane is a writer, teacher and researcher with an abiding interest in young children’s learning. She has recently retired from the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge.

Charles Desforges taught school science from 1973-1983. Since then he has been a university researcher focusing on classroom learning. He is now an emeritus professor at the University of Exeter. Professor Desforges serves on the National Education Research Forum (NERF) which is working to shape national strategy for educational research. He is also a research adviser to various government bodies here and overseas. Other current work involves supporting the professional development of head teachers and promoting teacher research on lesson development. Professor Desforges was awarded an OBE in 2004 for services to education.

Peter Dixon is an author and poet who writes for parents, teachers and all those concerned about early years education. Peter has worked as a teacher and before becoming a full time writer he was a senior lecturer in education. He is a much sought after conference and after dinner speaker. He offers evenings of poetry, music and relevant irreverence.

First hand experience: what matters to children

Workshop leaders

Cathy Myer is a member of the What Matters to Children team and co author of . Cathy has been a teacher, advisory teacher, and part-time university lecturer. She is now a freelance education consultant, passionate about children and their capacity to learn from their experiences of the real world.

Denise Casanova is a member of the What Matters to Children team and co author of . Denise is an artist and freelance arts education consultant who is committed to education through the arts. She has taught extensively for schools, museums and arts organisations in the USA and UK.

Diane Rich runs Rich Learning Opportunities and co-ordinates the What Matters to Children team. She is a co author of . Diane has worked with children and adults as play worker, teacher, advisory teacher, researcher, education consultant, member or chair of a variety of national consultative groups.

Emma Hertzberg is a member of the What Matters to Children team. Emma is a freelance consultant and photographer with experience of working with young children and their educators. Through her work she promotes ‘the independent learner’.

Sam Kendall is an Education Development Officer at the Eden Project. This involves design and delivery of Eden's programme for schools. She has taught in schools in the UK and abroad, and is committed to education which connects children and young people to the world they live in.

Sue Pearson is an experienced teacher; throughout her career has worked in schools and settings developing appropriate practice for young children. She was a curriculum advisor at Early Excellence, Huddersfield and has held advisory posts in two local authorities. Sue is now an independent education consultant.

Jane Turner has eighteen years experience in primary education as a teacher, researcher and author. She has developed award winning curriculum projects in literacy, technology and science. She has designed and led science workshops in schools across Hertfordshire. Jane is now Deputy Director at the Science Learning Centre for the East of England, planning and implementing an innovative programme of training for all science educators.

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