summit 2019

EC-MENz National Summit 2021

Held in Ōtautahi (Christchurch) on Saturday, June 12.

EC Menz Poster 2021

Download poster pdf

Kia ora e te whānau,

We are excited to announce that the 2021 EC-Menz Summit in Ōtautahi (Christchurch) on Saturday, June 12 will feature an amazing lineup of speakers drawn from across the early childhood sector. As an example, please check out this presentation abstract below, that promises to explore one of the more contentious (and fascinating) aspects of play in early childhood settings. We will be announcing more about the full programme as the event draws closer, so stay tuned! For more information, and to register, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or register through our contact form.

EC MENz 2021 Summit Abstract

Playful Aggression: Superhero and Weapon Play in ECE

Presented by Robin Christie, Childspace, Wellington, Aotearoa.

Playfighting and playful aggression are universal urges in young children across cultures, yet teachers and parents have long struggled with this kind of play in our ECE settings as it seems at odds with our shared desire for a just and peaceful society.

Yet research clearly shows that children’s fantasy play helps them to make sense of the world (Taylor & Carlson, 1997), and playfighting (superhero play, weapons play, rough- and- tumble play) allows them to explore their own sense of agency and power, as well as complex concepts such as social justice and the place of violence in society (Carlsson-Paige & Levin 1987, 1990; Cantor 1998; Levin 1998, 2003; Katch 2001).

This interactive presentation will look at the positive and negative aspects of playful aggression in young children, and share great real-world tips for creating opportunities to celebrate this vital aspect of human development in a respectful and lawful climate.

Matt Te Maro

Tākaro a Tinana

Presented by Matt Te Maro, ECE and Primary Teacher Whangārei.

As humans, we can be naturally afraid of things we don’t understand. There are times in education environments when this can prevent us from supporting vital aspects of learning and human development. When we do find a way to include these kinds of learning opportunities we call it ‘diverse’ learning because it’s not ‘traditional’ or it’s ‘different’. Together we can find ways to change these views and remove fear and stigma around what can be considered as high energy physical play (Carlson, 2011). In this workshop, we will discuss positive and easy learning experiences that can support this curriculum area, why it should be seen as a curriculum area and some of the vital learning that is happening during these times. I will also go over some fun practical ideas and as a group talk about what we are already doing, what we should be proud of about our current practice, and ways we can communicate with colleagues and whānau to shake some fear off and say “they’re not just wrestling, they’re developing and learning in an important and meaningful way”.


Challenging Behaviour

Presented by Cara Swit

The number one topic in early childhood is challenging behaviour, this includes different forms of aggression such as physical aggression (hitting, kicking etc) and relational aggression (social exclusion, rumour spreading etc). This talk will have you considering the questions ‘why do young children use relational and physical aggression?’ and ‘what teaching practices might I be using to reinforce or prevent these behaviours?’ We will discuss practical (and realistic!) strategies you can use in the early childhood context to promote prosocial behaviour and prevent aggressive, challenging behaviour.

Summit Reports