• Early Childhood

Big Ideas for Little Learners: Concept-based Inquiry in the Early Years (presented by Kath Murdoch)

PL # 13731
Starting on 1 Jun 2023
Cancellation permitted until 25 May 2023

Registration Close : 25 May 2023

Delivery Format : In Person

Pricing Normal
For Members $120
For Catholic Members $180
For Non-Members $200
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Registrations open to :

  • AISWA Member Schools (non-CEO)
  • Catholic Member Schools
  • Non-Members


Inquiry based approaches have long been foundational to early years classrooms. Teachers working with young learners understand the power of nurturing children’s curiosity and using this curiosity to fuel learning across the curriculum.  While inquiry-based learning is highly engaging, we can miss opportunities for deeper, transferable learning when we get caught up in shallower ‘topics’.  When we combine inquiry-based learning with a concept-based approach, we take inquiry to a much deeper level. Concept-based learning focuses on depth and transfer. Even our very young learners are capable of ‘big picture thinking’. By fostering a more concept-based approach to inquiry in the early years, we help develop skills of pattern seeking, connection making, comparing and contrasting and synthesising that lay powerful foundations for continued, deep learning.   Teachers who bring a more concept-based lens to inquiry learn how to view children’s specific, localized interests and link them to bigger, universal ideas that can also act as curriculum connectors. 

In this practical workshop, Kath will work with early years educators to explore the following questions:

- What is a concept? Why are they important? 
- How can we use concepts to help connect children’s interests? 
- How might a more concept- based approach help us keep inquiries fluid and emergent across a year? 
- What teaching strategies help children learn to make connections and ‘think big’?
- How can we design provocations and use materials connected to concepts? 
- What does planning for concept based inquiry look like?
- How can we encourage young learners to express their conceptual understandings?
- How do concepts help us frame up shared inquiries? 
- What concepts weave across disciplines? 
- What resources can we use to strengthen conceptual understandings? 
- What is the role of content, skills and dispositions in a concept based inquiry? 


Kath Murdoch

Kath Murdoch

Kath Murdoch is an experienced teacher, author, university lecturer and popular consultant who has worked for many years in schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, America and Europe. She is widely respected for her work in the field of inquiry based learning and integrative curriculum in which she has taught, researched and published for well over 20 years.

Kath began her professional life as a classroom teacher in Melbourne. Her fascination in how students’ constructed their understandings - and her interest in the way questions and big ideas could drive curriculum soon lead to a passion for integrative and inquiry based methodologies. This passion has become a career long focus for teaching, research and writing and the methodologies in which Kath specialises are now central to curriculum frameworks in many parts of the world – including the popular International Baccalaureate, PYP program.

Critical to Kath’s success is her continued involvement in classroom teaching. Whether it is to demonstrate techniques, coach teachers or build her own repertoire of practices, Kath is committed to regular and ongoing work with students. Her classroom work and research feeds a dynamic and ever-evolving expertise in the area of integrative and inquiry-based learning.

Kath’s professional development offerings are diverse. They range from intensive partnerships with schools to develop inquiry programs and practices over several years through to one-day workshops for beginning or experienced inquiry teachers. Whether in her home town of Melbourne or on the other side of the world, working with a team or speaking to a packed auditorium Kath’s style is refreshingly practical, inclusive and always connected to the real world of teaching.

Terms & Conditions


AISWA Professional Learning – In Person Event 

  • Detailed In Person event T&Cs here. Below is an overview only.

In Person event conditions

  • Attendance records: Participants must sign-in on the day to confirm attendance. A member school can also view this data for their staff.
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  • Attendee swaps: Acceptable. The organiser must be notified. There are conditions.
  • Walk Ins: Any non-registered attendee MUST disclose this to AISWA on arrival. A correct registration process can then be followed. 
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  • Payment Conditions: Price includes GST. Credit card payment only for Guests. Member schools will be invoiced post-event.
  • Cancellation: Cancellation is without charge if prior to Cancellation Permitted date. Cancellations via this website. Late cancellations or failure to attend will incur full cost. Refer any issues to the Event Organiser. If AISWA cancels a PL Event, attendees will be notified by email and any payment will be refunded.
  • Free event non-attendance: A fee of $25 may apply. See full T&Cs.

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Big Ideas for Little Learners: Concept-based Inquiry in the Early Years (presented by Kath Murdoch)

Date / Time

1 Jun 2023 Starts: 08:45 Finishes: 15:00

Delivery Format : In Person

AISWA Training Room Suite 1


Suite 1, 41 Walters Drive
Osborne Park WA 6017

Parking bays are available on Walters Drive (max. fee is $5.00 p/day). To use these bays, you will need to first download the EasyPark App on your phone. https://bit.ly/3R63Ndg When you arrive you can scan the QR code on the parking meter to pay for your parking using the app. Please note that the meters are no longer accepting cash or card payments. Alternatively, public transport is available via train & bus: Joondalup Line – Stop at Glendalough Station. Bus transfers: Bus no. 407, Bus stop: 25350

PL Hours : 6.50

Learning Area

  • Early Childhood

School Area

  • Preschool (PK-K)
  • Early Childhood (PK - 2)
  • Pre-Primary
  • Kindergarten
  • Year 1
  • Year 2

Event Contact