Professional learning program: Differentiated/play-based inquiry learning in the early years of schooling

Enhance early education with play-based learning. Discover our free online program for teachers in Victoria, developed in partnership with Deakin University.

16 Feb 2023

This professional learning program was developed in partnership with Deakin University in 2021 to support the use of play as a pedagogical tool in the early years of schooling in Victoria.

This free online program aims to promote and optimise opportunities for play-based teaching and learning in the early years of school and strengthen teachers' knowledge and understanding of the role of play and inquiry in children's lives and learning.

The professional learning program

This on-demand program provides flexibility for participants to engage with relevant parts of the program to meet their learning needs at a time convenient for them. It includes:

  • Four modules with directions for the practical application of knowledge in the classroom.
  • Four pre-recorded webinars link to each module to deepen knowledge and allow participants to hear from a panel of experts/key stakeholders.

Overview of differentiated/play-based inquiry learning in the early years of schooling


Watch a welcome video by Prof. Andrea Nolan

Watch a philosophies video by Assoc. Prof. Anne-Marie Morrissey


Play-based learning can set your child up for success at school and beyond

This article was written for The Conversation to promote play as a vehicle for learning for young children. It outlines the academic and developmental learning outcomes that are linked to play-based approaches. Child-initiated and teacher-supported learning are explained with examples provided, and a direct comparison between play-based learning and direct instruction is included.

As you read the article, think about your own classroom practice:

  • Is it more teacher directed?
  • Where does play-based learning feature?
  • Is there a balance between the play-based learning and direct-instruction learning?