What should matter in early childhood care and education?

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RECE 30th Anniversary Webinar Series. What should matter in ECE? Critical conversations. 27 October 2021 US 4:00 PM
27 Oct 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Online, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
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Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE)

In 1991, the first RECE conference was launched in response to critical questions that were not being asked, and 30 years later we continue to challenge dominant ideas and perspectives about how children learn and grow, how early childhood educators envision pedagogy, and complicate universalizing assumptions about children’s, families’, and educators’ experiences. Over the years, through interrogating research, policy, and practice, RECE members have tried to shed light on the pluralism and diversity of people’s lived realities, and the multiplicity rather than the narrowness of what is possible. Imperative to these conversations are worldviews that are expansive, inclusive, and embedded in social justice. As early childhood educators we understand that it is absolutely necessary to address racism, imperialism, neoliberalism, prejudice, discrimination, or any form of oppression with people of all ages.


In this first virtual forum to mark RECEs’ 30th Anniversary, we bring together members of the international RECE community to explore answers to the question What should matter currently in early care and education? What are critical questions today? Drawing from international and intergenerational expertise, panel members will discuss some of the most pressing issues in ECEC. Also, how have the issues changed over time? Are many issues and questions similar to those addressed 30 years ago? When RECE had its 20th anniversary, one of the founding members of RECE asked the question, but what thinking or actions did we “cut open,” rupture, or change? As a community, we continue to reflect on this question today.

Please join us for our first webinar with I-fang Lee (Australia), Mere Skerrett (New Zealand), Ayesha Rabadi-Raol (Canada), Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw (Canada), and Marcela Montserrat Fonseca-Bustos (Norway) that will be moderated by Gail Boldt (USA). A critical conversation amongst the panelists will open dialogue around what matters and what should matter as we face the complexities and the pressing issues of the 21st century and beyond.


Gail Boldt is a Professor in Curriculum and Instruction at Penn State University, teaching undergraduate courses in literacy education and Ph.D. seminars in theory and philosophy as they relate to contemporary issues in education. She is the senior editor of the Bank Street Occasional Paper Series. She is also a psychotherapist offering play therapy in a community mental health setting. Her most recent research focuses on how learning and change occur in her therapy practice with children, theorized through contemporary relational psychoanalysis and through the work Deleuze and Guatarri, to reconceptualize learning and change in early years classrooms.

Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw is a Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Faculty of Education and Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Research in Curriculum at Western University in Ontario, Canada. She is also Senior Fellow of NORRAG, and co-director of the Pedagogist Network of Ontario, and the British Columbia Early Childhood Pedagogies Network. Veronica’s writing and research contribute to the Common Worlds Research Collective (tracing children's relations with places, materials, and other species), and the Early Childhood Pedagogies Collaboratory (experimenting with the contours, conditions, and complexities of 21st century pedagogies).

Mere Skerrett, Head of the School of Education, Te Herenga Waka (Victoria University of Wellington) spent much of her career in early years education in the establishment phase of, and working within, the Kōhanga Reo (language nest) movement and Kura Kaupapa Māori (its schooling extension). She established Te Amokura Kōhanga Reo in Hamilton, named by her grandmother Raiha Serjeant after the great seabird, the Amokura, which helped to guide ancestral Māori to Aotearoa, NZ. Her research interests have been focussed around Indigenous language/s revitalisation, and the relationship of Māori language to Māori knowledge, identity, culture, and world view/s.

I-Fang Lee is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle. I-Fang’s teaching, research trajectories and scholarly publications have focused on contemporary issues relating to equity and justice in the field of early childhood care and education to unpack what is taken for granted in research, policy, curriculum and pedagogical practices related to childhoods, families and programs. Her intercultural teaching and research projects are strongly nested across multiple geopolitical locations including East Asia, Australia, and the United States. She engages in inter-disciplinary collaborations to advocate the local and global importance of inclusive and holistic education for all.

Ayesha Rabadi-Raol is an experienced Early Childhood Educator and Teacher Educator. She has taught in diverse settings in India, USA, and Canada for 20 years. After earning an Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University, she is now an Assistant Professor at Sonoma State University. Rabadi-Raol’s research focuses on equity and justice, centering the experiences of intersectionally minoritized children and teachers of color. She has authored/ coauthored articles and book chapters and continues to build her research trajectory by amplifying the stories of historically minoritized populations of young children and their teachers, as well as reflecting on her own teaching practice.

Marcela Montserrat Fonseca Bustos is an assistant professor in early childhood at OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University in Norway. She was born in Chile, and raised in Norway, where she is currently living. Bustos has been an active member of the RECE community since 2005 and was introduced to the community by Jeanette Rhedding-Jones, who was her mentor, supervisor and academic mother. Bustos research interest include critical perspectives on inclusion, exclusion, privilege, power hierarchies, and methodologies. Critical issues in her research are multiculturalisms, multilingualisms, gender and heteronormativities, ableisms, racism and racialized identities, and the intersections between these