Commitments to Centering Black Lives in Critical Early Childhood
By SIG Leadership: Haeny Yoon, Tran Templeton, Sara Michael-Luna, Janice Kroeger, Samara Akpovo
June 10, 2020
Response to Commitments to Centering Black Lives in Critical Early Childhood
By Dr. Gloria Boutte, Dr. Fabienne Doucet, Natacha Jones, Dr. Tia C. Madkins, Dr. Fikile Nxumalo, Nnenna Odim
September 28, 2020
The purpose of this SIG is to foster research on and critical analyses of issues in early childhood education and childhood studies and to encourage the development of alternative perspectives and curriculum in early childhood education
Welcome to the Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood Education Special Interest Group for the American Educational Research Association. The CPECE SIG became official in 1998, having struggled to find openings in the dialogue for reconceptualist and marginalized educational researchers and practitioners in the AERA context. The SIG is robust and energized in its membership, forging ahead and disrupting the status quo in early childhood, teacher education, and our field's research and praxis.
Message from the outgoing CPECE SIG Chair, Sonya Gaches
It has been my extreme honour and privilege to serve in leadership to the CPECE SIG the past three years. I thank each and every one of your for your membership and your engagement in the SIG. Yet most of all I thank everyone for the research, teaching and advocacy work you are doing with children, families, teachers, policy makers, and more.
As I write this farewell message the world is in such an odd place. A virus has sent some of us huddling in our ‘bubbles’ while others are on new frontlines, putting their lives at risk caring for others and keeping vital services going. Still others are just trying to survive their daily lives as they were before the rest of us had the privilege of ‘bubbling’ or ‘PPE’. Once again early childhood is in the midst of these tensions with early childhood providers seen by some as an essential service but lacking the protections to keep children, teachers and their families safe. Many of us in teacher education are also struggling with how to ‘prepare’ teachers logistically (e.g., moves to online teaching, practicum experiences) as well as what early childhood care and education may look like moving forward. Furthermore, we just also question and grapple with what’s happening with children globally in conditions of warfare, occupation, refugee camps, lack of access to clean water, and still other dire health and wellbeing circumstances. This current situation is highlighting the many issues impacting children, families and our ECE workforce with which this SIG works everyday – globalisation (!), colonisation, marginalisation, persistent economical poverty, and the many, many ways that power and privilege affect their lives. The work of this SIG is of critical importance in addressing these issues and yet so many others – and even as we all are coping with our own tensions and challenges during these time, I know that each of you is persevering in continuing this work wherever possible. It’s what we do – it’s why we’re here.
I leave my posts here in CPECE leadership thankful for the many opportunities I’ve had to work with you and having a hand in our amazing annual meetings. Not all I desired to accomplish in my roles has been done, but I’ll be forever grateful for this opportunity. I’ll miss seeing everyone in San Francisco this year but I look forward to seeing many of you in years to come wherever that may be. I know I’ll be following the work of the scholars in this SIG and be with you in spirit there.
Be safe, take care...until we meet again,
Message from the incoming CPECE SIG Chair, Haeny Yoon
I am honored to serve as the new chair for CPECE and thank Sonya Gaches (outgoing chair) for her leadership, passion, and tireless commitment to the SIG. As we face the challenges of a global pandemic, unimaginable loss, and uncertainty, I hope this space mobilizes us to reimagine childhoods for the most vulnerable and marginalized groups, particularly as we confront the inequities brought to light by COVID-19. As chair, I commit to center these issues and continue the SIG’s effort to disrupt the status quo in early education, teacher education, and scholarship on contemporary childhoods.
As children process life during a pandemic, they are experiencing and participating in a world fraught with turmoil and tensions. In the midst of it all, we also get to witness the creativity and capacity of young children to engage in online learning, redefine the boundaries of social connection, and reimagine what it means to play in digitally mediated times. Our response, in following the example of young people, should be to transform our own research, teaching, and commitments.
Towards this end, the 2021 AERA Annual Meeting theme is “Accepting Educational Responsibility”, scheduled for April 9-12th in Orlando, Florida. Accepting and acknowledging our responsibility as “citizen-scholars”, our challenge is to “demonstrate greater care about what happens in our society and in educational institutions” (see call, https://www.aera.net/Events-Meetings/Annual-Meeting/2021-Annual-Meeting-Theme). Who does our research serve? How can our work impact and sustain communities? How do we leverage and influence social change? And for many of us, these questions are always circulating in our minds as teachers, practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and community organizers. Please consider submitting your work, making visible activism in contemporary childhoods across social contexts. We also encourage you to review for the SIG. Our co-program chairs—Sara Michael-Luna and Janice Kroeger—are excited to create a program that forefronts diversity and equity in reconceptualizing childhoods towards greater social good.
We look forward to the possibilities of our collective work, under a new leadership team:
· Program Co-chairs: Sara Michael-Luna and Janice Kroeger
· Secretary: Tran N. Templeton
· Treasurer: Samara Akpovo
In the meantime, please remember to renew your membership with us. Your membership matters not only for the allotment of presentations at AERA, but also for the energy and vitality of the SIG. We hope that you will find a home at CPECE, and we particularly welcome new voices that continue to diversify our membership, methodologies, practices, and research agendas. On behalf of the SIG Executive Committee, we look forward to seeing you at AERA 2021 and wish you continued health and safety.
Welcome from the SIG Program Co-Chairs, Sara Michael-Luna and Janice Kroeger
The CPECE SIG is committed to challenging the dominant discourses of early childhood education, such as developmental timelines, standardized curriculum and assessments, school “readiness”, limited rights for young children, and culturally irrelevant practices, while emphasizing an inclusion of children’s, families’ and practitioners’ voices in the research process. Traditionally, this SIG has prioritized research that reconceptualizes early childhood education as a foundational context for decreasing inequities and increasing opportunities for young children, their families and communities. In this same vein, we align ourselves with AERA’s larger attention to including all voices and eradicating inequities, specifically impacting those voices who are underrepresented due to race, gender, class, (dis)ability, sexuality, citizenship, religion, language, etc.
The challenges of our time are complex, urgent and quickly evolving. We recognize that young children around the globe are affected by material and economic circumstances, political disagreement, violence, and discontinuities in their care and education via the exploitive economic powers of the global elite. We believe that advocacy for children, families, and communities can occur, but it is best sought through listening. Through a recognition of disagreement and conflict, in which members of a community do not necessarily stand in the same place, we come to understand the perspective(s) of others so that collectives and actions can materialize.
The challenges that young children, their families, their teachers and those who stand alongside them face, are best faced in solidarity. Our CPECE SIG call for proposals is commonly a call for critical voice, but also and more importantly, a call to action and activism for members of the SIG in solidarity with children, families, and practitioners. Members of various divisions and SIGs also work to form alliances and/or put forward scholarship that challenges the historical construction of research and normative views of childhood/s within sustainable futures. We encourage theoretical, methodological, and analytical education research through the use of post-colonial, indigenous, feminist, new-material feminism, post-structural, interpretive, critical, and posthuman perspectives. Working at these intersections we believe we can affect children and childhood(s).
Sara Michael-Luna and Janice Kroeger