Feminism, Gender Justice and
Resistance in Early Childhood Education
May 26/27, 2021
The third and final event in the RECE virtual engagement series:
(In)justices and Counteractions in Early Childhood Contexts
In this webinar event, Feminism, Gender Justice and Resistance in Early Childhood Education, our panelists will address gender issues in Early Childhood Education and feminist theories and solutions that situate such issues.
Drawing on a range of feminisms, the panelists will explore rethinking gender binaries in relation to emerging and persistent transgender identities, intersectionality and power of BIPOC collectives, feminist tales of teaching and resistance in Reggio Emilia, Italy and rewriting gender into European early childhood philosophies.
The conversation with Alexandra Gunn, An Intersectional/ity Collective, Beatrice Vittoria Balfour and Jayne Osgood will be moderated by Rachel Langford and Janice Kroeger and will include a Q & A conversation amongst panelists at the end of the 60-minute panel. A 30-minute informal “salon” conversation session with the audience will follow the formal program.
Alexandra C. Gunn (Alex)
Dr. Alexandra C. Gunn (Alex) is a former early childhood teacher who teaches and researches at the University of Otago in Dunedin | Ōtepoti, Aotearoa, New Zealand. Gunn is a founding member of the Social Justice and Inclusive Educational Research Network, a member of European Early Childhood Education Research Association, and other national and international organizations. Alex has recently co-edited and lead special Issue in Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood centering on diversity and difference in children’s media,and Co-edited a special issue within the Australia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education and the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood as well as six unique edited books. Gunn’s Co-authored funded projects have focused on bilingual early childhood for Pasifika and Māori learners, teacher use of assessment, early literacies and technologies, as well as the work of teacher educators. Gunn has secured over $700,000 in grant funding across her academic career. She has research interests in early childhood curriculum, teachers’ practices and beliefs, assessment, inclusion (with a particular focus on sexualities and genders) and teacher education development and practice.
An Intersectional/ity Collective
This intersectional/ity collective is made up of early childhood scholars from across the globe that represent a range of positionalities. The essence of the collective is to disrupt individualism, hierarchies, and identity silos. Through aesthetic, multimodal expressions and theory interludes, the collective attempts to capture the brilliance of Black feminist intersectionalities (Crenshaw, 1989) in addition to Patricia Hill Collin’s (2017) call for “political solidarity among people of color” (47:40-42). As intersectional beings, they share their lived experiences in relation to each-other, the Land, and spirit, providing windows into how they’ve waded through systemic and everyday oppressions of colonial, anti-Black, and gendered violence, white supremacy, and being constructed by others’ attempts at putting our-selves into boxes. They also share the joys, strengths, solidarities, and wisdoms that emanate from their intersectional ways of knowing and being. Throughout their presentations and in their ongoing wanderings, they offer provocations for (re)imagining childhoods intersectionally.
Beatrice Vittoria Balfour
Dr. Beatrice Vittoria Balfour is a school leader, teacher and researcher with a passion for social justice. Holding dual-citizenship, Beatrice grew up in Italy and went to the U.S. to attend U.C. Berkeley and teach at a local school. Beatrice’s passion for progressive pedagogies and social justice, particularly her interest in how education can be as equal as possible, led her to obtain a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Cambridge.
Dr Jayne Osgood is Professor of Education (Early Years & Gender) based at the Centre for Education Research & Scholarship, Middlesex University, London (UK). Her present methodologies and research practices are framed by feminist new materialism. Through her work she seeks to foreground a concern with social justice through critical engagements with early childhood policy, curricular frameworks and pedagogical approaches. Through her work she seeks to extend understandings of the workforce, families, ‘the child’ and ‘childhood’ in early years contexts. She has published extensively within the postmodernist paradigm including Special Issues of the journals: Genealogy, Global Studies of Childhood, and Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. Her books include Narratives from the Nursery: negotiating professional identities in Early Childhood (Routledge, 2012), Post-developmental Approaches to Childhood Art (2019) and Feminists Researching Gendered Childhoods (2019) (both with Bloomsbury Academic). She is series editor of Feminist Thought in Childhood Research (Bloomsbury) and Key Thinkers in Education (Springer). She serves on several editorial boards including Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, and is current Editor at Gender & Education Journal and Editor at Reconceptualising Education Research Methodology Journal.
Rachel Langford, Co-Moderator
Dr. Rachel Langford is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University, Ontario, Canada. From 2006 to 2016 she served as the director of the School. She is the principal investigator of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)-awarded project that seeks to theorize and frame a robust and coherent integration of care, ethics of care, and care work into Canadian childcare advocacy, policy, and practice. Drawing on feminist critical discourse analysis and feminist ethics of care, she has published widely on workforce issues, policy, activism and care as ethic in early childhood education. Her books include Caring for children: social movements and public policy in Canada (co-editor, UBC Press) and Theorizing feminist ethics of care in early childhood practice: Possibilities and dangers (editor, Bloomsbury Academic Press). An upcoming book (co-editor, Bloomsbury Academic Press) focuses on how feminist theories can provide new insights into the work, lived experiences and agency of early childhood educators in diverse contexts.
Janice Kroeger, Co-Moderator
Dr. Janice Kroeger has published numerous articles and book and handbook chapters about childhood education, social-emotional belonging in communities, teacher education, anti-bias curriculum, lgbtqi inclusion, and sustainable futures. Kroeger’s noteworthy publications relate to social justice and home-school-community partnerships, with numerous pieces related to the needs of lgbtqi parents or students, African American mothers and sons, and refugee Hmong American families and their student’s teachers. Recent works account for the social and political needs of African American families and students in urban schools as well as an edited book entitled, Nurturing Nature and the Environment with Young Children: Children~Elders~Earth (Routledge, 2019). While studying in diverse communities throughout her career, Kroeger has been an award-winning author with articles in The Urban Review, Teaching and Educational Change, Young Children, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, The Journal of Research in Childhood Education, Policy Futures in Education, The International Critical Childhood Policy Studies Journal, and Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. Kroeger is currently AERA’s Critical Early Childhood Special Interest Group Program Chair, and an Executive Committee member of the Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education planning group.
The 60-minute program includes time for moderated discussion and an audience Q & A. Additionally, a 30-minute informal “salon” conversation session with the audience will follow the formal program.