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Virtual Forum
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Land Education, Place, and Climate Justice in Early Childhood

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 • 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM Eastern (New York)

Thursday, 29 April, 2021 • 10:00-11:30 AM Australian Eastern Time

The second event in RECE’s (In)justices and Counteractions in Early Childhood Contexts virtual engagement series. This event will cover issues and concerns with Land Education, Place, and Climate Justice as they relate to and are impacted by early childhood practices and everyday activisms. This conversation is a space for minoritised perspectives in political, social, and educational contexts to take root. Central to this discussion is embedding and foregrounding Indigenous, kinship and climate perspectives and relationalities as more than just some alternative, but rather, essential ways to understand the world.

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This 90-minute discussion with Diana Gómez, Anna Lees, Jenny Ritchie, Catherine Hamm and Jeanne Marie Iorio will be moderated by Megan Bang and will include an audience Q & A at the end. A 30-minute informal “salon” conversation session with the audience will immediately follow the formal program

Dr. Megan Bang

Megan Bang (Illinois, USA)

Chair and Moderator

Dr. Megan Bang (Ojibwe and Italian descent) is a Professor of the Learning Sciences and Psychology at Northwestern University and is the Senior Vice President at the Spencer Foundation. Dr. Bang studies dynamics of culture, learning, and development across the life course. She is particularly interested in knowledge organization, reasoning, and decision-making about complex socio-ecological systems and their intersections with identity, cultural variation, history and power. She conducts research in schools, informal learning environments, and everyday community contexts with people and places across the life course. She engages in foundational cognitive studies as well as participatory design experiments that aim to create and implement more effective and just learning environments, especially focused on science. Dr. Bang’s design work has been focused on intergenerational place based (field-based) learning environments, often to contribute to Indigenous resurgence, through STEAM and has studied teacher practice and student learning in such environments. Further, Dr. Bang has engaged in a range of related scholarship with respect to family and community engagement and leadership. She is a teacher educator and engages in the professional development of education leaders. She is a former pre-school teacher, middle-school and high-school teacher. Dr. Bang is a member of the National Academies of Education, she serves on the Board of Science Education at the National Academy of Sciences, and NSF’s Education and Human Resources Advisory Committee and NSF’s Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education. She is a mother, auntie, grandmother, sister, daughter, and cousin.

Dr. Diana Gomez

Diana Gómez (Bogotá, Colombia)

Diana Gómez is a PhD researcher and scholarship holder at the Early Childhood Research Centre, which is part of the Institute of Education at Dublin City University. She holds a Magister degree in Education from the National University of Colombia. Her PhD research is focused on integrated early childhood policies with comunidades campesinas (peasant communities) in Colombia. Her investigation is grounded in the conceptual and methodological approach of the social constructions of childhood, children’s geographies and epistemologies of the South. Diana is also a member of the interdisciplinary Research Group ‘Cognición y lenguaje en la infancia’ at National University of Colombia, where she has engaged in community-based research in collaboration with ECEC practitioners, primary school teachers, communities, families, and children. Likewise, Diana has participated in the elaboration of consultancy documents for ECEC policies in Colombia.

Dr. Anna Lees

Anna Lees (Washington, USA)

Dr. Anna Lees (Little traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, descendant), Associate Professor, began her career as an early childhood classroom teacher in rural northern Michigan. Now, she partners with schools and communities to prepare teachers for the holistic needs of children, families, and communities. Anna is committed to developing and sustaining reciprocal relationships with Indigenous communities to engage community leaders as co-teacher educators, opening spaces for Indigenous epistemologies in early childhood settings and higher education. She is currently engaged in research around a land education professional development model led by tribal nations and relationship-based site embedded professional development model with tribal early learning programs. She has published with the Journal of Teacher Education, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Early Childhood Education Journal, Multicultural Education Magazine, Wicazo Sa Review, Routledge Research and she is co-editor of the Tribal College and University Research Journal.

Dr. Jennie Ritchie

Jenny Ritchie (Wellington, New Zealand)

Dr Jenny Ritchie is an Associate Professor in Te Puna Akopai, the School of Education, at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington. She has been involved in early childhood care and education since the 1970s, as a childcare worker, kindergarten teacher, parent, kōhanga reo whānau member, teacher educator, education researcher, and grandparent.  Her research and teaching focus on social, cultural, and ecological justice in early childhood care and education.

Dr. Catherine Hamm

Catherine Hamm (Melbourne, Australia)

Dr Catherine Hamm is a senior lecturer at The University of Melbourne, Australia.  Catherine is a member of the Common Worlds Research Collective (see, and her current projects involve investigating children’s relations with place. Catherine’s research brings together post-developmental perspectives of early childhood, environmental humanities and Indigenous worldviews

Dr. Jeanne Marie Iorio

Jeanne Marie Iorio (Melbourne, Australia)

Dr Jeanne Marie Iorio is a senior lecturer at The University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research, teaching, and writing focuses on disrupting and rethinking accepted educational practices in early childhood and higher education. This work includes rethinking quality as meaning-making; children’s relations with place; pedagogical documentation and research methods; and pedagogies originating from the municipal infant-toddler centres and preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Her research project ‘Out and About’ with Dr Catherine Hamm investigates innovative pedagogies for climate action (see  Her publications (with co-editor Will Parnell) include Rethinking Readiness in Early Childhood Education: Implications for Policy and Practice (2015), Disrupting Early Childhood Education Research: Imagining New Possibilities (2016) and Making Meaning in Early Childhood Research: Pedagogies and the Personal (2018). Her most recent text Higher Education and the Practice of Hope (2019) (co-authored with Clifton Tanabe) is part of the Rethinking Higher Education (Springer) series she co-edits with Clifton Tanabe.

© Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education

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