30th Annual Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE) Conference
Justice for Young Children, Families, and Communities: An Ethical Imperative
Erikson Institute, Chicago Illinois USA
November 1-5, 2024
We invite proposals from early childhood researchers, scholars, teachers, pedagogues, teacher-educators, and activists for the 30th Annual RECE Conference to be held in-person and online at Erikson Institute, Chicago USA.
Call for Proposals
The dominant historical narrative of early childhood education, which purports that the field has 1800s “European roots,” ignores millennia of early care and education practices outside of institutional settings (preschools, kindergartens, etc.) in the community. In Europe, it excludes marginalized groups and classes and, critically, the majority world in its entirety. Black, Indigenous, and other communities of Color, are often situated outside this narrow history of the field. This power dynamic has consistently centered and advanced the interests of those holding power and defining norms in societies, subjugating and devaluing valuable practices and expertise — generation after generation.
In addition to the power dynamics in early childhood education—who counts as a professional, how quality is defined, and whose ways and systems of knowing are centered—we live in a world where the dehumanization and disposability of many lives has become routine. We are currently experiencing violent conflicts in several regions of the world where the lives and livelihoods of children and their families are under constant threat. It is this violation of young children, families, and communities that creates obligations for early childhood teachers, researchers, scholars, activists, and related professionals. This is the context framing the conference theme: “Justice for Young Children, Families and Communities: An Ethical Imperative.”
Justice requires both intention and action. With the understanding that justice is as justice does, how might we engage in (re)imagining more just futures for children, families, the workforce, and communities? That is, how might we extend ourselves, our practices, our research, and our policy work in the pursuit of justice?
This year’s theme conveys the urgent need to identify and interrupt injustices and foster equity by thinking and working differently; focusing on putting things right and repairing the harm(s) caused with renewed attention on healing; reworking relationships with communities; and acknowledging our interconnected responsibility to identify the root cause of injustice.
Participants are invited to (re)think justice in the face of everyday injustices, historically rooted inequities, environmental and policy practices that reflect the long-lasting footprint of colonialism, and ongoing terrors experienced by children. And—while RECE has historically sought to address issues of justice and equity—given the current conditions under which many children, families and communities are living (often just barely), continuing and expanding upon this work is an ethical imperative.
For the 30th conference, we invite proposals that take up this ethical imperative that explicitly address the theme of the conference, as well as proposals that address other ongoing visions of RECE, including (but not limited to) those which:
Ultimately, we seek to develop a program filled with possibilities, as we hope to compile an entire constellation of possibilities to guide RECE—and the field—toward a more just future.
The deadline for submissions is 15 March, 2024. Proposals can only be submitted to the online portal beginning on January 30, 2024. Note: To facilitate the timely announcement of the conference program, there will be no deadline extension. Proposals will be reviewed by our international program committee and volunteer reviewers.
Your name may appear on only one submission, in order to promote broad participation in the conference.
Types of Sessions
The 2024 RECE conference will include three types of sessions. All sessions can be presented in-person or on-line:
1. Themed panel proposals combine several papers by a self-organized group of presenters under a common theme. The panel papers relate to each other and encourage connection across individual presentations. We recommend that 3 papers be part of panel proposals.
Because they afford dialogue among the individual papers in a session, panel proposals are especially welcome. A themed panel can be delivered in multiple manners and we encourage innovative ways of presenting and engaging with the session attendees.
2. Individual papers. Individual papers will be programmed within sessions where authors present abbreviated versions of their papers for 20 minutes, followed by audience discussion. Each session will be scheduled for a 90-minute time slot, usually combining three individual papers.
In consideration of RECE’s purpose as a community of scholarship, individuals must be attentive to the time allocation for presenting their work so that all members of a session have time to share their work. If including more than one speaker for your individual paper submission, the continuity and cohesiveness of the overall presentation needs to be maintained and that presentation may only use its allocated (20-minute) presentation time.
This session will generally be scheduled for no more than 90-minutes. Please ensure that you bring to the session all needed materials for your workshop, as other material resources will not be available at the conference venue. It is also imperative that in planning for this session that time be allocated to returning the physical space to its original conferencing condition, including any rearrangement of furniture that may have been needed.
Proposals must strictly adhere to the word count limitations and preferably utilize 1.5 line spacing. All proposals must be submitted as a Word document.
Please include the following in your proposal:
You will be notified of the outcome of your proposal for presentations no later than April 20, 2024.
Indication of whether “fast-track” reviewing is needed: Experience from prior conferences shows that participants from some countries may experience prolonged time getting visas to attend the conference in-person. To facilitate in-person attendance where possible, we will review proposals with anticipated visa difficulties as fast as possible. Please indicate if you think this is needed.
Supporting Multiple Languages
For RECE 2024, should you choose to do so, section eight (the 100-word abstract) can be written in both the presenter’s primary language and English. Accepted presenters will have both versions of their 100-word abstracts appear in the final online program.
Due to the logistics of managing proposal reviews and program production, all other parts of the proposal must be written in English.
If you have any questions about visa related to invitation letters for presenters and attendees at the RECE conference, please contact Sonya Gaches.
Interested in being a reviewer?
If you are interested in being a proposal reviewer for the RECE 2024 conference, please email Sonya Gaches. You will then receive a link to a questionnaire that will help guide the further reviewing process. Please complete the questionnaire as soon as you receive it so that we can move quickly into proposal reviewing. There is a very tight timeline to ensure acceptance notifications can be sent in a timely manner.