We hope you are all well and that 2021 will be a much better year for our RECE Organisation, and for all of you, and for all teachers, children and families around the world. While the situation is still very difficult, we’re starting to see glimmers of hope.
In the meantime, we are very pleased to provide you with some updates from the RECE Steering Committee. The RECE Steering Committee has been meeting every two weeks over the past year, and in subcommittees every other week, leading RECE projects and planning the future of the organisation. Much of our focus has been on maintaining the future sustainability of the Reconceptualising movement in early childhood education, supporting our scholarship and activism.
2020 started as a very strong year for RECE. We came enthused from our 2019 conference, where thanks to the Host Committee and chair, Michelle Perez, RECE hosted one of our best attended conferences (over 400 members) and made a substantial contribution towards our RECE funds. This led to an establishment of the RECE Finance Committee, which is tasked with ensuring that the organisation is fiscally strong and is able to invest into projects to fulfil its mission. In 2020 RECE contributed $2000 to each of two organizations in Las Cruces, New Mexico that work with indigenous and bilingual children and unsheltered families (Raices del Saber Xinachtli Community School and Jadin de los Ninos).
Unfortunately, as the situation in 2020 unfolded, we had to make the decision to postpone our 2020 conference in Palestine. While we intend to have a conference in Palestine in the future, currently no date has been set for this. However, we are delighted to announce that RECE is preparing to launch, together with Bethlehem University, a scholarship fund for early childhood teachers. We will be providing more information, including how members can be involved, once the details are finalised.
Another major project for the RECE Steering Committee has been to develop the RECE Charter. Following careful consultation via sub-committees and the whole RECE membership, we believe that it covers the key positions and formalises some of our process, making them both fair and transparent. The appendices are a work in progress and we will be calling on members to join in and help us to chart our futures. The Charter is expected to be amended as we develop and grow; but it is the Steering Committee’s hope that we will be able to approve the current version at our February Business Meeting.
Beth Blue Swadener has been working with Deborah Jacobs, Common Good Web Design, to re-vamp our RECE Website, which has now been launched. We invite you to explore it and we are very open to any feedback and most importantly welcome any blogs or further submissions.
The virtual events team is perhaps the most active and vibrant of our subcommittees. They are planning a series of 3 monthly events or virtual forums on the theme “[In]justices and Counteractions in Early Childhood Contexts.” In this 3-part series, scholars and activists from the RECE community will engage in discussion about early childhood education practices focused on: (1) racial justice and anti-racist praxis, (2) climate justice and Indigenous perspectives, and (3) gender issues and feminist framings of early childhood. Each is being planned with regional time zones in mind so that we continue to reflect the international reach and commitment of RECE. The format will be a panel of four speakers from different nations, with discussion, followed by a more informal Salon. Dates for the virtual events are: March 24th (or 25th, depending on time zone), April 28th (29th), and May 26th (27th). We are also planning to mark the 30th anniversary of RECE first conference in 1991 with virtual events in October/November 2021!
Last but not least, you may wonder when we will next see each other again? RECE has been centred around our face-to-face meeting, and we are pleased that Samara Akpovo from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville is still planning a face to face event in the post-covid world, sometime in late 2022.
Marek Tesar (Chair)
On behalf of the RECE Steering Committee
Marianne (Mimi) Bloch
Beth Blue Swadener