Working Group on Men in ECE: A Few Historical Highlights
by Don Piburn
Slide 1- Introduction:
These are strictly a few historical highlights, as there have been countless leadership statements, action cards, reports, grant projects, learning tours, keynote presentations, symposiums, retreats, and email conversations by the score affiliated with or spun off of Men in ECE WG.
I focus here on the World Forums on ECE because these amazing international forums serve as the stock that binds all our various global pieces together.
This all began when some seeds planted by Bonnie, Roger, and Bryan Nelson came to fruition at the 2005 World Forum Montreal, Canada, where a panel on “Men in the Lives of Young Children” generated “a great deal of interest.”
Note in the lower left picture of Bonnie with the African delegates, the tall woman on her left is wearing one of our buttons that says Expect Male involvement: Gender balance is Good for Young Children.
Fall, 2006. Planning began for the World Forum on Men in Early Childhood Education Honolulu.
Winter, 2007 – The Men in ECE Working Group became an ongoing project of the World Forum Foundation, rather than just a single event. Global leaders were identified and invited to join the Leadership Team, much like this call today.
2007 World Forum Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – After bonding through a plethora of email discussions, our Men in ECE WG Leadership Team meet face-to-face for the very first time to plan and promote the 2008 WF on Men in ECE in Honolulu.
2008 World Forum on Men in ECE Honolulu, United States was held – International Conference to shed light on the many roles of men, what attracts them, and what enhances their sense of belonging in the field of ECE.
2009 World Forum Belfast, Northern Ireland – A particular highlight of that year was the World Forum Foundation and Kenny Spence’s Men in Child Care (MIC) UK collaboration to revitalize the European Men in Childcare Network.
2011 World Forum Honolulu, United States – Men in ECE WG and Kamehameha Schools – a school for native Hawaiian Children and the largest private school in the nation, cosponsor the Learning Tour “He Mea Pā’ani (It’s about Play): Games from Around the World.” Delegates capitalized on Hawaii’s celebrated climate and take the learning outside.
2014 World Forum San Juan, Puerto Rico – Men in ECE WG plan and collaborate for “World ForumNet” social networking platform and on how cross-pollination with other WGs strengthens all.
2017 World Forum Auckland, New Zealand – Men in ECE WG plans for future directions, bonds with old friends, and connects with ECMENz, a network of men and women dedicated to highlighting the many important roles men play in the early childhood education sector in New Zealand.