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As if communities mattered: Re-imagining leadership education in early childhood development Jessica Ball School As if communities mattered: Re-imagining leadership education in early childhood development Jessica Ball School of Child and Youth Care Early Childhood Development Intercultural Partnerships Program University of Victoria Canada

What are we doing? • What are we promoting? • What are we not What are we doing? • What are we promoting? • What are we not promoting? • When does leadership education strengthen local capacities? • When does leadership education erode local capacities? • Does the way we embody and teach leadership resonate with students or with local community leaders?

The leadership values, concepts, & models of leadership we export in graduate programs in The leadership values, concepts, & models of leadership we export in graduate programs in ECCD may be destructive of long-held understandings of what ‘leading’ means & how leaders are made & supported in local contexts.

What’s the matter with Western experts spreading around proven leadership skills? Ø Spawning a What’s the matter with Western experts spreading around proven leadership skills? Ø Spawning a generation of western-trained professionals who are dismissive of the knowledge & practical strengths of leaders within communities and families. Ø Reproducing patronizing practice approaches Ø Fueling the hegemony of ‘northern’ & Euro-western approaches Ø Endangering diversity of cultural knowledge Ø Pushing out knowledge & practices that are fitting for local circumstances Ø Disrupting local community governance Ø Inspiring brain drain Ø Driving local cultural knowledge underground Ø Perpetuating the shame & dependencies associated with colonialism

Create conditions for local leaders & knowledge about leadership to come into focus Overwhelming Create conditions for local leaders & knowledge about leadership to come into focus Overwhelming communities, practitioners, policy makers and students in the majority world with the gloss, theoretical sophistication, and ‘hard evidence’ of what is known by international faculty & scholars about leadership, while suppressing local wisdom, knowledge & demonstrations of leadership competence. Ø Create cultural safety for incorporating suppressed, secret, dispersed, and unarticulated knowledges residing within communities in leadership education

Create conditions for local leaders & knowledge about leadership to come into focus Ø Create conditions for local leaders & knowledge about leadership to come into focus Ø Re-distribute what we invest in consolidating and promoting our own knowledge technologies for export Ø Shift a greater share for communities to gather their own knowledge resources to prepare for collaborative, coconstructive participation in leadership education curricula, program quality assessment, program evaluation, and child development research.

Enormous investments in creating the latest and greatest training modules to transmit western knowledge Enormous investments in creating the latest and greatest training modules to transmit western knowledge

Why not ask them…. first? Leadership examples, wisdom, advice & feedback need to come, Why not ask them…. first? Leadership examples, wisdom, advice & feedback need to come, at least in part, from dialogue with members of communities to be supported by emerging leaders. Starting with local knowledge, collaborate to understand, consolidate, and explore practical applications and policy implications of diverse knowledge sources.

Co-scription within an open space Co-scription within an open space

Hybrid models of leadership So, are we doing Frierian adult education again? Maybe…. maybe Hybrid models of leadership So, are we doing Frierian adult education again? Maybe…. maybe not What do local needs, goals, & opportunities indicate? Global support networks & change in local communities may indicate the usefulness of hybrid approaches to leadership.

Code switching Emerging leaders could work dialectically Learning leadership that works locally Learning leadership Code switching Emerging leaders could work dialectically Learning leadership that works locally Learning leadership that works globally Alternating as needed, like learning to code-switch from one language or dialect to another

or not…. If not, what to do? ? Go native or go home Strengthening or not…. If not, what to do? ? Go native or go home Strengthening local capacity means building on what is appropriate & useful in local settings. …not seeking our own reflections.

Promising, Challenging Initiatives • First Nations Partnerships Programs, Canada • Early Childhood Development Virtual Promising, Challenging Initiatives • First Nations Partnerships Programs, Canada • Early Childhood Development Virtual University, Africa • BRAC M. A. Program in ECD Leadership, Bangladesh

First Nations Partnerships Program What of us is in here? First Nations Partnerships Program What of us is in here?

First Nations Partnerships Program 10 partnerships between U Victoria & groups of First Nations First Nations Partnerships Program 10 partnerships between U Victoria & groups of First Nations in western Canada 20 years, 152 Indigenous graduates in ECCD All 20 university-accredited courses combined: • University generated curricula, representing ‘mainstream’ research, theory, & practice approaches • Community-generated curriculum, embodying local & cultural knowledge, values, & practice approaches

“Being in this program is like having the best of both worlds. We love “Being in this program is like having the best of both worlds. We love to learn from our Elders about our own culture and how we can use it to help the children of our community, and we love to learn from our textbooks what researchers have found out. It’s like combining two worlds as one. ” Lois Andrews, Lil’wat Nation

Co-constructing leadership concepts Indigenous community Elders co-taught in every course Community-based delivery meant that Co-constructing leadership concepts Indigenous community Elders co-taught in every course Community-based delivery meant that Elders & other community members could guide, advise, & role model for students Indigenous community administrators were assertive about what they wanted from the partnering institution because they were fed up with mainstream institutions not knowing how to behave as true partners. “This partnership was a true partnership and I can’t think of a better way between a First Nation and a university. ” Brian Opekokew, Administrator, Onion Lake First Nation

Promising, Challenging Initiatives BRAC University M. A. Program in ECD in Bangladesh Early Childhood Promising, Challenging Initiatives BRAC University M. A. Program in ECD in Bangladesh Early Childhood Development Virtual University, U Victoria Challenges: • Recruiting grassroots, community-based, emerging leaders • Lead time & funds for local partners to source & consolidate local knowledge on course themes • Time, funds, & local mentorship for students to ‘intern’ with local leaders, develop skills in working with community, & deriving lessons from local texts BEFORE being immersed in Western teaching & texts.

Partnership: An ethic of reciprocity North-South partnerships typically involve a mainstream institution or donor Partnership: An ethic of reciprocity North-South partnerships typically involve a mainstream institution or donor providing the “content expertise” & the “beneficiary” partner providing the “logistics” (e. g. , classroom space, computer hardware, recruiting students, buying courseware from North America) An ethic of reciprocity implies knowledge exchange/reciprocal learning Rogoff’s: Apprenticeship model, Communities of learners Wenger’s: Communities of practice

An ethic of reciprocity • In what directions do emerging leaders in ECCD want An ethic of reciprocity • In what directions do emerging leaders in ECCD want go? • Where do emerging & in-country/ community leaders see gaps in capacity, and avenues for leadership development? • How can leadership initiatives draw upon local sources of wisdom about leadership & locally defined goals for pushing leadership development to pursue ECCD agendas that are meaningful with local contexts?

For further reflection on this & other topics in ECCD, please visit www. ecdip. For further reflection on this & other topics in ECCD, please visit www. ecdip. org