Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education
by: Lucy Heimer, Thelma Nayquonabe and Dianne Sullivan (pictured)
Recently, Thelma Nayquonabe and Dianne Sullivan from the LCO Ojibwe Community College, along with Lucy Heimer, Associate Professor at UW-Whitewater, traveled to Toronto, Canada to present at the 25th International RECE Conference, Finding a Home in the World: Migration, Indigeneity, and Citizenship, at Ryerson University, on October 24-27, 2017.
The women presented a research paper titled, Walking in Complex Worlds: The power of translation in one collaborative education policy effort. The conference program description of the presentation stated, "With racial understanding at a disturbingly low point, our work regarding the ability to translate across racial and cultural lines holds power.... this work connects the history of colonization to inform the present and plan for a future that connects authentic indigenous cultural and linguistic identity with current early childhood education policy."
The project has been a three-year writing collaboration based on friendships and connections of 20 years in work with children in education. The research paper is a duoethnography based on storytelling by the authors combined with early childhood theory.
Thelma is the faculty member for Early Childhood Education at the college since 2007, while Dianne is faculty in AODA and Human Services. Lucy Heimer was the 4th grade teacher at the LCO Elementary School in 1997 before returning to graduate school at UW-Madison.
The project has supported communication toward two articulation agreements and creation of a cultural immersion class for UW-Whitewater ECE students who come to the LCOOCC to take a course in Ojibwe Culture and work in the classrooms at the LCO K-12 School. The authors are working on polishing the paper and plan to submit it for publication.