Mothering and migration: (Trans)nationalism, globalization & displacement

Call for papers for a conference from the Association for Research on Mothering (ARM), as posted on the mnchp-l listserv: Mothering and Migration: (Trans)nationalisms, Globalization, and Displacment. The conference will be held February 18-20, 2010 at the University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico.

Submissions are welcome from scholars, students, activists, government agencies and workers, artists, mothers, and others who work or research in the area. Cross-cultural, historical and comparative work is encouraged. Topics can include (but not limited to):

Representations/images of mothers and migration and (trans)national issues; globalization of motherhood; empowering migrant mothers; reproduction and movement of mother workers; migrant and (trans)national mothers and capitalism; migrant and (trans)national mothers and activism; public policy issues.

For more information, contact the ARM at or 416.736.2100 ext 60366. Or visit the ARM website. Abstract and bio deadline is Sept 1/09.

“They don’t like us”

Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, Vol. 10, No. 1 includes the article “They Don’t Like Us”: Reflections of Turkish Children in a German Preschool, by Fikriye Kurban and Joseph Tobin, Arizona State University. From the abstract:

In this article, the authors present multiple interpretations of a transcript of a discussion with a group of Turkish-German girls in a kindergarten in Berlin, Germany. These five-year-old girls make statements suggesting they experience alienation from their non-Turkish classmates and teachers, and the wider German society. The authors argue that the meanings of these statements should not be taken at face value. Instead, they employ interpretive strategies borrowed mostly from Mikhail Bakhtin and interpretive frameworks taken from Judith Butler, and post-colonial theory and Critical Race Theory to suggest that the girls’ utterances can be usefully seen as having a performative dimension and as expressing tensions around immigration that can be found in the larger society.

Sick Kids Hospital receives settlement funding

The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto has received over 9 million in settlement funding to establish an “immigrant support network“. 

The network will provide translations of 45 “core patient health education” articles into languages spoken by newcomer patients and their families, including Chinese, French, Tamil, Spanish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Vietnamese and Arabic. Articles will be posted on and

George Brown College summer institute 2009

Many workshops at the annual George Brown College Summer Institute this year (held in Toronto) address issues of diversity, including:

Listening to Families: Presenting findings from a research project that demonstrates effective strategies for service providers in meeting the values and priorities of diverse families. Presented by Dr. Mehru Ali, Ryerson University.

See the web page at George Brown for the full details of the 2009 Summer Institute.

Germany’s language program for newcomers (parents & children together)

The Frankfurt Office of Multicultural Affairs has partnered with city schools and day nurseries to offer a 2nd language learning class – for immigrant parents and their children.

The “Mums Learn German – even Papa” program pairs newcomer parents and children together two mornings a week where they both learn German. The program is a unique language learning experience, where the language lessons are built around the practicalities of life in a new country. Mothers learn about the school system and what their children do in school, helping form a foundation for parental involvement and a strong relationship between parents and the school. (Source: Cities of Migration).

The early years study ~ 10 years later

The landmark Early Years Study, subtitled The Real Brain Drain, was released on April 20, 1999.

See also a “very brief history” of the Early Years Study posted on the Health Nexus Santé (formerly the Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse) blog in March 2005, including links to the follow-up report The Early Years Study: Three Years Later, recounting how the early years initiative was rolled out in Ontario via the Ontario Early Years Centres.

Fraser Mustard and the Council on Early Child Development continue to work to raise awareness of and support for an early childhood learning and care program for all children and their families across Canada as the first tier to the formal school system.

See the upcoming conference sponsored by the Council on Early Child Development May 13-15 in New Brunswick, Putting Science into Action: Equity from the Start Through Early Child Development.

How responsive have the Ontario Early Years Centres been to immigrant and refugee families and young children?

Importance of retaining home language for newcomer children

As profiled on before, the initiative promotes the importance of newcomer children retaining their ‘home language’. Research shows that retaining and regularly using the mother tongue helps children learn a 2nd and 3rd language and is a proactive way for families to keep their culture alive as they integrate into Canadian society.

The website has added a power point presentation of key points in this discussion. Find it in their Resources section. Also available in Russian and in Ukranian.

Related posts:


Research papers on

New citizenship law

An amendment to the existing Citizenship Act comes into force April 17, 2009. Changes will impact citizenship status on different groups, including children. Here’s the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) official explanation on the first generation limitation (CIC reports that it will update the page for more information, as questions are raised): 

Under the current rules, it’s possible for Canadians to pass on their citizenship to endless generations born outside Canada. To protect the value of Canadian citizenship for the future, the new law will – with a few exceptions – limit citizenship by descent to one generation born outside Canada.

This means that children born to Canadian parents in the first generation outside Canada will only be Canadian at birth if:

– one parent was born in Canada, or

– one parent became a Canadian citizen by immigrating to Canada and was later granted citizenship (also called naturalization).

The rules may also affect children adopted by Canadian parents outside Canada, depending on the way in which the child obtained, or will obtain, their Canadian citizenship. Learn more about the new citizenship law and adoption

Learning about Canada by learning hockey

York Region (Ontario) has funded the Community Alliance for York Region Education‘s new program “Slapshot”. According to news, the program uses hockey to teach newcomer children “lessons about teamwork, leadership, nutrition and community building” and, ostensibly, about being a Canadian.

From the news announcement: “How can you teach and develop life skills along with creating an active lifestyle to youngsters new to Canada? For those new to Markham, one way is to get them onto the ice and indoctrinate them into one of Canada’s national pastimes … hockey”.

Bernard van Leer annotated bibliography on social inclusion and diversity in early childhood

The Bernard van Leer Foundation‘s annotated bibliography of resources and publications in social inclusion and diversity is called “Valuing the Learning“.

The resource is organized in three main sections.

Section A: Theories, concepts and ways of viewing concerns with resources that mostly focus on theory and key concepts and include the following overlapping sections:

Diversity, belonging and positive identity, such as inclusion and access, linguistic diversity, relationships, place identity, self-image.

Children as citizens, child participation, the visibility of children, spaces for children.

Early Childhood Education and Care as democratic process and the relationship between ECEC and social inclusion, social capital and well-being.

Section B: Working with children, parents, early childhood practitioners and trainers includes the following:

Engaging, involving and listening to children.

Engaging, involving and listening to parents.

Changing attitudes, behaviours and structures and advocacy strategies. 

Innovative training and professional development.

Creating spaces to belong.

Part C: Information exchange and dissemination of information, including:


Communicating, through shared knowledge, conferences, publications, translations.

Researching and documentation.

Source: Kernan, M. 2008. Valuing the learning: An annotated bibliography of the resources and publications of the Bernard van Leer Foundation and its partners in the area of Social Inclusion and Respect for Diversity (2002-2008). Online Outreach Paper 6. The Hague, The Netherlands: Bernard van Leer Foundation.

Early childhood education and racial and ethnic divisions conference, Belgium

The Joint Learning Initiative on Children and Ethnic Diversity presents Early Childhood Education in Contexts of Racial and Ethnic Divisions Conference, April 29/09 at Ghent University, Belgium.

“The conference will consist of three to four round table discussions with the experts on common strands about delivering programs of early childhood education in contexts of ethnic division. The experts will meet two days prior to the conference to discuss these strands and will continue their discussion with the audience. Consequently, there will be no programm with distinct individual key-note speeches. Rather, participants will be able to follow in-depth discussions and participate in them”.

Some of the invited experts include representatives from Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, Hebrew University, UNICEF/OSI/REF, University of Melbourne and the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

Women’s Refugee Commission May luncheon event, NYC

The Women’s Refugee Commission (formerly the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children) is celebrating their 20th anniversary with a luncheon honouring two extraordinary women.

Dr. Shamail Azimi, physician who returned to Afghanistan after the Taliban fell in 2001 and who lead a team of female physicians in providing maternal and child-health care services.

Mariatu Kamara, a child refugee of Sierra Leone, now studying at the University of Toronto, who serves as the UNICEF Special Representative for Children. Mariatu is co-author of The Bite of the Mango, her memoir.

The luncheon will be held Thursday May 7 at Gotham Hall, New York City. For more information, call 212.763.8590 or visit the Women’s Refugee Commission website and event page.