Call for papers: Multicultural education: Past, present & future

From the listserv of the National Association of Multicultural Education: Call for papers for the fifth anniversay special issue. Theme: Multicultural Education: Past, Present, and Future.

“The editors of the International Journal of Multicultural Education (IJME) want to take advantage of this special 5th anniversary issue to reflect on the state of the field: where it has been, where it is, and where it is going. To do this, we will publish manuscripts that highlight important insights about multicultural education theory, teaching and research.

“We have selected an emphasis on the demonstrated effectiveness of multicultural education because we beleive that an evidentiary focus is expected by public and professional audiences more than ever in today’s high-stakes education policy and thus needs to figure more prominently in its future, especially if multicultural education is to enhance legitimacy within and beyond the accountability discourse of present educational priorities. For this reason, we seek manuscripts that link learner outcomes to particular goals that include, but are not limited to, developing:

– socio-historical and socio-cultural knowledge in service of an affirming orientation toward diversity

– constructivist dispositions toward knowlege, teaching, and learning in recognition of the partial, value- and power-laden nature of school curriculum, instruction, and assessment and of the broader cultural pedagogy of society

– change-agent skils of voice and organization for the purpose of active democratic participation”.

For submission information, see IJME. Submission deadline is April 1, 2012.

Multi-faith calendar from AMSSA/ANCIE

Our friends at ANCIE/AMSSA (AMSSA Newcomer Children Information Exchange & Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC) are accepting orders for their 2012 multi-faith calendar. The calendar highlights the dates and provides descriptions of almost 400 observances and events from 14 world religions. Useful for planning purposes in early learning and child care environments and other community and social services.

To order your calendar, contact ANCIE/AMSSA here.

Internationally trained Early Childhood Educators experiences and work prospects

An Investigation of the Career Paths of Internationally Trained Early Childhood Educators Transitioning into Early Learning Programs (PDF) conducted by Shelly Mehta, Zeenat Janmohamed, and Carl Corter, the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development.

Some background (taken from the report):

“In 2006, the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario in partnership with Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office and the School of Early Childhood at George Brown College established the Access to Early Childhood Education program (referred to as the ECE Bridging Program) to address the need to bridge internationally trained early childhood educators into the Canadian workforce and to rectify the labour force shortage in the early childhood sector. During the second phase of the project, additional funding was secured expanding the project’s capacity by providing direct services in two identified high need immigrant communities in Hamilton and Ottawa. The project added Alqonguin College, Mohawk College and Hamilton’s Affiliated Services for Children and Youth to its partnership roster. In the last decade there have been an increasing number of internationally trained educators seeking early childhood equivalency in Ontario (AECEO 2011). Despite a wide variety of education credentials and professional experience, like other immigrants, early childhood educators with international training are not recognized by employers for their knowledge and expertise. As a result, the ECE Bridging Program was developed to provide an opportunity to combine international education with relevant early childhood courses in Ontario that would lead to ECE credential equivalency”.

This research examines the pathway to employment in the field of early childhood education (ECE) for internationally trained practitioners and the experiences of internationally trained professionals in the ECE Bridging Program.

Head Start and National Center for Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness working together for refugee children

US-based BRYCS (Building Refugee Youth and Children’s Services) shares a policy brief and list of resources related to the collaborative work being done by Head Start and the National Center for Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness in increasing access to and creating culturally competent programs for newly arrived refugee children.

A bit about BRYCS (from their website): “Since 2001, BRYCS has emphasized ‘bridging refugee and children’s services’ to promote the well-being and successful integration of refugee children and their families as our newest Americans. For many reasons—including limited funding, different legislative mandates, and cultural and linguistic barriers—refugee resettlement and “mainstream” service systems often work in isolation from each other, resulting in barriers to culturally responsive services for refugees. In past years, BRYCS has addressed these gaps by developing and implementing a collaboration model in a number of communities”.

Children on the move: The impact of voluntary and involuntary migration on the lives of children

A special issue of Global Studies of Childhood (Vol 1, No 2, 2011) on the impact of migration on the lives of children has been released. Edited by Ada Lai and Rupert MacLean, the issue includes the following articles:

Ravinder Sidhu, Sandra Taylor & Pam Christie. Schooling and Refugees: Engaging with the complex trajectories of globalisation.

Su-Ann Oh. Rice, Slippers, Bananas and Caneball: Children’s narratives of internal displacement and forced migration from Burma.

Rajeshwari Asokaraj. Resisting Bare Life: Children’s reproduction of quotidian culture in a Sri Lankan camp.

Antonina Tereshchenko & Helena C. Araujo. Stories of Belonging: Ukrainian immigrant children’s experiences of Portugal.

Celeste Y.M. Yuen & Rosalind Wu. New Schooling and New Identities: Chinese immigrant students’ perspectives.

For information on the journal, see the Global Studies of Childhood website.

Immigrant children, youth and families: A Qualitative analysis of the challenges of integration

This spring, the Social Planning Council of Ottawa concluded work on “Immigrant children, youth and families: A Qualitative analysis of the challenges of integration”, as part of their Families in Community project.

The report addresses the disconnect when newcomer families feel their parenting and child-rearing methods are not acknowledged/respected and the tension service providers feel about some newcomers who they perceive demonstrate a lack of commitment to early child development.

Next stages in the SPCO Families in Community project will result in:

An analysis of best/good practices for culturally-based family supports by ethno-cultural organizations.

Supports to good/best practices within 8 pilot projects with small ethno-cultural organizations.

A resource kit for mainstream family services based on good practices serving new immigrant families.

The report will be launched at the annual Social Planning Council of Ottawa AGM, May 26, 2011 in Ottawa. For information, contact Helene by May 15 at 613-236-9300 ext. 300 office@spcottawa.on.ca.  Free admission, but donations are welcome.

Newcomer Children’s Services in BC

The Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA) May 9th  AMSSA Newcomer Children’s Information Exchange, or ANCIE Bulletin, announces the release of the “Compendium of Newcomer Children’s Services in British Columbia” and links to videos and presentations from the first Provincial Symposium on Cultural Competencies: Supporting Newcomer Children, held at SFU Harbour Centre in February, 2010.

What a rich resource! The Compendium provides an overview of programs and services for newcomer children from birth to age 12. It was developed by AMSSA member agencies in BC. The Compendium includes:

•    A list of programs developed at the community level for newcomer children
•    An overview of general children’s programs that have been modified to meet the specific needs of newcomer children
•    Agencies, groups and individuals with expertise in providing services to newcomer children.

Presentations at the February 2010 symposium, linked in the Bulletin include:

•    Sylvia Helmer, UBC, ESL Consultant: Cultural Competency in the Classroom and Curriculum
•    Jim Anderson, UBC: Engaging Newcomer Children and Parents through Literacy
•    Deb Kohen and Amber Phillips, Ministry of Children and Family Development: Positive Parenting Program: Helping newcomer families understand Canadian laws and norms in discipline and parenting.

Welcoming newcomer children

Dr. Judith A. Colbert has recently launched the book “Welcoming Newcomer Children: The Settlement of Young Immigrants and Refugees”.

In her book, Dr. Colbert proposes ten steps to quality for newcomer child care. The book asks caregivers to consider the unique settlement needs of immigrant and refugee children; draws on international research; examines values and beliefs on child care from non-Western points of view; and suggests strategies for working with newly arrived immigrant and refugee children, from birth to Kindergarten age.

Childminding program CMAS launches new website

CMAS – Childminding Monitoring and Advisory Support – is the organization funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to monitor the child care component of the LINC program (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada). CMAS has launched a revamped website, with a new tag line

CMAS is committed to being a leader in the care of newcomer children through ongoing support and promotion of high quality newcomer child care services”.

Cultural influences on language and literacy

Coming soon, a ZERO TO THREE edited collection of essays on language and literacy development in the very young child, entitled Cradling Literacy. ZERO TO THREE is making available now one of the chapters, “Cultural influences on early language and literacy teaching practices” (PDF), by Rebecca Parlakian, ZERO TO THREE and Sylviay Sanchez, George Mason University. From the announcement:

“Children learn to communicate in the context of their home culture. Beginning at birth, children use their home language and culturally accepted communication styles to connect with others in a meaningful way, forming the secure relationships that are so intrinsic to healthy development. For the early childhood teacher, it is important to establish supportive, respectful relationships as well-with both families and children. These connections help teachers learn more about the strengths, needs, and culture of every child in their care. Collaborative relationships with families also provide teachers with the information they need to support children’s individual language and literacy development. By creating a richly diverse and welcoming environment, by remaining aware of their own cultural beliefs (and biases), and by identifying a variety of teaching strategies to share the magic of print and language, early childhood teachers can spark a lifelong love of reading in the children they care for”.

Related resource (and a Canadian one too!): mylanguage.ca.

Family Support Institute Ontario conference

The Family Support Institute Ontario will be hosting a conference and pre-conference session (on parent engagement) from Nov 17-20, 2010 in Toronto. Two sessions are focused on newcomer children and families:

Anti Bias Literacy Environments

In this workshop we will look at creating anti bias literacy environments that promote the concept of empathy. Supporting a child’s transition from home language over to English language learning will also be a focus of this workshop. Ideas for creating anti bias literacy activities will also be included through early authoring, book nook transformations and parent involvement. Small group brainstorming will identify challenges that we face and the successes that we share. A portion of the workshop will also be devoted to common myths around English language learners, and some mainstream ideas around home language preservation and the best practices in promoting bilingualism. Presenter: Alka Burman, Early Literacy Specialist, Region of Peel.

Listening to Families: Reframing Services

This interactive workshop will give participants an overview of the Listening to Families: Reframing Services project, which is premised on our belief that if service providers knew the rich and complex stories of the families they serve, they could reach out to more families who are not benefiting from their services, and increase the effectiveness of their work for families they already serve. Examples of family narratives will be shared with participants and a comprehensive bibliography will also be provided. Presenters: Mehru Ali, Patricia Corson and Elaine Frankel, Ryerson University. (Source: conference program).

For more info, visit the conference webpage or email conference2010@fsio.ca.

Mothercraft’s course for settlement workers: Caring for Canada’s Children, Year 2

Mothercraft, with funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, will  offer a 2nd year of their ‘Caring for Canada’s Children’ webinar/in-class course for practitioners working with newcomer children and families. The series builds on year one and will “delve further into the issues that many newcomer families face through the immigration process. This examination will be done through presentations, case studies and practical interactive learning opportunities” (Source: Email blast to former participants).

Archived presentations from Year 1 are available here in English and also here in French.

Year 2 offerings:

  1. Building cross-cultural competence (Sept 22, 2010)
  2. Building trusting relationships with families: Towards a motivational understanding of change (Oct 13, 2010)
  3. Promoting children’s mental health (Nov 10, 2010)
  4. Understanding attachment: How early relationships influence the brain’s architecture (Dec 8, 2010)
  5. Building circles of support through service coordination (Jan 19, 2011)
  6. Developing relationships with child welfare services (Feb 16, 2011).

For more information, including how to register, visit the Mothercraft Caring for Canada’s Children website.