Are you going to the Nov 28th meeting in Ottawa to work on formalizing the CCICY? Please post reactions, responses and comments about the meeting on the blog for all of us to learn about what happened.
This is an archive of immigrantchildren.ca
ZS (Zofia Sonia) Worotynec set up immigrantchildren.ca in 2007 as part of a volunteer contribution to the since defunct Canadian Coalition for Immigrant Children and Youth. From 2008 to 2021 the blog was a solo passion where ZS would share information, resources, and opinions on issues related to immigrant, refugee, newcomer children and youth in Canada.
I will not be able to attend the working group in Ottawa on the 28th, but sent the following comments.
I think what needs to change for immigrant children and youth, whether locally or nationally is the same. Since children in this country, from a very early age spend time segregated in institutions of care and learning, i.e. childcare and schooling, it is imperative that their indigenous ways of knowing and being become central in the practice and pedagogy of these institutions. Etienne Wenger speaks of classrooms as communities of practice where belonging, meaning, and identity are derived. This can only be the case if children see themselves able to engage, imagine, and align with what is being offered in the classroom. For newcomer children and youth, a completely Eurocentric curriculum, practice, and pedagogy leaves little possibility for them to bring themselves to the experience.
A great deal of work needs to be done to first of all invite opportunities for newcomers to share their indigenous knowledge, and then to develop ways to implement this knowing and being into various settings, with the aim of establishing what George Sefa Dei and others refer to as multicentric transformative classrooms.
The role CCICY can play in this process is to actively encourage research that contributes to increased knowledge of other ways of being in the world with children and youth, to act as a repository of such research, and to serve in its dissemination. This can be done through on line methods, as well as printed data. The CCICY could also serve as a liaison between individuals and institutions wishing to give and receive information relevant to changing practice in this way.
Thanks Darcey. I’m interested in learning more about how we might “encourage research” to create multicentric classrooms (and child care centres and family resource programs). How do we feel about the “anti-bias” approach to early childhood, widely heralded in many a community college curriculum.
In addition to Darcey’s response, the other comment I received about what kinds of actions/activities the Early Childhood Working Group should focus on include:
– the importance of first language maintenance in the home, including supports to families
– working with early childhood educators and child care workers
– dual language processing and behaviour
– the nature of bilingualism
– exploding myths surrounding bilingualism.
Please respond with more ideas at anytime.
I met with Roma from Ryerson on Sunday. As promised, here’s the update:
25 or so folks from across Canada met to discuss vision, mission, goals and objectives of the CCICY. A DRAFT report on the day is to be circulated among all CCICY members for comment. Let’s hope that comes soon and that we – the Early Childhood Working Group – can see ourselves in the vision/mission statements and that they help guide in beginning engaging in some actions.
The report is now online at the immigrantchildren.ca blog – see the entry for February 18/08 and on the CCICY website on the “newsletter” page at http://www.lerc.educ.ubc.ca/CCICY/newsletter.html.