If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know I have concerns about the current direction of education for the littles. These are not strictly academic concerns-- between. children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, there are seven members of my family in the under-five age bracket.
So I am happy to see this announcement in my in-box from Defending the Early Years:
DEY is excited to announce its first Early Childhood Organizing Leadership Summer Institute to be held in July 2019. The Institute will bring together 15-20 early childhood educators and advocates from across the country to spend several days developing leadership skills and advocating on Capitol Hill. The institute will provide early childhood advocates with the opportunity to learn various organizing skills, identify threats to the early childhood profession, network with other early childhood leaders, and develop a platform for protecting childhood.
DEY was founded in 2012, one more grass roots reaction to the problems of Common Core. They have rapidly built an organization that is strong in both educating about the issues and advocating for better policies for the littles. They work with many experts and organizations in the field of early childhood ed, send reps to a variety of conferences, and pump out publications to help get their point across. They do a lot of good work.
That's why I'm excited to see this summer institute being launched. Early childhood is an area loaded with people who look at the crazy emphasis on making kindergarten the new first grade and making pre-k an academic activity and just a general trend that can only end with pumping algebra lessons into fetuses somehow-- anyway, folks look at all this and say, "Well, this is clearly wrong, but I don't know how to explain the wrongness and I don't know how to do anything about it." Littles are at a disadvantage because their parents are usually young and not sure how to wade into any of this (or worse, simply assume that The People In Charge must know what they're doing).
This institute seems like the perfect way to address some that. DEY is planning on two days of learning and one day of lobbying. It sounds very cool.
I can't pass on more specifics because apparently there aren't any yet, but there is a chance for you to weigh in on what you would like to see happen at the institute. Just follow this link to a survey.
And even if you can't travel, you should (if you have not already) check out DEY's website and sign up for their newsletter.