(ECD/CD) Scholars Workshop

The Johannesburg 2013 ECD/CD workshop is being organised by the Early Childhood Development Virtue University (ECDVU) of the University of Victoria in Canada and builds on earlier work undertaken by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) and University of Victoria supported workshop held in Victoria BC, 2009.

This is an invitational conference/workshop designed to help advance a science of Early Childhood Education, Care and Development (ECDE), and child development more broadly, that is inclusive of African perspectives, priorities, values and scholarly leaders. This conference focuses on Africa because African voices—as contributions driven by unique African conceptions and realities—are woefully underrepresented in a global knowledge base dominated by Euro-American conceptions of ECDE and child development (ECDE/CD). Africa is disadvantaged in knowledge production and dissemination. With limited, often delayed, access to current literature from other parts of the world, many scholars are rendered non-competitive in publishing their work in major journals outside the continent. This is not simply an African problem; left unaddressed, the under-representation of perspectives from other cultures places profound limitations on claims about the existence of a global developmental science knowledge base. This conference/workshop will build on advancements made at a similarly-focused, by-invitation workshop supported by the influential Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) and ECDVU held in 2009 which resulted in publication of a special section of Child Development Perspectives (2011) highlighting many of the concerns raised here. This conference/workshop will bring together notable African ECD scholars to consider earlier work and to jointly identify suitable ways to address the challenges noted.
Objectives and Activities:
  1. Identify challenges facing the advancement of scholarly work in Africa re child development (CD) and Early Childhood Education, Care and Development (ECD);
  2. Explore examples, both positive and negative, of where efforts have been initiated for such advancements in the past;
  3. Identify key issues that a network of ECD researchers (and/or Centres) could address in regards to ECD and CD and considering: fundability, institutional bases, and scholarly leadership.
  4. Discuss issues such as: institution building; graduate level instruction and leadership preparation; engagement with key social issues and social actors; engagement with government and civic society; and advancement of key actions by governmental and non-governmental bodies.
  5. Explore possible donors for the development of a network of ECD Centres of Innovation and Excellence in Sub-Saharan Africa, and/or a ‘Chairs’ initiative associated with the development of Centres.
  6. Plan one or more edited volumes (or special issue journals) designed to address and/or advance the objectives or activities identified above.


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