It’s been almost two years since my last post. You may be asking where did I go and why did I decide to stop posting. It’s not that I didn’t want to post. It was just that the overwhelmingness of moving to another part of the country, starting a Ph.D. program, and figuring out my life balance compelled me to take a break. This break provided time for me to reassess and reevaluate the purpose of my blog and my growth as a professional.
One thing I’ve been examining is the foundation of my approach to early childhood, media, technology, culture, and diversity. If you’ve been a reader of my blog, then you know that developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) has grounded a lot of my choices for my practice. The influence of DAP stems from my master’s education and the professional work I conducted after that. This foundation of DAP has been challenged by my current doctoral studies in early childhood, which are grounded in the reconceptualization movement. Scholars of this movement take a different approach to addressing diversity and culture. Reconceptualists critique DAP due to its perpetuation of certain cultural norms and instead of DAP utilize critical, feminist, post-colonial, postmodern, and epistemologies from women of color as lenses to examine issues and practices in early childhood care and education. Caught between these two concepts, I’m finding myself constantly negotiating my identity and lens as a developmentalist and a reconceptualist.
Another focus of reflection has been the current social climate. Reviewing stories about the ways that various “isms” are being more frequently displayed in society and experiencing how these forms of discrimination are impacting the daily lives of my family members and colleagues have left me fatigued. Sometimes, I feel like I am in a continuous state of recovery with no end in sight. These circumstances compelled me to deeply question if my blog is still relevant and needed in the field. After multiple conversations with colleagues and many moments of reflection, I have decided that my blog will continue. My blog’s intention is still the same – to be a safe and welcoming space where educators and families can explore issues of culture, diversity, media, and technology in early childhood. I still want us to figure out what we can do in our current lives and roles to create environments and actions that support everyone. And I still believe there are issues related to culture, diversity, technology, and media in early childhood that we need to explore further.
Lastly, I needed time to figure out how to discuss the personal growth and connection I’m experiencing in this doctoral process. From conversations with family and friends and inspiration from Black feminist writers and researchers, I decided to create a second blog to talk about the personal dimensions of my work. This blog, titled: “Adventures of a Black Woman in Academia“, will share my personal reflections and connections that influence my work as an educator and researcher. As countless feminists have stated “the personal is political”, and in my case, “the personal is professional and vice versa”.
I want to thank you for being patient with me as I’ve been deciding what to do next. Just as before, I’m looking forward to hearing from you, learning from you, and growing with you.