An Opportunity for Community-Engaged Action Research
During the spring semester, beginning in January 2021, the Cohort turned its attention to the final phase of the program year. “Leading Across” engages across multiple pathways for deepening understandings around relevant, contextualized and complex early childhood issues and opportunities present in the field through participatory collective action.
Fellows attended a virtual day on Colorado’s Capital Hill speaking up for children with legislators around current bills that will respond to inequities and promote healthy and thriving young children across our state. They spent a month shadowing an early childhood professional whose work is devoted to promoting the rights of young children to accessible and equitable early childhood experiences.
And they engaged in book studies including a deep dive into the The Heart of Community Engagement: Practitioner Stories from Across the Globe (Wilson, 2010), one that offered the Fellows 13 generative patterns of practice for community engagement. The stories within the book and practices illuminated within them catalyzed a series of shared dialogues facilitated by members of the cohort and ultimately inspired a deeper understanding of collaborative practices for leading social change.
Cohort 13 Fellows experienced a unique version of the program’s annual culminating experience, the BECLP Capstone, by writing a proposal to design a project where they will engage with their community and continue to grow their leadership capacity. These diverse projects offer 22 tangible and meaningful ways that early childhood leadership can be expressed and ensure for the Fellows and for the program that their learning stays alive for this heart-centered group of Buell leaders.
On June 5th, 2021 the Fellows individually presented their Capstone with family, friends and Buell Alumni present. In these presentations they shared:
- A bit about who they are as a person and early childhood professional
- A bit about what they learned during the program year
- A bit about where they are going and what their ongoing community engagement project is focused on and why.