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Beyond Leadership: The Why, What, Who and How of Education Diplomacy

This article is a summary of the authors' reflections on the Education Diplomacy Course offered by the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI). The authors embarked on a journey of discovery through learning in a community and reflecting on each other's personal takeaways.
When we first started, we had a confused and vague idea of education diplomacy. But all of us dived into this new learning opportunity. We were aware that diplomacy has traditionally been seen to be "... the conduct of relations between sovereign states through the medium of officials based at home or abroad" (Berridge and James, 2003, p. 69). As such, in the traditional sense, a diplomat is one appointed by the government to conduct official negotiations and maintain political, economic and social relations with another country.
During the course, however, we discovered the "new diplomacy" in which each one of us can play a leadership role as education diplomats who take on the responsibility of identifying an education issue, initiating an idea, advocating and negotiating a sustainable plan that would improve the lives of children and their families. We also found answers to the questions: Why is education diplomacy important? What exactly is education diplomacy? Who is the education diplomat? What does it require of us? And, how do we carry out our role as an education diplomat? This article will address these questions each in turn.

>>To read the full article (PDF)

This article was published originally in Early Educators, December 2016. Child Research Net would like to thank Dr. Christine Chen and all the authors for permitting reproduction of this article on the CRN website.


Christine_Chen.jpg Christine Chen

In Singapore, Dr. Chen was the Founder President of the Association for Child Care Educators (ACCE) and Founder and current President of the Association for Early Childhood Educators (AECES). Dr. Chen received her BA in Social Work from the University of Singapore, continued with her Masters of Science in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education, New York City and the Doctor of Education from the George Washington University, Washington D.C.

Internationally, she is the President, Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI, 2015-2017), Director of the Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC, 2014-2018), and Deputy Chairwoman of the Asia-Pacific Preschool Education Association (2014-2019). She is also a Member of the Advisory Board of IndoCARE – Indonesia Centre for Autism Resource and Expertise. Dr. Chen has also been invited to present in China, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam and the U.S.A.

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