Tend the Olive, Water the Vine

Globalization and the Negotiation of Early Childhood in Palestine

Edited by:
Rachel Christina

A volume in the series: Education Policy in Practice: Critical Cultural Studies. Editor(s): Rodney Hopson, University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign. Edmund Hamann, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Published 2006

Current international development wisdom promotes the inclusion of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in national-level policy making, in the interest of strengthening state-civil society relationships; supporting locally driven, culturally-sensitive development; and contributing to program and policy innovation. However, critics of increased state-NGO-donor collaboration argue that it actually dilutes the power of NGOs to act in the interest of the local populations they were established to serve.

This tension between the local and the global is connected to broader debates about the nature and role of contemporary educational development. Should education aim primarily at preparing citizens for participation in the global economy, thereby encouraging the integration of nation-states into a world economic system driven by the industrialized North? Or/and should it endeavor to develop in students and in communities, North and South, the ability to critique, resist and transform that world system? Ultimately, this is a question of who “owns” development – international agencies and institutions, or the communities being “developed.”

This book examines the complexities of these negotiations in a particularly complicated and volatile context (Palestine) and a particularly “hot” development field (early childhood development). The international community’s efforts to support early childhood programming in the developing world fall more broadly within the empowerment camp than do other development efforts, and -- in this case in particular -- serve as a source of important lessons about the dynamics of donor-state-NGO relationships, suggestions for improved development policy, and insights into forms of education which promote justice and equity in an increasingly interdependent world.

Foreword. Introduction. Chapter 1: History and Context. Chapter 2: Civil Society, Education and the World System: Rethinking Globalization Theories. Chapter 3: Local Capacity and Local Control: Teacher Training as a Lever for Change. Chapter 4: Reflection into Action: Community Support and the Empowerment Agenda. Chapter 5: Paper Policies, Shadow Policies, and Local Control: ECRC and National Programming for the Early Childhood Sector. Chapter 6: Filtering Up? ECRC’s Influence on Donor Agencies and Institutions. Chapter 7: Localization, Globalization, and the Reflective Lens: Implications for Development from the ECRC Case. Epilogue: A Dream Deferred. Appendix: Ethnographic Methods in a Case Study of a Non-Governmental Organization. Bibliography.