Don Piburn, Hawaii

The 2008 Working Forum (WF) on Men in Early Childhood Education (MECE) Honolulu was an incredible success. Like most everyone who assisted in the planning for the event, I know we all had some digging out to do. I received many personal expressions of appreciation regarding the WF MECE Honolulu from WF MECE attendees. Every single one of the comments I have received to date have been positive.

Here is an example:

“I would like to thank you for the wonderful experience I had at the Men’s Forum. Initially I was not sure what to expect, but the things I learned and the people I meet really did “light a fire” for my passion about more male involvement (fathers and educators) in the early years for all our children. I loved hearing so many stories that were so similar to my own. And I was truly “touched” by Frances Carlson and deeply enjoyed the exchanges we had during our group.”

More than just a handful of the comments I have received suggested this event had been “life-changing” for many, along the lines of the following:

“Thank you again for hosting what was the most powerful ECE conference I have ever attended. The hospitality and openness was unlike any I have experienced at any conference. It was very moving to learn that there is an almost unilateral shared vision and mission for educating and nurturing young children from countries and cultures around the globe… Something to be honest ….. I did not ever think could exist!”

The event was a tremendous success, and was unique, and historical in its implications. Its power rested primarily in simplicity and a clear elevation of purpose: The world came to Hawaii to hear and share stories about the many roles of men in early childhood care and education (ECE). Stories about what it means to be a man in ECE, and to be woman or a child in world with few men.

This is only the beginning, as the WF MECE is not just this single event, but is an ongoing effort of the World Forum Foundation and its partnering organizations. If you are interested in knowing more about the beginnings of this international movement supportive of men in ECE, watch the World Forum Foundation website:

And please do come to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Annual Conference this fall in Dallas Texas, as at least one of the NAEYC Men in Education Network (M.E.N) Interest Forum activities this year will feature the WF MECE Honolulu event and discussions on the shared belief that every path available to women in the field of ECE would and should be thrown open to men.

If you are interested in adding your own story, go to the link:

Some of the stories entered thus far can be viewed at:

Don Piburn