Search This Blog

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Key Educational Themed Conferences

My vision for Delta Kappa Gamma was based on expanding opportunities for women educators at a time when options were limited because the political and educational structures of the times hampered the advancement of women. How delighted I am to see DKG embracing that vision again within the Society itself by mounting five international conferences based on key educational themes this summer! I had begun to wonder—along with many members—whether the regional structures we had created had begun to outweigh their purposes, creating a focus on the regions rather than on education and growth of women educators.

To be clear: Regions were designed to provide a convenient structure for activities and oversight. Their use evolved in 1946 as an organizational or structural tool for dissemination of Society information and for training of state organization leaders. In other words, they evolved as practical divisions to make gathering, communicating, and training easier at a time when these three tasks were far more difficult than today.

Specifically, in August 1944, President Dr. Margaret Stroh convened 14 Society leaders to project the work for the coming year. Among the considerations was a suggestion made by previous president Dr. Emma Reinhardt—that regional meetings would be a way to spread enthusiasm and information about Delta Kappa Gamma. At the meeting, the idea was expanded to include the proposal of having regional directors. My disapproval of this concept is duly noted in Our Heritage I:

It was not until the San Francisco Convention that regional directors became part of the official family. For several years the idea had been promulgated that regional meetings might be efficacious. Dr. Blanton did not favor the suggestion, probably because she was so earnestly building a unified group spirit among members in all states. (p. 33)

Yes, regional gatherings might be “efficacious,” but dividing our members can dilute the unique international spirit of our Society.

So, I applaud members for moving toward conferences that are based on educational themes—and referenced accordingly: i.e., International Conference on Arts & Humanities; on Leadership; on Technology; on Professional Research and Practices; on Global Awareness. Although I know it will take some time to recalibrate our thinking from the traditional regional mindset for conferences, ultimately the change will keep us forward moving ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts