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Remembering John Bennett

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Publication Date: 
13 May 2015

We were tremendously saddened to learn of the death in April of our colleague and friend John Bennett, one of early childhood education and care's most inspired and productive thinkers and writers. John was enormously influential in shaping ideas in the early childhood field internationally and here in Canada through his work at UNESCO, the OECD, with UNICEF and with many other groups and individuals. His varied work on ECEC-which ranged from overarching policy conceptualization to specific issues of diversity, disadvantage and social justice-was consistently intelligent, accessible, principled and honest, often speaking truth to power. He was, as well, a most lovely man.

The Canadian ECEC community became acquainted with John and his work in when he managed the OECD's influential thematic review of ECEC, co-authoring its two summary reports Starting Strong and Starting Strong 2 (2001 and 2006). As a member of the expert OECD team reviewing Canada, he toured Canada to study early childhood programs and-with the Canada Country Note (2004)-played a key role in shaping our understanding of key ECEC issues in Canada in a comparative context.

John, a Dubliner, lived in Paris for many years and worked on ECEC across Europe and, indeed, much of the world. Those of us in the Canadian ECEC community who knew John or were familiar with his work will miss his wit, wisdom and insights. We offer heartfelt condolences to Anne Bennett, his wife and his children Alice, Richard and Muriel.

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Entered Date: 
13 May 2015
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