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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET MOVING EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION FORWARD | 17 Yet the conversations promoted by this book will succeed only if we remember that the three conversational forms I’m advocating differ from our usual forms of conversing. They are designed to foster insights into the tough challenge we are trying to solve and to accelerate the availability of actionable knowledge. Chapter 2, Thinking Alone, invites us to begin our preparation with internally oriented questions directed toward developing awareness of our mental models: • how we as individuals are contributing to ECE’s system as it now exists; • how we may inadvertently be blocking our and others’ openness to differ- ent ways of thinking; and • priming us for participation in systemically oriented conversations geared toward generating new possibilities. Deeper self-knowledge and openness to others’ thinking will broaden our under- standing of ECE as a field of practice. This much-needed expansion of under- standing comes from opening ourselves to other’s perspectives, concerns, and aspirations for our field. Conversation by conversation, newly forged insights and exploration of different possibilities will create an entryway into future delibera- tions and decision making. Integral to this next step is forging consensus that, yes, the time has arrived for coming together as a field to structure ECE as an organized profession. And yes, we will join together on a scale commensurate with our challenge and commit to serving something larger than ourselves. As already noted, this is not the first time the question of professionalizing ECE has arisen, although perhaps never quite so directly. 47 Are we willing to confront our individual and collective biases about ECE as a field of practice? Are we capable of joining together to coevolve a different reality for ECE? Are we ready to steer ECE toward a future in line with its potential? The purpose of conversa- tions with intent is to probe our thinking in ways that set the stage for collective creativity and action. The questions presented in chapter 2 (Thinking Alone) will help you examine your personal beliefs and values, the locale of your resistance to change, and your fears for what may be lost, personally and as a field. By engaging with these questions prior to coming together with colleagues to explore ques- tions posed in chapter 3, you will contribute to making these conversations far richer and more productive. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL