This issue of The Social Educator is a special one: it recognizes that the journal has been published continuously for 40 years. The length of time is significant in so many ways: one might consider the way digital technology has revolutionised almost every aspect of our lives, or the way that the geopolitical landscape has shifted during that time. One could also consider the growing movement towards equality and diversity in modern society, or greater concerns – and greater involvement – in issues pertaining to climate change. Regardless of what aspect one chooses to focus on, these are matters that are at the heart of social and citizenship education, and that speaks to the ongoing importance of the work that we as educators do, and the role that The Social Educator and SCEAA play.
As is fitting for this special issue, we’ve invited people who have been active in social and citizenship education to share their thoughts. Rather than confining the papers in this issue to looking back, we’ve encouraged our authors to also look forward, and to consider what the next 40 years might bring for educators, and indeed, for civil society. The result is a stimulating collection of ideas that will no doubt provoke much discussion in classrooms, staffrooms and beyond.
Dr Genevieve Hall, the President of SCEAA, begins the issue with comments on both her journey as a social and civics educator, and a consideration with what this might mean for the future place of citizenship education in the Australian Curriculum. Next, Associate Professor Ruth Reynolds, who wrote in earlier issues of The Social Educator, shares her thoughts on what has influenced civics and citizenship education over the last forty years, including national curricula, work integrated learning and global testing. Adam Brodie- McKenzie, a current teacher and PhD student, discusses the public and personal nature of civics and citizenship education, in the context of the republican movement and the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Associate Professor Lee Jerome then provides an international perspective of civics and citizenship education, before Associate Professor Libby Tudball recaps some of the debates – and how they’ve often recurred – in this field. The final article is by Professor James Arvanitakis, who suggests that the future of social and civics education lies in building spaces for disagreement, and un-cramming the curriculum.
We hope that you enjoy the articles as much as we have enjoyed them! In the meantime, stay tuned for more information about the upcoming SCEAA conferences and events, and please encourage your fellow teachers, teacher educators and students to join this amazing organisation.
Judy Moore, SCEAA’s professional officer, recently advised the SCEAA executive of her intention to retire, after many years managing SCEAA’s administration. In addition to looking after financial and banking duties, Judy has tirelessly worked with the editorial committee to proofread and check, and then desktop publish every edition of The Social Educator. Her attention to detail has made the work of the editorial committee so much easier, and we are very grateful for everything that she has done. On behalf of the committee, and all the readers of The Social Educator, we thank Judy for her work, and wish her all the best in retirement.
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