The second issue of The Social Educator has now been sent out to all members. It's a great issue. See below for the editor's message.
As we are starting to learn to live with COVID-19, the world continues to experience historically significant events. Queen Elizabeth II passed away aged 96 years having reigned for 70 years and 214 days. In Australia, there were mixed emotions with some people openly grieving, and flags being flown at half-mast. However, others, like me, were perplexed. Never was there a more important time to reflect on Australia’s First Nations’ peoples and the history that was bestowed upon them under British Reign. A one-off day of mourning was declared to pay respects for the Monarch, yet the debates around Australia Day remain unresolved further causing many people to question motives.
Further, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, the rainfall in September was the fifth highest on record for Australia. Recently, we have seen flash flooding in many States causing further damage and chaos to homes, lives and the environment. Both of thesesignificant events highlight the need for children and young people to develop their knowledge and understanding of what is happening in their world but also have the skills to think critically and question. They are the future of our world so it is our responsibility to help them develop the skills that they will need to be successful.
In this issue, Katie Maher in her article The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures cross curriculum priority: Pedagogical questions of Country, colonialism and whose knowledge counts, argues that Version 9 of the Australian Curriculum provides, through the revised Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures cross curriculum priority (CCP), opportunities for students to learn with First Nations Peoples. This, she argues, is important as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will be able to see themselves in the curriculum from which they learn. She provides insights into pedagogical practices that can support this vision.
Moving the focus to the US, Lauren Grimes in her article Youth Citizenship and Civic Injustices within K-12 U.S. Social Studies Public Education, highlights the importance of including youth citizenship and injustices within civic education. She argues that while the US has had various paradigm shifts that aimed to develop informed and active citizens the way that this is addressed has changed thus calling for groups of catalysts “to alter the foundation and face of civics learning and youth citizenship”.
Ben Wilson and David Spillman in their article, Teaching for Country: Analysing transformative student experiences through Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being, and Doing, discuss their Teaching for Country Research Project which aimed to explore meaningful enactment of Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being, and Doing in initial teacher education. The authors talk about a series of “Country-centric (ecocentric) learning experiences” and the range of Indigenous place-based pedagogical frameworks that they employed. This article provides valuable insights for ITE providers and teachers about ways of ‘Indigeniseing’ the curriculum.
We are excited to announce that the next issue of The Social Educator is our 40th anniversary special edition. We have some really insightful articles that reflect on how Civics and Citizenship Education has changed over time and what this means locally and globally both in terms of curriculum and teaching/learning. We look forward to sharing this exciting issue with you.