NZJTW - Call for papers (extended - 15 Dec'22 ): The who and what at the centre of education

‘The who and what at the centre of education’

CfP extended: 15 December 2022

At the turn of the last century, we have seen a slow shift away from teacher-centred and curriculum-centred towards student-centred approaches of teaching in schooling contexts. The teacher as the ‘sage on the stage’ and ‘keeper of knowledge’ has arguably been dethroned and replaced with the ‘learner’ as the focus of pedagogy and educational practice. This shift has seen a turn in language that served to further reduce the role of the teacher to a mere ‘facilitator of learning’; a turn in language that Gert Biesta (2014) has termed “learnification” – the centrality of the learner, the facilitation of learning, and the acquisition of ‘learnings’. Biesta, however, while not wanting to advocate for a return to the old teacher-centred classroom approach, critiques this shift as going too far in its reduction of the role of the teacher in the pedagogical relationship between teacher, student and content. Biesta points out the importance of the teacher as someone who can lead the student to questions and understanding they never knew existed. As such, the teacher is more dynamic than simply the facilitator of learning, pedagogy is more complex than enabling the consumption of knowledge, and the content of curriculum broader than simply that deemed most profitable for the student’s economic future in the spirit of neoliberal consumerism. In his latest book, Biesta (2022) goes even further to question both the centrality of the child/learner/student, and the centrality of a predefined curriculum to argue for a world-centred approach to education. Similarly, William Pinar (2011) coined the term ‘currere’ (verb) rather than ‘curriculum’ (noun) to suggest that education should be responsive to the encounter of individual/student with their environment, the world.

What exactly is or should be at the centre of education? And how can and should the relationship between teacher, student, and curriculum be negotiated and re-negotiated? In a country with a complex ethnic and political make up, like Aotearoa New Zealand, this question has ethical and political dimensions that have not, traditionally, been explored in terms of pedagogy or curriculum.  For this upcoming issue of New Zealand Journal of Teachers’ Work, we seek contributions that engage with these and related fundamental questions of teachers’ work.

NZJTW is inviting contributions to this special topic in the form of:

  • Articles
  • Opinion pieces
  • Research overviews of ongoing projects
  • Teacher reflections, and
  • Book reviews

Submission deadline for the special topic is 15 December 2022. (Planned publication Early/Mid 2023.)

NZJTW is also inviting contributions on any other topics that may be of interest to teachers and researchers across the education sector from early childhood to tertiary education.

About the Journal

The New Zealand Journal of Teachers' Work is a free, national peer-reviewed journal containing articles of interest to Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary teachers. The journal aims to disseminate New Zealand research on and by teachers and also other articles on current issues which may be of interest to teachers and academics.