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As the new Editor of Curriculum Perspectives, I would like to acknowledge the outstanding contribution Professor Kerry Kennedy has made to this journal over the past 5 years. Kerry concluded his role as Editor in November 2017, and he has left very large shoes to fill. First, it is timely to recall that Kerry stepped in to edit Curriculum Perspectives when its foundation editor, Colin March, died suddenly on 6 August 2012. Since 1980, Colin had worked from his home in Western Australia and from his office at Murdoch University to make Curriculum Perspectives Australia’s first authoritative curriculum studies journal. In the midst of enormous sadness at Colin’s passing, Kerry took on the role of editor to not only ensure the journal continued but also to secure it as part of Colin’s lasting legacy to the Australian Curriculum Studies Association (ACSA). At this time, Curriculum Perspectives was paper based and had no online presence. And this factor prompts the second aspect of Kerry’s leadership as editor that must be acknowledged, for he has wisely steered the journal to face the future.
Under Kerry’s expertise as an internationally respected curriculum scholar, journal editor and editorial board member of numerous other journals, Curriculum Perspectives has evolved into its current online format with Springer. Moreover, the journal increasingly addresses curriculum issues of global breadth and scale. This was evident in the 2017 September edition of 2017 (Vol. 37, no. 2) in the Point and Counterpoint section Kerry also edited which focussed on multiculturalism and raised an issue of curriculum concern, namely, the retreat from multiculturalism and the disquieting trend that the more diverse societies become, the less tolerant some of them seem to be. As someone who has worked with Kerry as an Associate Editor during these past 5 years, I thank him most sincerely for his dedication, scholarship, leadership and collegiality. I confess my feet are not large enough to fill the space his imprint has left behind.
In terms of taking the journal forward in its online presence, it is with much pleasure that I welcome two new Associate Editors to Curriculum Perspectives. Immediate Past ACSA President, Associate Professor Judy Anderson from the University of Sydney, and Associate Professor Philip Roberts, University of Canberra, will bring considerable expertise to this task, and I am delighted be working with them.
There are many issues raised in this edition of Curriculum Perspectives. The research articles range from a curriculum innovation project in the Languages learning area in three Australian schools that involved a close collaboration between the researchers and selected schools over a 3-year period, to a school-based curriculum development (SBCD) project in Hong Kong that emphasised the significance of a reflective approach to curriculum planning for meeting learners’ needs. Other research papers in this edition explore the self-reported teaching styles of Australian senior physical education teachers who teach students aged 16–17 years and a paper that raises the need for governments to prioritise culturally relevant curricula as they respond to the challenges of the global knowledge economy. The study on which the latter paper is based addresses some of the issues that have arisen in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the government prioritises English as a foreign language (EFL) in its pursuit of a knowledge-based economy. In particular, the author focuses on the mandatory enrolment of graduating senior secondary school students seeking further education in preparatory-year English programs that use prescribed English language textbooks from other countries.
In the Australian Curriculum section of this edition, Professor Bob Lingard, University of Queensland, has kindly allowed us to publish the wonderful Garth Boomer Memorial Lecture he delivered at the ACSA 2017 Biennial Curriculum Conference in Sydney. Garth Boomer was one of Australia’s major contributors to the advancement of school-based curriculum development. Through his publications and work in a range of positions, notably as Director of the Curriculum Development Centre and Chairman of the Commonwealth Schools Commission, amongst others, Garth encouraged teachers to see education as a collaborative partnership between themselves and their students and advocated for teachers being responsible for what is taught in their classrooms.
Bob Lingard’s paper provides a fascinating sociological account of the multiple contexts of curriculum work through which to consider the creation of the Australian Curriculum. He contends that the national curriculum can be conceptualised as both a response to and an articulation of globalisation albeit positioned within the complex framework shaped by Australian federalism. In developing the sociological argument regarding the national curriculum as a manifestation of the new spatialities associated with globalisation, Bob also revisits some of Garth Boomer’s curriculum theorising. As noted, this was a most memorable address by an eminent scholar and we are so grateful Bob has allowed us to publish his excellent scholarship.
The Point and Counterpoint section has been expertly edited by another leading Australian scholar, Bill Green, who challenges us to become more reflexive in our understanding of curriculum and its relation to schooling and to become (meta-)critical with regard to the nature and formation of the curriculum field—as scholarship and as inquiry. Bill introduces this issue with two challenging questions: ‘is there a distinctively Australian Curriculum scholarship?’ and ‘what counts as curriculum scholarship anyway?’ The papers that follow provide rich and insightful views of what might be taken up in terms of answering such questions. Further, as Bill notes, it is timely to ask questions such as this given that in 2018 the Australian national curriculum has been in operation for 7 years. Collectively, these papers bring hope to those of us committed to regenerating the field of curriculum inquiry in Australia, and I am most grateful to Bill for initiating this set of papers.
And as another sign of hope, and one Bill reminds us of, is that the 6th World Curriculum Studies Conference (https://www.iaacs2018.info), co-hosted by the International Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies (IAACS), the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) and ACSA will take place in Melbourne, 9–12 December 2018. This is the first time the conference will be held in Australia and we encourage readers of this journal to attend.
I hope the papers in this edition of Curriculum Perspectives and the review provided by our Book Review Editor, Mallihai Tambyah, will be stimulating and prompt new thinking in curriculum matters.