About the Author(s)

Elizabeth Henning Email symbol
Department of South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI), Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

Sonja Brink symbol
Department of South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI), Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

Andy Carolin symbol
Department of Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Henning, E., Brink, S. & Carolin, A., 2020, ‘Editorial’, South African Journal of Childhood Education 10(1), a964. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v10i1.964



Elizabeth Henning, Sonja Brink, Andy Carolin

Copyright: © 2020. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Research from the Southern African Development Community

A highlight of my work as editor this year has been to read the manuscripts of researchers from our neighbours in Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Zimbabwe. Researchers from the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region share many similarities, whilst also pointing to context-specific dissimilarities. These overlaps invite closer collaboration and joint projects between researchers across the region.

This year has been a milestone for South African Journal of Childhood Education (SAJCE). When a fledgling journal has managed to continue publishing for 10 years, there is a reason to celebrate. Had it not been for the authors who published in the journal during the first few years of its existence, the new ‘kid on the block’ may not have survived. In this editorial, we acknowledge the authors of the first three volumes (2011–2013) and all those who have continued to submit their manuscripts. Apart from acknowledging the authors, we also acknowledge the University of Johannesburg, which gave a home to the journal, and we extend our warm regards to the more than 400 reviewers who have assisted us in optimising the quality of manuscripts and, of course, AOSIS, our publisher.

Over the years, the journal has attracted the interest of researchers who study what Urie Bronfenbrenner (1992) refers to as ‘ecosystems’ of a child’s development and learning. In this volume, there is evidence of these ecosystems in the range of topics that have been published over the years. At the top of the list is the ecosystem of the teachers of the young. The childhood education research community continues to search for knowledge about teachers and the education of student teachers. In the current volume, an article by Dr Nick Taylor of JET Education Services about mathematics teacher education stands out along with Lara Ragpot’s article about the experiences of Bachelor of Education (BEd) students over their undergraduate studies, trying to follow young learners’ progression longitudinally.

The idea of ‘ecosystems’ has never been more relevant – also to the way knowledge is made and disseminated. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has brought to the fore the acute need for the global research community to reconceptualise our knowledge-making habitat so that knowledge could be shared more equitably in a world that, given the current pandemic, needs ‘all hands on deck’ to address the problems. This was also a strong theme at the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) Conference which we attended in September this year. Many of the presentations highlighted the need for scientific collaboration. As an open access journal, for the past five years, we agree that ‘science for humanity’ should become a priority.

With Ragpot and other authors in this volume, there is an emphasis not only on formal learning in the curriculum, but also on children’s cognitive and social development. The manuscripts we receive have become increasingly interdisciplinary. Researchers in the fields of language and speech studies, autism, sport and nutrition contribute to our understanding of the systems that form the ecology of an individual child – and the contexts in which they gain access to education. Read cumulatively, the articles in this volume, which explore rural, peri-urban and suburban environments, point to the importance of an intersectional analysis of childhood education. The inequalities in the education systems across the SADC region – and indeed globally – present us with dynamic opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

With 30 articles published at the time of writing this editorial, and with 13 being prepared for publication before the end of 2020, the journal is now on a steady path to add to its citation listing, aiming to convert the Web of Science Other Coverage, Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) status to the Social Sciences Citation Index. The SAJCE is currently listed on several indices, including SCOPUS (https://sajce.co.za/index.php/sajce/pages/view/journal-information#part_3).

Wishing our readers many hours of engaged reading.


Elizabeth Henning

Sonja Brink

Andy Carolin


Competing interests

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Authors’ contributions

The authors wrote the editorial jointly.


The views and opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated agency of the authors.


Bronfenbrenner, U., 1992, ‘Ecological systems theory’, in R. Vasta (ed.), Six theories of child development: Revised formulations and current issues, pp. 187–249, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Philadelphia, PA.

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