Editorial: Ten Years On

Do you remember January 2000? All that fuss about the Millennium Bug, and nothing happened. More importantly, the first issue of Children Webmag came out. Even more importantly, some of this month’s contributors were not yet born.

A lot can happen in a decade, which is why we asked children and young people what they hoped or feared would happen over the next ten years. The Young Vision 2020 section of this issue carries a variety of fascinating responses, indicating a lot of concerns about the state of the world, but also great hope for the future.

They reflect the changes which have taken place during the last ten years. Climate change was not taken as seriously in 2000. The internet and other electronic devices have changed patterns of communication, the accessibility of information, the use of leisure time and, sadly, the way people bully and abuse children.

Some things do not change as fast. Human nature is much the same. The young people have written about their hopes and fears, often stating that they do not anticipate fundamental change. The values and much of the knowledge and many of the skills required by people who work with children and young people have not changed. The reasons why Children Webmag was set up remain as before.

In our first Editorial we said, “Learning about working with children and young people is not a matter of sitting at the feet of a guru and listening to the pearls of wisdom. It is a matter of thinking for oneself, becoming involved in the debate, sharing the conclusions and ensuring that the theories which emerge can be put into practice. Practice needs to be underpinned by theory, but theory must be pragmatic and workable. A web magazine allows anyone with a computer to join in the debate, to help to refine ideas.”

That remains true, and we are still keen to encourage debate among professionals, among parents, and among children and young people, so that we can help to ensure the best quality of child care possible. This issue is typical of the range of issues which our writers have raised – some practical or informative, some radical and challenging. Since January 2000 we have published a hundred and twenty issues. We have lost count of the number of articles, but they are there in the back numbers and they are full of ideas.

But we are not just looking back to the last ten years. There are still plenty of issues to tackle ahead, and plenty of ideas for coping with them. And running through a lot of the articles you will see the thread of hope for the future – in the contributions of the children and young people, in the article on social pedagogy, in Keith White’s piece, in Valerie Jackson’s project, in the review of the letters to President Obama. Hope keeps us going, inspires us, encourages us to start again.

A New Year is a good time to have resolutions and we have great hopes for the next ten years. Why not join in, and add your ideas? The next issue is on training; if you have views, send them in.

Click here if you’d like to read our first Editorial, and check whether we have fulfilled our aims and hopes.

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