Editorial : Themes

There is a time for sorting ideas out and putting each one in its box – psychology, sociology, law, or whatever is on the label – and a time for weaving them together into something new – which may have a pattern to it, or which may emerge as a sort of lovat, with no colour dominant.So we have had teaching in schools where children were taught reading, or German, or physics, with the focus on the box and its label. And we have had topic teaching, where history and geography and other disciplines were all applied and in the process there was a lot of reading, writing and arithmetic.

The Webmag

In the Webmag we have sometimes had themes for issues, such as the York Group day conference a few years ago which focused specifically on the size of residential establishments for children. And there are issues like this one where there is no dominant theme, but where issues in one contribution happen to emerge in another.

Kathleen Lane bemoans the way education has developed, and the way that politicians have seized control from educationists. Chris Durkin is writing about the overlapping problems of success and failure in education, social exclusion, the impact of local communities and the rewards that people seek. Keith White’s contribution considers people’s needs to be significant, to matter to others and to be part of what he terms ‘villages’. Varda Mann-Feder speaks of the need for young people leaving care to be supported if they are to succeed – to have somewhere to belong when they are expected to be independent. Trish McQueen is researching the impact of Further Education on Scottish care leavers. And for good measure we have thrown in a number of ideas on these themes in News Views. Between these articles there should be good teaching material or the start of a seminar workshop or a pub discussion.


In the near future, we are intending to produce issues which have a focus on :

  • play
  • corporate parenting and foster care
  • the history of child care, and
  • children’s rights.

Other themes we have in mind are :

  • young people’s views of child care
  • literacy
  • aftercare
  • health, obesity and mental health
  • training
  • parenting and parents’ views
  • social pedagogy.

Please write

If you have views on any of these, or are doing research, or are about to publish a book on any of these, why not send us a contribution? A blog which adds to the debate is as welcome as a Ph.D. thesis. We are concerned to raise issues, share ideas and develop thinking.

We do not necessarily agree with every article we publish, but we believe that child care is a profession for people who think about what they are doing. Every child is an individual with his or her own strengths, interests, hopes, fears, relationships, weaknesses. Stock answers will not do. So join the debate.

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