The academic year is coming to an end in most parts of the world, and CIE is publishing its second issue of the 22nd volume. While the global pandemic continues to impact education, it remains important to reiterate certain fundamentals of high-quality education, including issues of social justice and equity.
As recent racial and health injustices have been yet again highlighted, there is an ongoing need to understand curriculum from diverse and critical perspectives. Another equally significant aspect of education is aesthetic education, as has been emphasized by educational philosophers like John Dewey, Eliot Eisner, and Maxine Green, among others. However, it is yet to receive sustained attention from policy makers and curriculum developers. Decades ago, Green (2001) pointed out that an aesthetic education helps enlarge curricular possibilities in the classroom, through an “active, energetic reaching out” that “combats boredom and banality” (p. 182). Perhaps at no time in our recent history has this been more important than during the present uncertain times of the pandemic.
Given this context, authors Saxe and Wilson foreground as well as integrate social justice with aesthetic education. They provide a framework that allows teachers to implement curricular changes using educational criticism and connoisseurship models; their research focuses on the practices of a high school English teacher. The authors contend that such curriculum allows for greater empathy in students and a way for teachers to integrate their beliefs with their curricular practices.
Maxine Green also points to the role that an aesthetic education plays in fostering inclusion and diversity, in understanding curricular readings from different cultural perspectives. The second article highlights the issue of diversity through its focus on dual-language education. Kandice Grote and her colleagues show the parallels between two different constructs: growth mindset and bilingual cognition, and they argue that integrating these concepts help build cognitive flexibility, and help us understand cognitive development, especially during early childhood.
The third article by Tara Lehan and her colleagues critically review the literature on online doctoral student persistence. While there are rising numbers of online doctoral programs, the authors point out that this remains an understudied phenomenon. They find that institutional factors outweigh individual student characteristics, with a few exceptions. They recommend that greater communication from faculty would help online students feel supported and be part of a community, and thus lead to their successful program completion.
Taken together, these three articles in CIE provide rich insights into and way forward for our educational systems, ranging from early childhood to doctoral education. As we temporarily close our submission portal for the summer, we hope that our readers, contributors, and well-wishers find the time to rejuvenate after a long, uncertain, and challenging year. We also gratefully acknowledge the important service rendered by our reviewers. As an editorial team, we plan to return in August with renewed commitment to serving the educational community through publishing high quality research.