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Manuscript deadline
31 August 2020

Cover image - Early Child Development and Care

Early Child Development and Care

Special Issue Editor(s)

Jacobus Gideon (Kobus) Maree, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
[email protected]

Motlalepule Ruth Mampane, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
[email protected]

Margaret Funke Omidire, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
[email protected]

n/a, n/a

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Enhancing language and articulation skills and promoting resilience and adaptability in the early years of people’s lives

This Call for Manuscripts concerns three interconnected aspects of early childhood education:

  1.   the importance of enhancing children’s language ability (including the ability to communicate and articulate their views clearly),
  2.   the importance of promoting children’s academic and future career resilience, and
  3.   the importance of increasing children’s (career) adaptability and employability early in their lives.

These three aspects are discussed briefly below and brought together to show their interrelatedness and importance in facilitating children’s self- and career construction in their later lives in a fast-changing world.

Language communication manifests in several ways that are linked through an underlying and integrated language system. The interrelationship between receptive and expressive language modes constitutes the core of this system, and this should be borne in mind when developing language ability in young children. Language experiences such as listening and talking in childhood are the basis of reading and writing – language is the primary means of processing our thinking, refining our ideas, and interpreting information received through our senses. Language development is thus critical to cognitive development and accordingly plays a key role in people’s ability to learn. The various forms of receptive and expressive language have different stages of development that require appropriate nurturing. Learners should therefore be encouraged to speak, listen, and interact with peers to advance the process of language development.

South African schools are exposed to various risk factors that threaten the academic and future career resilience of learners. Research on the factors that contribute to the academic and future career resilience of South African learners can help in devising strategies to curb the high dropout rates at training institutions and in improving the often poor performance of learners in schools and of students in tertiary training institutions.

Similarly, resilience research acknowledges the potential capacity of school environments to familiarize learners with the know-how to deal with risk factors in a suitable manner. This Call for Manuscripts accordingly seeks innovative contributions on ways to address the myriad of risk and protective factors in primary and secondary education systems in South Africa and across the world in order to enhance the academic and future career resilience of learners generally.

There is general agreement today on the importance of giving attention to children’s future employability from as early an age as possible. This relates particularly to their capacity to be employed eventually in rapidly changing occupational environments. Job opportunities are decreasing rapidly, and work environments globally no longer ‘guarantee’ people lifelong work. Workers therefore need to look at the world of work in terms of equipping themselves with the acumen and innovative skills required in work environments shaped by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Mastering at a young age the basics of so-called ‘hard skills’ such as robotics and coding (beginning as early as in the first three years of school) will stand learners in good stead in workplaces of the future. However, the acquisition and mastering of so-called ‘softer skills’ (skills are not easily replicated by robots and artificial intelligence) is of equal importance. These skills should be nurtured early on in the family setting and promoted during the early school years.

Research has shown the value of counselling for self- and career construction in enhancing people’s sense of work identity, of self, and of self-efficacy. The importance of acquiring adequate senses of self cannot be over-emphasized as they are widely considered key constituents of self-entrepreneurship – a vital survival skill in today’s world.

Qualitative (storied/narrative) approaches to counselling and guidance have as yet not been fully accepted in all educational and training contexts. However, they have been embraced in many Global North (developed) contexts where they have been the subject of extensive research, unlike in Global South (developing) contexts where such research has been rare. What makes matters worse is that the research conducted in both contexts, particularly in the Global South, has largely ignored the value and applicability of these approaches for children in their early lives. This Call for Manuscripts therefore seeks contributions to fill this research hiatus.

In summary: The trio of constructs, namely enhancing a) the language ability, articulation, and narratability; b) the academic and future career resilience; and c) the (career) adaptability and employability of people in the early years of childhood are more closely linked than may appear at first sight. Improving the articulation and language skills of children in their early years enhances their narratability, that is, their ability to articulate their many micro-life stories when called upon to do so in career counselling/development/guidance/education contexts. Children raised in environments conducive to their development are more likely to acquire a clear sense of identity and of self (who they are) and are also more likely to be exposed to education and training influences that will enhance their future employability.

At the same time, educators and educational psychologists in particular require training in the newer paradigms that stress the importance of contemporary educational and (career) counselling services for young children who are less exposed to supportive environments. These newer paradigms focus on helping children turn their so-called ‘weaknesses’ into strengths. In other words, an approach is needed that will cater for the educational and (career) counselling needs of all learners, irrespective of their differing situations and contexts.


Types of manuscripts sought

This Call for Manuscripts invites researchers, theorists, practitioners, and policy-makers to share their views on how language ability, articulation, and narratability; academic and future career resilience; and (career) adaptability and employability can be enhanced in the early years of childhood.

Contributions should cover innovative theoretical and practical methodologies, practical intervention assessments, strategies, and procedures regarding the above trio of constructs. Typical questions would be the following:

  • How can language ability, articulation, and narratability be advanced in the early years of people’s lives?
  • What language-related interventions are required in the early years of people’s lives to promote academic and future career resilience, and how can these processes be enhanced?
  • How can promoting academic and future career resilience in the early years of people’s lives improve their (career) adaptability and employability and eventually help them deal with repeated transitions in a changed and changing world of work?
  • What are the main existing and emerging theories on and associated practical interventions for promoting young people’s academic and future career resilience, developing their language ability, articulation, and narratability, and bolstering their adaptability and employability?
  • How can attempts to promote adaptability and employability in the early years of people’s lives help them develop their language ability, articulation, narratability, and academic and future career resilience?
  • How can academic and future career resilience be promoted in the early years of people’s lives by developing their language ability, articulation, and narratability in group contexts?
  • How can (career) adaptability and employability be advanced in the early years of people’s lives in family as well as in primary and secondary education contexts?

We look forward to receiving a comprehensive selection of provocative and stimulating submissions that cover wide array of research methodologies and that match the high standard of previous contributions to the ECDC. Above all, we are inviting positive, inspiring, solution orientated contributions.


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Submission Instructions

Deadline for submissions

Please e-mail proposals for manuscripts to[email protected]. Proposals should include

  1.   the title,
  2.   a brief abstract (maximum word count of 300 words, including between four and six keywords. Authors are also requested to visit the ECDC website for examples of article abstracts),
  3.   the author’s name(s), affiliation(s), and contact details.

Please submit your proposal by no later than 31 May 2020. All proposals will be considered, and you will be notified of the outcome within two weeks of receipt of your proposal. If your proposal is accepted, we will e-mail you the author’s guidelines and additional details. Completed manuscripts should be submitted for review to ScholarOne through the ECDC’s website (https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/gecd20) before 31 August 2020. The ECDC is published by Taylor and Francis.

In exceptional circumstances only may manuscripts be submitted as e-mail attachments to Kobus Maree (the lead guest editor; [email protected]) or Roy Evans (editor-in-chief editor; [email protected]).Submitted manuscripts will be sent for peer review, and authors will normally receive the results of the review within eight weeks of the submission of their manuscripts. We hope to conclude the review process by the end of November 2020. The proofreading and editing of accepted manuscripts should be completed by 31 December 2020. The Special Issue will appear on-line in fully citable format. Publication of hard copies of articles will take place at the earliest opportunity in 2021. The volume will be published in book form by SAGE if a sufficiently large number of articles are accepted for publication.


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