It is hard to imagine a year that could have been more explosive than 2016, but 2017 is shaping up to be just as, if not more, difficult. We live in a country that is divided, and these fractures are becoming more and more prominent in our political and social discourse. To add insult to injury, we are also facing looming global crises related to climate change, war, income inequality, and scarcity of resources. It is safe to say that our future is uncertain, and we will all need to be increasingly flexible to meet the demands of life in the 21st century.
This year our annual conference will tackle these issues head on and explore themes related to Ecology, Sustainability, Creativity and Well-Being. We will consider what it means to take responsibility for the planet and explore the interrelationship between social and ecological justice, and personal, social, and ecological well-being. Now more than ever, we need to reinforce ourselves and consider how to be creative and well in challenging times. This, in turn, will help to ensure we are better educators and better models for our children and future generations.
The American Association of Teaching and Curriculum (AATC) is a place for dialogue and peace, and a refuge from this storm. Founded in 1993 to promote the scholarly study of teaching and curriculum, our professional organization serves as a national learned society for the scholarly field of teaching and curriculum. Our membership reflects these fields and consists largely of professors and graduate students from departments of curriculum and instruction, teacher education, and elementary, middle, and secondary education. In addition to an annual conference, our organization maintains a journal, Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue, which reflects our mission and explores the relationships between theory, practice, and policy.
In recent years, we have spent a great deal of time discussing our public responsibility as a scholarly organization. We are expanding our dialogue with the communities and institutions our membership inhabits, and offer both services (e.g. professional development opportunities) and donations (e.g. books and teaching materials) to those communities. This year we will reconsider our public responsibility and seek out new ways to share our research and educational values with the national community through arts and culture.
Over the past 20+ years, AATC has prided itself on being a place where educators can come together to share ideas, to disseminate high-quality research, and to make friends. Toward this end, we welcome everyone, whether seasoned faculty or graduate student; whether early-career assistant professor or secondary educator; or whether a long-term or new AATC member. We feel confident that you find a refuge, a welcoming place, a place for personal and professional growth, Indeed, I think that you will find, within our Association, a place to be welcomed, a place to grow, and a place to call home!
On this website you will find many ways to get involved and join the conversation with us. You can sign up for our listserv, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, and sign up for our annual conference.
Feel free to share any questions, comments, or feedback with us. On behalf of the executive council, we wish you well in 2017, and we hope to see you in Denver for our 24th annual conference in October.
All the best,
Kevin Cloninger, Ph.D.