International Research Virtual Special Issue

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What a difference globalization makes!  Electronic technologies have transformed communication and international conferences, and journals have created a global academy of shared scholarship across many parts of the world.  Today we can learn from researchers in other countries and collaborate on common issues to expand knowledge in the social studies.

Journals in our field have responded to these changes in their selection of articles. According to Wayne Journell, Editor of Theory & Research in Social Education (TRSE), approximately 30% of the manuscripts submitted to TRSE are from scholars in nations other than the United States.  In recognition of the significance of the contributions that scholars in other world regions are making to our field, he has selected six previously published articles for this special virtual issue.  This scholarship from Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and Canada enhances our field with different theoretical perspectives and methodologies on some familiar topics as well as subject matter not often found in American social studies journals. 

Li-Ching Ho and Tricia Seow inform TRSE readership on climate change as a controversial issue in the teaching of geography.  Audrey Osler examines social justice through the lenses of human rights education and postcolonial scholarship.  Christina Parker shares her study of how teachers are using peace-building dialogue pedagogies to develop engagement and empathy in multicultural classrooms.

Three of the articles focus on historical thinking.  Tim Huijgen, Carla van Boxtel, Wim van de Grift, and Paul Holthuis look at 15-16 year olds’ ability to perform historical perspective taking. Kenneth Nordgen analyzes literature and theories of history education through the space of action between historical consciousness and historical culture.  Finally, Stephen Klein uses an analytical framework based on the concept of historical distance to learn how history teachers navigate between past and present in teaching about the transatlantic slave trade and slavery.

Enjoy this special virtual issue and embrace collaboration with colleagues across the globe. Together we can create social education to promote worldmindedness, perspective consciousness, appreciation of peaceful conflict resolution, and diversity. 

Merry M. Merryfield is professor emerita of social studies and global education at The Ohio State University.  She currently lives on Sanibel Island, FL.  She can be reached at