Symposium: A Journal of Education for Southern Africa

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ABOUT SYMPOSIUM AND ITS DIGITIZATION • The journal Symposium was published by the Johannesburg College of Education (JCE). Twelve issues appeared over the nineteen years from September 1960 till 1978, carrying articles of substance by local and international authors. • The founder and driver of Symposium was JCE educationist Brian Rose. He edited the journal from 1960 till 1976, except for the 1972/1973 issue, which was edited by Elwyn Jenkins. In 1977 Michael Gardiner succeeded Brian Rose as editor. • It is clear from Rose’s first editorial that the journal was founded in reaction to the shattering ‘winds of change’ speech delivered in Cape Town on 3 February 1960, in which Harold Macmillan indicated that Britain was distancing herself from her colonies. Rose formulated a vision for the English-speaking community, a vision centred on the English language and on a commitment to good education. • In 1964 a new theme appeared, namely educational technology, which featured heavily in subsequent issues. • Brian Rose stepped down as editor of Symposium in 1976. This year also saw the eruption of riots in Soweto, which necessitated a reassessment of the role of the English-speaking community, and an end to the vision Rose had formulated in 1960. Also in 1976 the Faculty of Education, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) launched a house journal titled Perspectives in Education. The editor and driver of Perspectives was philosophy of education lecturer Wally Morrow, and his inspiration was the doctrine of liberalism, and the cause of the oppressed. • The two journals soon began to converge. Symposium had always carried articles by Wits lecturers; now JCE lecturers Michael Rice, Francis Faller and Michael Gardiner were quick to assist Wally Morrow with the editing of Perspectives in Education. • In the late seventies Perspectives was struggling financially, and Morrow appealed for donations. Likewise JCE had become reluctant to fund Symposium, and summarily terminated funding after the 1978 issue. Michael Gardiner accordingly set about organizing the merge of the two journals. In 1980 the subtitle of Perspectives in Education duly reflected the merge. It now read ‘Journal of the Faculty of Education of the University of the Witwatersrand, and the Johannesburg College of Education’. JCE saw to the distribution of the journal, and it was printed by the Wits Central Printing Unit. The first few issues carried articles by lecturers from both institutions. Perspectives in Education grew in stature, is still flourishing at the time of writing, though long since no longer edited by Wits lecturers. • The digitization of Symposium was first mooted by Alison Chisholm (Deputy Education Librarian). The project got under way in 2017 with Mark Sandham as leader, and was completed in August 2019. Metadata was created by Cindy Warren (Periodicals Librarian), Alison Chisholm, and Mark Sandham. Scanning was done by Mandla Masina and Tshifhiwa Ramuhulu (Education Library Assistants), on equipment in the Wits Digitization Centre. • Mark Sandham • Education Librarian • August 2019 • For information on accessing Symposium content please contact Mark Sandham via email:; or telephone: 011-717-3239


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