Issues In Educational Research, Vol 11, 2001   [ Contents Vol 11 ] [ IIER Home ]


Tony Fetherston
Edith Cowan University

We live in interesting times. Knowledge and information skills are now emerging as critical determinants of opportunities and outcomes in contemporary society. In our education sector, we are being challenged at primary, secondary and tertiary levels by the shift from industrial to knowledge-based employment as this country begins to accept that the knowledge economy does exist.

Changes are having a profound impact on traditional education providers: universities, technical colleges and schools. Until recent times these institutions have been perceived as the guardians of the Western canon, monopoly providers of credentials, institutions with guaranteed public funding. The Australian experience has demonstrated emphatically that this is no longer the case.

In every Western country educational institutions now operate under considerably deregulated and competitive regimes that encourage the entry of private providers into the education market place. New kinds of educational institutions are emerging. Innovation and flexible delivery are encouraged with new forms of teaching and learning emerging. Educational leaders are placed under intense pressure as they are required by their institutions to be at the cutting edge of educational and social change. So it is timely then that papers in this issue address some of these issues involved with these changes.

Margaret Sutherland examines the closure of an Educational Support Unit which had operated for 22 years, and its implications for students with disabilities.

The paper by Ed Stolarchuck and Darrell Fisher looks at the impact of laptop computers being introduced into a particular school and the effect on attitudinal outcomes.

What do students think of their teachers? What do Aboriginal students think of their teachers? John Godfrey, Gary Partington, Kaye Richer and Mort Haslett answer this latter question by presenting results of a questionnaire administered to 470 Aboriginal students from rural and urban Western Australia.

Farzad Sharifian purports that as far as memory is concerned the relevant issue for educational design is how to enhance learner's memory skills. In his paper he extends research into self - and other - generated cues on memory.

Finally I would like to thank all those that provide the voluntary labour associated with getting this journal together. It is the only issue I have edited and sadly it will be my last. As one who lives interesting times, like all my peers, I am personally challenged in regard to increasing workloads in tertiary institutions, brought about by many of the factors mentioned at the start of this editorial.

Tony Fetherston

Please cite as: Fetherston, T. (2001). Editorial. Issues In Educational Research, 11(1), iii-iv.

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