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Issues In Educational Research, Vol 12, 2002
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Clare McBeath
Curtin University of Technology

Issues in Educational Research is launching a new size. Volume 12 is the first in our new A5 version. The page design has changed a little to accommodate the smaller page, but the cover design remains very similar to the previous version.

There are several reasons for the change. One is obviously cost. The previous B5 version cost more to print and bind. The new A5 version will be more economical to mail using Australia Post's C5 prepaid envelopes. The second reason is related, in the sense that we are hoping to bring out two issues per year from now on, and this has to be done with the same budget as the earlier one issue per year. The Editor and the Board of Management trust you are happy with the new version and that the new style ushers in a new and successful stage in the history of Issues in Educational Research.

However, the matter I really want to make in this edition is that of the nature of the Institutes of Educational Research in each state and their relationship to Issues in Educational Research.

In mid August I attended the Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER) annual Forum in Perth [Forum 2002]. The annual Forum encourages post-graduate students to write and present their work in progress, or their finished work as they submit their research reports for examination. Post-graduate students, sometimes writing and presenting in conjunction with their supervisors, gain valuable experience meeting their local research community presenting alongside experienced researchers and discussing their work. The Institutes in the other Australian States hold similar meetings and their objectives are similar.

I found the Forum interesting, vigorous and refreshing. I witnessed a high standard of structure and debate on a broad range of educational research topics. Academic curiosity was fostered by having new researchers meet scholars from different universities and hear about current research projects in education. The Forum also gave opportunities for new researchers to learn and practise their presentation skills. Such experiences lay the foundations of academic leadership and help train the next generation of scholars.

In the same way, Issues in Educational Research offers opportunities for new researchers to write and publish alongside experienced writers. One of the functions of this journal is to make a contribution to career development, with particular reference to beginning researchers. We are conscious that educational research, as reported in journals and conferences, plays a major role in the development of teachers and academics. We believe that research is an instrument serving the professional development of academics and teachers as well as being a way of developing new knowledge.

But is research always related to new knowledge? Or can it include new perspectives on existing knowledge or a platform for the professional commitment of individuals to their beliefs? This journal has retained a broad interpretation on what is research and what is not. While the greater majority of articles appearing in Issues in Educational Research do tell the story of the research from defining the issue to reaching the conclusion, we are happy to consider also papers on the various stages in the research process, such as the literature review, methods and methodology, a part of the data collection, or a discussion on the issues.

This issue of the journal covers a wide range of topics and contexts, each of current interest and importance in education in Australia, even though they are quite diverse.

John Buchanan tackles a curriculum question on the emerging interest in Asian literacy in Australia schools. He describes a case study in a western Sydney primary school in The emergence of Asia: Development of studies of Asia in one Australian school.

Following up a 1998 article in this journal on academic dishonesty in religious schools by Godfrey and Waugh, John R. Godfrey continues the discussion with Academic dishonesty in schools: The Intermediate Certificate policies of the Board of Secondary School Studies 1937-1957. While confined to a specific historical period, it examines the changing attitudes of the time to status of examinations within the community.

The case study by Graeme Lock & Rees Barrett is very timely as Australian education struggles with the issues of standards and outcomes. The establishment of a standards based scale of achievement Year 12 Geography is discussed in Standards framework: Developing scales of achievement in post-compulsory education.

Elaine Sharplin's paper on the expectations of pre-service teachers and the range of possible realities has implications for the staffing of rural and remote schools. She explores this issue in depth in Rural retreat or outback hell: Expectations of rural and remote teaching.

The contentious issue of top down introduction of national Training Packages into post school education and training is explored by Erica Smith in Training Packages: Debates around a new curriculum system. Erica calls on her experience a Director of a State Industry Training Advisory Board to summarise the current debates and identify some of the basic underlying difficulties with Training Packages.

Clare McBeath

Please cite as: McBeath, C. (2002). Editorial. Issues In Educational Research, 12(1), iii-iv.

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Created 14 Oct 2003. Last correction: 30 Aug 2013.