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Issues In Educational Research, Vol 16, 2006
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Clare McBeath

There are eight articles in this issue of Issues in Educational Research. This is more articles than we have published in a single issue in the past and we hope represents a growth trend for our journal. Mention has been made in the past of the possibility of going to three issues a year, and this is beginning to look more possible. Three issues a year would represent a faster turn around for authors seeking to get their work published in a refereed journal.

Three issues may also herald the end of the printed version, making our journal an online only open access journal. This matter is before the State Institute committees at the moment. The printed version is becoming too expensive for the small membership in the Institutes of Educational Research in each state, and there is increasing evidence of a growing number of readers of our online version around the world.

We are making a change with the online version of this issue. In the past, we have held back the online version for three months after the publication of the printed version. However this was not regarded as satisfactory by the Directory of Open Access Journals [http://www.doaj.org/] and we were dropped from their list. As it is desirable to have maximum exposure for our authors, we decided to regain our position in DOAJ's list by changing to simultaneous publication of printed and online versions.

Another noteworthy factor about this issue of Issues is the number of articles which focus on research method, research instrument design or the testing of a research instrument. This indeed is in line with the nature and purpose of this journal of providing a forum for new researchers and authors, and readers from the post graduate research community.

The article by Noella Mackenzie and Sally Knipe entitled Research dilemmas: Paradigms, methods and methodology focuses specifically on research methods and methodology. We don't often publish reviews or theoretical papers, because our editorial policy favours practical or field research. However, for the reasons given above, this paper is an important one in that it brings up to date some of the issues facing early career researchers. In particular the authors address the perceived dichotomy between qualitative and quantitative research methods.

John Bednall's article wrestles with the concepts of epoche and bracketing within the phenomenological paradigm chosen for his research. This is not a description of his research as such, although the context of the research is clearly set out, but a discussion of the problems involved in putting the phenomenological methodology in place to draw out "the essences of human behaviour which often lie beneath the surface", which is the aim of phenomenology as a research method.

The article by Chua Siew Lian, Angela Wong & Victor Chen comes from Singapore and describes the development, trial and validation of a learning environment instrument devised for application in two languages in Singapore classrooms. The instrument has been called the Chinese Language Classroom Learning Environment Inventory (CLCEI) and the results showed that it is a "reliable bilingual instrument that is ready for use for assessing the nature of the Chinese language classroom learning environment in Singapore secondary schools".

Lou Siragusa and Kathryn Dixon also examine the development of research instruments in A research methodology: The development of survey instruments for research into online learning in higher education. The paper discusses the factors involved in developing new survey instruments for assessing the effectiveness of online teaching and learning at tertiary level. The paper is supported by the literature on learning theory, instructional design principles and the application of these bodies of knowledge to the use of online learning technologies.

The other four papers are reports on educational research, one from the USA, one from Sweden, one from the UK and the fourth from Western Australia.

Shirley Theriot from the USA looked at service learning in a teacher education program. Similar in its fieldwork to internship, service learning principally involves a focus on civic engagement and social responsibility. This study identified the perceived benefits derived from service teaching by a group of student teachers.

'Mind the gap': The application of a conceptual model to investigate distance learners' expectations and perceptions of induction reports on research undertaken by Gillian Forrester and Gillian Parkinson at Manchester University. They sought to establish whether a 'gap' existed between students' and academics' expectations and perceptions of induction in terms of meeting students' needs as distance learners. The research involved undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled in distance courses at a university in the UK.

The article on Supervisees' and supervisors' experiences of group climate in group supervision in psychotherapy: Effects of admission procedure by Eva Sundin and Marie-Louise Ogren is another practical research project where the researchers looked at the old issue of how selection procedures might have an effect on the success of students. They devised a selection procedure which included an interview with prospective students, and found that those students who had undergone this alternative procedure experienced more satisfaction in a group learning climate than those who hadn't.

Alienation among relief teachers servicing government metropolitan primary schools by Ralph G Lunay and Graeme Lock is also a research report giving us a fresh look at alienation from the point of view of the teacher rather than from that of the pupil. Pupils in Australia, the UK and the USA spend a significant amount of their schooling under the care of relief teachers, but this research indicates that relief teachers undergo many problems in their roles in schools. The study showed that most of the cohort identified feeling alienated as a direct result of working as relief teachers in Western Australian government metropolitan primary schools. The characteristics of their alienation is examined in this paper.

Please cite as: McBeath, C. (2006). Editorial 16(2). Issues In Educational Research, 16(2), v-vii.

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