|[ Contents Vol 19, 2003 ] [ QJER Home ]
The content in this issue of QJER reflects the eclectic interests of readers of the journal. Not only do the papers focus on different educational contexts, but they also vary in their approach to research scholarship and enquiry.
The first two papers are concerned with topical issues related to schooling. Rod Chadbourne explores an argument that the growth of middle schooling in Australia has been characterised by a lack of clear definition, a lack of novelty, and a lack of difference from what many primary and secondary schools already do. His paper examines whether or not middle schools and middle schooling do have a distinctive clientele, organisational position and philosophy that give them a unique rationale and imperative. At a time when middle-schooling initiatives seem to be burgeoning within many education systems, Chadbourne's insightful analysis has a particular resonance.
Another issue within schools that is currently generating a good deal of discussion amongst the educational community is the under-achievement of boys. In the second paper of this issue, Amanda Keddie and Rick Churchill report on an interesting study seeking to identify philosophies and practices that might be interpreted as either enabling or constraining boys' educational outcomes. Given the claim that the quality of teaching and learning is dependent upon the quality of the teacher/student relationship, this paper's focus on illuminating relationship issues at the centre of boys' experiences of school is apposite.
The following two papers investigate innovative practices being developed in university environments. In an attempt to fill a perceived gap in the research literature, Linda Galligan et al. discuss the emerging practice of forming 'writing groups' in universities. In particular, the paper reports on an empirical study that attempts to evaluate the capacity of the writing group for enhancing academics' publishing acumen, collegiality, leadership and affect.
Also set within a university context is the final paper written by Julie Willans and her colleagues. Mindful of the need to maximise student engagement with the undergraduate experience, this paper demonstrates how the curriculum challenge is being addressed in a Language and Learning course in a pre-undergraduate preparatory program at Central Queensland University. In doing so, the paper provides a valuable entrée into the literature on adult learning and also identifies strategies for enhancing students' transition into the first year of higher education at a university.
In sum, all of these papers present useful insights into complex issues of policy and practice encountered within a variety of contexts. As such, they offer lenses through which we can illuminate our understanding and analysis of significant phenomena in what is often a perplexing world of education.
|Please cite as: Clarke, S. (2003). Editorial. Queensland Journal of Educational Research, 19(1), 2.|