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Academic education journal celebrates its 10th UEL anniversary

Milestone anniversary of Research in Teacher Education (RiTE) journal

The School of Education and Communities, at the University of East London, is celebrating a milestone anniversary of a specialist publication that has introduced a great number of new writers to the world of academic journals.

When asked about the success of the journal, the School’s Dean Richard Harty said, “over the years many staff in the School of Education and Communities have found their writing voice through publishing in the RiTE journal and so as a school we are proud to be celebrating the anniversary of the RiTE journal.”

Professor Gerry Czerniawski and David Wells, Head of Initial Teacher Education, from the School of Education and Communities, are the editors and founders of the Research in Teacher Education (RiTE) journal that is now in its 10th year. 

Marking the milestone anniversary, Professor Czerniawski said, “We’ve published over 100 articles from UEL staff and students as well as articles from some of the biggest international scholars involved in the field of teacher education – Stephen Ball, Meg Maguire, Michael Fielding, Ian Menter and Louise Archer to name just a few.” 

RiTE has attracted an international audience, in over 120 countries, through its open-access online journal provision. Latest figures through the university’s research repository (ROAR) indicate it has achieved over 45,000 downloads, with many thousands of other engagements with journal papers through the online platform.

Professor Czerniawski said, “We launched the journal in 2011 to address a particular issue that existed at the time in many university-based teacher education departments. Staff working in Initial Teacher Education (ITE), like many of their social work and nursing colleagues, are often recruited on the basis of being outstanding practitioners but not necessarily with experience of research or publication. The rationale behind the creation of our journal was to help support colleagues during this transition from experienced teacher educator to novice academic”

Czerniawski added that, “as former teachers, novice university-based teacher educators often have vast expertise in schools and colleges and in assessment, pedagogy, curriculum, leadership and other areas. But when they enter university employment, many suddenly find themselves standing side-by-side with colleagues working in other faculties with doctorates and long lists of national and international publications.”

So, Czerniawski and Wells set about creating a fully open-access online journal with national and international reach that celebrated and championed the work of university colleagues.

In creating the journal, the look and feel of the publication was important to both editors. It would follow the visual format of more established international academic journals and secure a British Library (ISSN) classification. Hard copies of the journal were also made available so colleagues would have physical evidence of their first publication to show friends, family and colleagues, marking and celebrating the start of their transition from teacher educator to published author.

The editors have ensured a regular ‘big name’ guest author is embedded as a key feature of each edition to bolster the status of the journal and raise the profile of its new writers. Two years into the publication of the journal an international advisory board was also secured with leading international scholars including John Loughran, Kari Smith, Gill Crozier, Stephen Ball and Linda Hammersley-Fletcher.

One of the journal’s benefits has been establishing a mentoring scheme to ensure that each author writing for the first time was assisted by a more experienced published colleague. Recognising how hard it can be for doctoral students to gain editorial expertise, UEL’s own doctoral students in education have also had the invaluable opportunity to become guest editors of journal editions.

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Research in Teacher Education (RiTE) journal, an event will be held on the 16 June 2021 to mark this occasion.  The event will feature many of the guest writers who have contributed to the journal, including UEL’s very own Jean Murray.  With a mixture of recorded presentations and live Q&A sessions, delegates will be able to ask questions directly to some of the biggest names in teacher education.