Amazing to say, we are now into the fifth edition of RiTE since its inception in 2011. As the periodical continues to gain national and international recognition we are very proud to welcome and celebrate the arrival of its first international advisory board. In particular, we would like to thank the following authors for their support:
- Stephen Ball, London University's Institute of Education, England
- John Loughran, Monash University, Australia
- Kari Smith, University of Bergen, Norway
- Clare Kosnik, University of Toronto, Canada
- Ian Menter, University of Oxford, England
- Paul Stephens, University of Stavanger, Norway
- Gill Crozier, University of Roehampton, England
- Meg Maguire, King's College London, England
- Linda Hammersley-Fletcher, Manchester Metropolitan University, England
- Dan Gibton, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
- Hans-Georg Kotthof, University of Freiburg, Germany
The online version of the periodical continues its monumental growth. Since the last edition of RiTE, we have had people peruse the online journal from over 50 countries, with particular interest shown from India, the USA and France. This access equates to well over 1,000 visits and 3,500 page views since October 2012. This advancement in our online presence and audience is something we are particularly proud of and we are continually looking for strategies to increase readership. For example, we are applying to host the periodical in various online journal open access directories. We are also working in partnership with UEL's library staff to ensure articles and book reviews written for RiTE are readily accessible through ROAR, Google Scholar and an RSS feed update. You can follow the RSS link at www.uel.ac.uk/rite for more information if you wish to receive these updates. Since January of this year, an extra dimension has been added to our tracking statistics and we are now able to view and follow our readership's PDF download footprint, giving us insight into our target audience’s reading interests and possible focus in accessing the journal. We are successfully progressing in our use of social media to help publicise the journal and its written content and, as a result, our Twitter account is attracting more and more followers. Don’t forget that if you too would like to follow then please keep in mind @UEL_RiTE.
The support we receive from the addition of an international advisory board comes at a critical period in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in England. The economic recession, positioned at the heart of a plethora of policy decisions in recent months, continues to provide the backdrop to fundamental changes in ITE and education in general. There is, however, a growing sense of unease and hostility from a number of quarters to many of the government's reforms. Last month's letter, for example, published in the Daily Telegraph from over 100 'leading academics' spoke out forcefully about revisions to the National Curriculum. A petition against the stand-alone AS qualification, consultations launched on criteria for 16–19 performance tables, and apprenticeship reform spell tough times ahead for the Coalition and all involved in education – not least higher education institutions (HEIs), currently responsible (but for how much longer?) for the preparation of a future generation of teachers. We therefore strongly urge our readers to read Ian Menter's guest article in this edition voicing his fears for the future of educational research in light of current government policy towards ITE.
We begin this fifth issue with an article by Casey Edmonds, in which she discusses the literature on children in research, pupil participation and the voice of the child in relation to dyspraxia in UK schools. Ruhul Ameen and Nasima Hassan explore social division, intolerance and indoctrination as objections to faith schools and evaluate the extent to which such schools are educationally defensible. In his article, Neil Herrington puts forward some suggestions as to how a community-orientated approach, operating through Place-Based Education, could impact positively on the educational environment and wider issues of regeneration. John Macklin explores how communication is used within a Senior Leadership Team in a London secondary school. Drawing on the literature related to effective communication, he argues for a more illocutionary approach to effective distributed leadership in schools. Daniel Ayres, Christopher Tyrrell and Kokhung Poon examine an attempt by a team of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) tutors at an HEI in London to evaluate the impact of mobile technology on their role as tools in the professional development of teachers. Finally, John Clarke and Tony Pye present the results of a small-scale quantitative research project examining the assumption that there is a direct causal link between the classification of student teachers' first degree and their ability to teach. They examine what appears to be driving current policy rhetoric in this area and question the extent to which such rhetoric may lead to a misallocation of limited resources within ITE.
Our guest writer for this fifth issue is Professor Ian Menter. Before moving to Oxford, Ian Menter was Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Glasgow. He is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Nottingham and at Newman University College, Birmingham. Ian is a convenor of two UK-wide research groups, TEG (Teacher Education Group) and CAPeR-UK (Curriculum, Assessment and Pedagogy Reform across the UK). In his article Ian critically reflects on the future of educational research in light of current policy developments related to teacher education in England.
This number’s book reviews are provided by Warren Kidd, Alex Alexandrou and our guest reviewer, Janine Mudd. Janine is currently the SEN Co-ordinator at The White Bridge Junior School, Loughton in Essex. As always, we hope that you enjoy the collection of articles in this issue. It is with great pleasure that we announce Professor Michael Fielding as our guest writer for the next (October 2013) edition of RiTE.
Gerry Czerniawski and David Wells (2013) 'Editorial' Research in Teacher Education, Vol 3(No.1), 3–4.