Welcome to the first issue of the IAFOR Journal of Education: Studies in Education. This is an exciting time for the journal, as this issue represents a particular focus relating to the exploration of significant themes and ideas in education, alternative and exceptional programs for teaching and learning, and the investigation of promising practices in education. In this issue, the international “flavour” of the journal is evident, with articles and authors from a wide range of different countries and cultures reporting on research that involves distinctive learning experiences, progressive teaching approaches, matters of educational policy, school leadership, and professional training. In this respect Studies in Education supports the larger mission of the IAFOR Journal of Education to promote the exchange of research and ideas internationally, facilitate inter-cultural awareness, encourage discussion across discipline areas and share new knowledge and information globally.
You will find the scope of coverage for this particular issue is quite broad and innovative, with articles reporting on research that ranges from primary and secondary school studies through to tertiary learning, policy guidance, dissertations and religious influence. These articles also involve a wide range of methods, including narrative and discourse analysis, case studies, phenomenological inquiry, quantitative statistical analysis and mixed methods.
To give you an idea of the breadth of research foci for this issue, there is an investigation into the use of animals to support special or “additional” needs education, an analysis of specific concepts about community within Islamic teaching and learning, a report on the characteristics of successful school principals, a model proposed for supporting autonomous learning, a concept paper proposing analytical indicators to help transition traditional concepts in design education, an examination of linguistic capital, evaluation of a national curriculum, and an exploration of the impact of postgraduate academic failure – plus more!
I wish to thank everyone who submitted to this issue. We received a great many submissions and the excellence of these was generally very good. To those whose submission was not accepted for this issue, I encourage you to use the feedback you have received to revise, or even rewrite, your article and submit again - either to the next issue of Studies in Education, a different, IAFOR Journal of Education issue, or to another Scopus listed journal, as appropriate to the focus of your work. The point is to share your research collegially with other researchers, in order to promote your specific ideas and contributions, and to receive feedback from peers. Together we fill the “gaps”, as well as support one another along the way.
I trust you enjoy this issue of Studies in Education, finding in it novel ideas and perspectives that assist your own thinking and “doing” when it comes to research. When we share ideas together, we build collaborative understanding.
Editor, IAFOR Journal of Education: Studies in Education