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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 47, Issue 1
Congratulations are in order for the journal’s book review editor Anthony H. Normore (California State University, Dominguez-Hills) and co-author Stephanie Paul Doscher (Florida International University). Their article, “using media as the basis for a social issues approach to promoting moral literacy in university teaching” which appeared in the Journal of Educational Administration (Vol. 45 No. 4), was voted Best 2007 Published Article Award by AERA’s Special Interest Group – Leadership for School Justice. It is a pleasure for me to acknowledge this splendid accomplishment.
The continuing reputation of any esteemed international journal depends in great measure on the expertise and integrity of those whose task it is to review submitted manuscripts. The foregoing attributes are certainly characteristic of the members of this journal’s Editorial Advisory Board. In addition to serving as advisers to the editor and publisher as well as selecting the outstanding article published in each volume, all board members evaluate several manuscripts each year. It is appropriate, therefore, when reflecting on their voluntary activities associated with the journal, to thank board members for the generous contributions made to the field of educational administration. Theirs is an onerous and responsible task and it is appreciated.
At the editor’s discretion, others in the field are on occasions invited to assist in the evaluation of manuscripts. It is seldom that my request is declined and for this I am most grateful. Appended to this issue of the journal is a list of those who have, for our most recent issues, assisted in the task of evaluation
During my participation in last year’s annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), my suspicions that different procedures are used to calculate acceptance/rejection rates for academic journals were upheld. Although it is my intention to address this issue in a later editorial, suffice it to say at this stage that a uniform, agreed-upon formula for the calculation of acceptance rates is urgently required. As matters currently stand the comparison of journals’ “quality” (as reflected in such percentages) can not be made with confidence unless a common means of calculation can be assumed.
As at October 2008 (when this issue went to press) acceptance rate for the JEA for papers submitted this year is 13.6 per cent.
Volume 46, 2008
Volume 46 of the journal comprised four general and two thematic issues in which were published 40 articles contributed by authors from 13 countries.
The internationality of the Journal of Educational Administration is again clearly apparent as one notes the countries from which the articles herein have been submitted. In addition to submissions by authors in the US, Australia, and Israel (who publish most frequently in this journal) articles from India and Turkey are included. From its inception a key objective of the Journal of Educational Administration was to encourage the development of the study of educational administration internationally. As in all fields of scholarship, no one country can claim a monopoly on the development and expansion of knowledge in the administration of educational institutions. Increasingly, in our field, scholars must scan the literature from beyond their own shores to ensure the currency of the bases for their research.
The first article in this issue by Oplatka serves as both a timely and valuable contribution to the field. The article presents a history of attempts to “recognize epistemological identities, meanings and boundaries” as reflected from the 1960s in the three oldest and most prominent refereed journals – Journal of Educational Administration (JEA), Educational Administration Quarterly (EAQ) and Educational Management, Administration & Leadership (EMAL). The review is thus based on scholarly papers that observe philosophical, epistemological and methodological issues. The author identifies the major epistemological message to emerge from his analysis is one of “recycling” – the field is typically enmeshed in debates over similar ideas, assumptions, and insights about educational administration as a field of study that have been pursued throughout the past five decades. It is therefore time for radical changes in our understanding of the field’s intellectual missions and boundaries.
The following article is the final of a three-series presentation by Mulford et al. arising from the International Successful School Principalship Program (see Vol. 46, Nos. 4 and 5, 2008). Based on a study of pre-retirement public school principals in Tasmania, this article contradicts findings from other research that indicates they are more likely to be rigid, autocratic, disenchanted with and withdrawn from work. On the contrary – these principals are more likely to have a strong work ethic, to consult widely and to have strong social consciousness. The authors conclude that with education systems undergoing major and continuing change while simultaneously suffering potential shortages of effective school leaders, it is time to re-examine educational career structures, especially for principals approaching retirement.
At the outset of our third article Frick reminds the reader that school “decision making requires more than the mechanical application of existing rules and regulations … ”. Furthermore, “the essential aspects of school leadership are more than simply possessing and carrying out certain technical skills … ”. From this point of warning the author then proceeds to report on his phenomenological study of eleven secondary principals in Pennsylvania – an exploration of the inevitable internal struggle experienced by school leaders when making ethically-informed judgments. A clash between personal beliefs and values and organizational/professional expectations was found to be common among the respondents. The principals reported various ways of dealing with the nuances of personal and organizational value incongruity in order to engage in ethical decision making.
Upward mobility to the superintendency is the backdrop to the next article by Kim and Brunner. In particular, the differences in career development between women and men were investigated with special regard to career mobility, career pathways and movement patterns. A major finding of this study was that career pathways for women in educational administration differ considerably from those of men. While men had worked in line-role positions and moved vertically up to the superintendency, women generally travelled to the office through staff roles and their career mobility patterns were more often horizontal. The study also breaks new ground by considering the career mobility of women holding positions in central office.
The final two articles in this issue are by authors whose first language is other than English. It is my hope that there has been no loss of content or intent through the translation and editing processes.
Ankara, Turkey, is the location of our next article where Yilmaz and Tasdan sought to identify a relationship between primary teachers’ perceptions of organisational citizenship and organisational justice, and also if these two organizational elements were related to teachers’ gender, field of expertise and seniority. Analysis of data gathered through survey and application of appropriate scales (OCB and OJS) revealed that perceived organisational citizenship did not vary according to gender, expertise or seniority. Perceived organizational justice varied according to teachers’ seniority. The two organisational variables were moderately and positively related. The authors suggest that these findings will have implications for policy makers in Turkish education. Readers are advised to compare the findings of this article with that of Aydin and Karaman-Kepenekci (JEA Vol. 46 No. 4, 2008) in which organisational justice as perceived by Turkish primary school principals is described.
In our final article Joolideh and Yeshodhara report on their comparative study of organisational commitment among high school teachers in India and Iran. In particular, the authors examine the influence of teachers’ age and subject taught on commitment. Date were collected from similar samples of teachers in Bangalore and Sanandaj cities using the OCQ. Indian teachers were found to have better commitment in its affective and normative domains; Iranian teachers were better in the continuance domain. In both cities, the age of teachers and the subjects they taught had no influence on their organisational commitment.
Included in this issue is an essay review by Crowther of Steve Dinham’s book Leadership for Exceptional Educational Outcomes which is one of the AESOP series of investigations into exceptional secondary schools in New South Wales, Australia. Further information about Leadership and other books in the series may be obtained from the editor: email@example.com
Two book reviews complete this issue.
A. Ross Thomas