Editorial for Issue 1
Welcome to this first issue of LINK, an online journal published by the University of Hertfordshire School of Education.
LINK has been created to make visible the research and scholarship undertaken by colleagues within and linked to the School. These include academics, professional staff, visiting lecturers and our partners in schools and other professional settings, as well as current and past post-graduate students.
The journal is open to everyone in or linked to the School as a means of contributing to the advancement of understanding about educational practice.
The readership of LINK is similarly intended to be both academics and practitioners - locally, in the rest of the UK and globally.
This first issue of LINK is in two parts:
Part 1 comprises articles which are well-developed works in progress. These articles are based on scholarly activity or research which colleagues have been recently engaged in.
Part 2 consists of thought-pieces which describe work in an early stage of development or work intended to be developed for publication in professional magazines, or succinctly argue a considered viewpoint based on scholarly reflection and/or research.
We hope that the journal will enable academics and practitioners to link with each other in a number of ways, through sharing learning, through collaborating in innovating, through developing their networking and through building knowledge together. The articles and thought-pieces presented in this first issue illustrate this theme of linking and learning.
Hilary Taylor's article focuses on an important educational debate, that is, the link between educational research and the wider context of the underpinning aims, values and principles of education. Hilary proposes a provocative view of educational research, arguing that it should focus on enabling practitioners to take a critical view of their current profession.
Such a critical view is exemplified in Sal Jarvis's article. Positioning her article as intending to be 'thought-provoking, rather than conclusive', Sal suggests that we need to re-consider the impact which staff-student contact has on students' lived experience of their university programme. She wonders, moreover, if re-conceiving student-staff relationships might positively impact on student engagement more widely.
Ute Ward's thought-piece similarly seeks to stimulate thinking and discussion, this time on the topic of the merits and disadvantages of the new professional role of Early Years Teacher.
The possibility of enabling learning across disciplines is a key driver for LINK. In Rebecca Thomas's thought-piece we read of how a multi-disciplinary group of colleagues, coming together to think about 'noticing', led to Rebecca's involvement in a project in which students are envisaged using their mobile phones in the classroom, incorporating these devices within coherent learning programmes.
In her reflections, Rebecca highlights the importance of the multidisciplinary context in raising awareness of different perspectives and for learning to look in different ways.
Such linkage across contexts is the setting for Lara Fuller's thought-piece. Here Lara reflects on the learning which took place within a partnership project with Stanmore College. She makes the argument that partnership projects with schools encourage teachers within a setting to discuss practice, share ideas and build upon them.
Helen Payne's thought-piece offers a final fascinating reflection for this issue on the ultimate link - that between body and mind - and her belief that a split between the two is unhelpful. She suggests that learning to 'honour' our bodies and listen to the 'signals' which can be termed symptoms, such as when we feel pain or other physical symptoms, can help us to regulate ourselves.
We hope that you enjoy reading this issue of LINK. We hope too that if you are part of or linked to the University of Hertfordshire School of Education you are encouraged to consider developing an article or a thought-piece for a future issue.
Most importantly, we hope that this first issue begins a process of strengthening the links between us all which result in the real and sustained development of educational knowledge and practice.
Amanda Roberts and Philip Woods