Fall 2007     ISSN 1096-1453   Volume 11, Issue 3

 

 

Tenth Anniversary Editorial: 

One Decade of Past Accomplishments; A Second Decade of Challenges

 

With the Fall 2007 Issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly (AEQ), we celebrate the tenth anniversary of this journal.  Coincidentally, Lee Shulman, current President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, culminates a ten-year tenure with Carnegie as he recently announced his retirement for August 2008.  I mention Shulman in this essay for two reasons (one noted here and the second reason noted below).  During his presidency, he has been a tireless proponent for, among other issues, the understanding and blending of theory to practice and practice grounded in theoretical concepts with respect to teaching and learning.  Similarly, from its inception, the goal of Academic Exchange Quarterly has been to share understandings of teaching and learning, “the presentation of ideas, research, methods, and pedagogical theories leading to effective instruction and learning regardless of level or subject.”  The inspiration I have received from Carnegie President Shulman, the reason I joined the editorial staff at AEQ, and the accomplishments of AEQ in the past ten years are entwined in this tenth anniversary editorial essay.

 

Lee Shulman is a model of what he wants teachers to be, a second reason I note Shulman in this essay.  From the press release announcing his pending retirement, it is noted that, “As part of his extensive legacy, Shulman, who has served as president since 1997, has expanded the role of the scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education, confronted challenges of assessment, advocated for moral and civic education, and championed appropriate principles of formation in professional education.”  I personally experienced his devotion to these principles as a doctoral student in classes taught by Professor Shulman at Stanford University in the mid-1980’s; we interacted at the feet of a wise storyteller and master teacher while absorbing his academic lessons.  Lee Shulman has devoted his life to improving the quality of teaching for all students by making teaching a more respected dimension of all the disciplines and professional fields. 

 

One of the reasons I became involved with AEQ, first as feature editor of the topic Teaching Leadership/Teaching Leaders and now as the journal’s editor is that I found a welcoming home in a journal truly devoted to promoting the engagement and exchange of ideas about teaching and learning.  As Shulman has spent a lifetime crossing boundaries of teaching in many disciplines, during its ten-year legacy, Academic Exchange Quarterly has tried to be a multi-disciplinary voice for those who teach whether in pre-collegiate, community college or higher education.  In his 2004 President’s Report to the Carnegie Foundation, Shulman wrote “Indeed, one of the most important missions of the Carnegie Foundation is to demonstrate through our work the ways in which all levels of education are intimately connected and interdependent.”  In ten years, AEQ has indeed networked the teaching profession, sharing pedagogical knowledge from all grade and age levels and from a variety of disciplines.

 

Academic Exchange Quarterly By the Numbers: Year One to Year Ten

 

Publisher.  Mr. Steve Pec, with colleagues, established the journal in September 1997. Operations were moved from Tennessee to New York in 2000.   Steve is still the publisher today, having been elected to a ten year term (2000-2010) by the Board of Rapid Intellect Group, Inc. (RIG).  Rapid Intellect Group is a family owned enterprise with a publishing tradition dating back to 19th century Europe.  The Grzeskow family, the majority stock holder in RIG, worked for the publishing house Gebethner & Wolff established in Paris, Warsaw, and Wilno.

 

Editors. In ten years, eight editors have held and/or shared this position:  Steve Pec, original editor and current publisher, Linda Serra Hagedorn from the University of Southern California, Maureen Connolly from Elmhurst College, Illinois, Li Tsze Sun from Hong Kong Shue Yan College, Ben Varner from the University of Northern Colorado, Calvin S. Kalman from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, Melinda Pierson from California State University Fullerton, Michael Lorenzen from Central Michigan University, and currently JoAnn Danelo Barbour, Professor of Educational Leadership at Texas Woman’s University.  Working with Steve Pec in September 1997, there were 13 editors with various administrative roles, all from Chattanooga State Technical Community College, Tennessee.  The advisory board consisted of 18 members from Chattanooga State, 17 members from various educational institutions in Tennessee, 23 members from educational institutions around the United States, and one each from Canada and Japan.  Ten years later the journal has one publisher, and an editorial review board consisting of one editor, three associate editors, 31 feature editors, three assistant editors, one consulting editor, two editorial interns, a two-member advisory board and four administrative staff members.  Editors are from 33 educational institutions from all regions of the United States, one university in Israel and one in Canada.

 

Formats.  The first issue in 1997 contained 74 pages and about 20 short articles in a print medium.  Ten years later issues average from 284 to about 320 pages with a record issue of 346 pages in Summer 2003, Volume VII, Issue #2.  Begun as a traditional publishing print-format journal with key editors from the same college, AEQ currently publishes articles available in four formats:  print, online, digital, and HTML version. 

 

Readership.  When AEQ first began, the readership numbered a few hundred.  Now there are over 25,000 readers, a figure based on library and individual subscriptions.  In fact, this figure increases even more when one takes into account the online versions available on Gale Expanded Academic ASAP, Expanded Academic ASAP International, Educator’s Reference Complete, and Infotrac OneFile, according to former editor Ben Varner, who added, in an 8th anniversary editorial, that most of AEQ's readers are teachers in colleges and universities. The reader base continues to spread far and wide, especially with

expanded and added topics.

Published Manuscripts.  Beginning with a first-issue acceptance rate of 45%, the journal over time has increased its submissions while decreasing the acceptance rate.  In 1997, Volume I of the journal averaged an acceptance rate of 38%, and in 2006, Volume X averaged an acceptance rate of 23%.  We share and have shared premium examples of the finest teaching practices from around the world.  In the first ten years, Academic Exchange Quarterly has published over 3,230 different authors from 760 colleges and universities.  Due in part, we believe, to this journal's virtual organizational structure, AEQ editors and authors have come from all 50 states and 44 foreign countries.

 

Topics.  The first issue consisted of three articles on the advantages of team teaching, four articles on meaning, effect and uses of critical thinking, three articles related to educational issues of the internet, and three articles exploring approaches to distance learning.  Issues are now focused on specific topic areas.  Feature topics published by the journal on a regular basis have greatly increased by number and variety, a small sampling of which includes gender studies, multimedia education, on-line learning, political science, cross-cultural education, health initiatives, language teaching and learning, writing and social awareness, teaching leadership and leaders, service learning, and action research.

 

Academic Exchange Quarterly Anniversary Facts

 

Today, because our readers, aiming to assure quality teaching at their educational institutions, share Academic Exchange Quarterly with colleagues, this journal has assumed a prominent publishing position.  A few facts of note include the following:

 

1.  We publish, per issue, more refereed articles than any other journal: 52 in Spring 2006, for 

example, 52 in Summer 2006, and 53 in Fall 2006, compared to about three to seven articles in most other journals.

2.  Our double-blind-peer-reviewed process assures impartiality and access to all, and the

       journal's independent status assures a submission acceptance rate based on merit and not

       favor, bias, or personal preference.

3.  The review process for AEQ has four stages and can be monitored 24/7 through an online

      track-your-submission webpage.

4.  Published articles have the following audience:  the print version, all published articles,

      includes about 25,000 readers; the online version, all published articles, includes

      hundreds of thousands of potential readers world-wide, available from the Gale Group 2-3

      months after the print edition, accessed via four databases that include Expanded Academic

      ASAP, Expanded Academic ASAP International, Educator’s Reference Complete, and

      Infotrac OneFile; and in the HTML version, selected articles in Editor’s Choice or Reader’s

      Choice accessed through AEQ’s web pages.

 

The facts above constitute what we have accomplished in the past ten years.  With this issue, Academic Exchange Quarterly begins its second decade.

 

Challenges:  A Second Decade of Academic Exchange Quarterly

 

In 1985 Lee Shulman, in “Those Who Understand,” his Presidential Address to the American Educational Research Association, confronted George Bernard Shaw’s infamous aphorism “He who can, does.  He who cannot, teaches.”  In the final sentence of this address, contained in “The Wisdom of Practice (2004),” Shulman summarizes his thoughts on teaching as he declares, “Those who can, do.  Those who understand, teach.”

 

We thank Lee Shulman for his lifetime wisdom and focus on the scholarship of teaching and learning, as we will miss this tireless champion of “understanders.”  We hope the next president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching continues President Shulman’s outstanding work "to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold, and dignify the profession of the teacher and the cause of higher education."  For our part, Academic Exchange Quarterly will continue to share understandings of teaching and learning as we rededicate ourselves to our own mission, “the presentation of ideas, research, methods, and pedagogical theories leading to effective instruction and learning regardless of level or subject.” 

 

In the next ten years, AEQ will develop new strategies to face challenges from ever-changing publishing technology.  Academic Exchange Quarterly has already attempted to embrace changing technology by publishing articles in online/digital formats.  Concerns with authenticity and integrity, protecting intellectual property, and archival permanence of published articles will be a continuing focus as we make changes. 

 

To make AEQ more attractive, we want to fill vacant feature topics with new feature editors and rethink feature topics as fit for 21st century teaching and learning.  In rethinking topics, we plan to add new multilevel, multidisciplinary topics to the choices currently available, for example ethics, legal issues, and teaching biographies.  We are expanding our reach and diversity of editors and plan to increase feature editors and reviewers from around the globe.  Feature editors will continue to encourage authors in their disciplines to submit quality manuscripts, as we will continue to search for reviewers who maintain high standards of scholarship.  The strategies, as always, will be governed by the four core values of Rapid Intellect Group Inc: accuracy, fairness, professional responsibility, and transparency.

 

When we view the educational milieu from the vantage point of a ten-year teacher/publisher relationship, we see a definite need for teachers to have clear directions that will guide them in their chosen profession.  Academic Exchange Quarterly currently is focused on the sharing of knowledge with quarterly issues.  In efforts to reinforce the knowledge of teaching and learning, we regularly will publish “Sound Instruction - Ready to Use Classroom Practice.”  This AEQ Annual Book Series will republish the best articles from AEQ and this, we believe, will contribute to the Carnegie Foundation’s mission to "encourage, uphold, and dignify” teaching, the profession, and the cause of higher education. 

 

As a final note, we, at Academic Exchange Quarterly, wish to thank three groups without which this journal would not be possible.  First, we thank our authors, reviewers and editors for sharing their knowledge and expertise, their time, and scores of hours of volunteer efforts towards the endeavors of AEQ.  Second, we thank twelve subscription service agencies who, often while publishing their own titles, solicit paid institutional subscribers for AEQ.  Third, thank you ultimately to our readers and subscribers for continuing to sustain the Academic Exchange Quarterly, a journey started ten years ago.  We count on your unending support as we journey towards our second decade.

 

JoAnn Danelo Barbour, Ph.D.

Editor, Academic Exchange Quarterly

Feature Editor,  Teaching Leadership/Teaching Leaders