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Vol 5, No 1 (2012)

Introduction

Welcome to the fall 2012 issue of The Journal of Action and Inquiry in Education. In addition to sporting a new look, this issue contains a variety of contributions, some describing teacher action that has strongly and creatively impacted the learning of students along the K-12 continuum, and some addressing ongoing concerns, social and political, that effect educational institutions across the country.

Volume 5 Number 1 articles – in brief

Working collaboratively on an a project with teacher candidates enrolled in their social studies methods classes at Buffalo State Drs. Maria Ceprano and Nancy Chicola describe, in Engaging Families in Cross-Cultural Connections through a School-based Literacy Experience, a mini-grant supported event facilitated on parent’s night at one of Buffalo State’s urban-based professional development schools. The purpose of the event was to promote literacy and cross-cultural appreciation, not only for the K-6 children at the school, but also for their parents who, most decidedly, are integral to their children’s developing understandings. The event was successful in its purpose with the added benefit of providing teacher candidates with the opportunity to interact with parents about supportive learning situations.

Ms. Emilie Sears is an art teacher at Franklin Middle School in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda, NY School District. Her paper, Painting and Poetry: Third Graders Who are Struggling Writers Create Free-form Poems Inspired by their Paintings, is an adaptation of her award winning Masters Project submitted to Buffalo State’s Department of Elementary Education and Reading in 2009. It describes the effects of a 12-week research-based program that she devised to determine if abstract paintings produced by the students could serve as an inspiration for written poetic expression.

Co- authoring the article entitled, Crossing The Bridge: Transitioning from a Teacher to a Professor, are Dr. Steven Page, assistant professor in the department of Teacher Education at Augusta State University, and the late Dr. Charles Jenks, who served as Dr. Page’s dissertation mentor. The article reports their findings relative to the perceived pros and cons of individuals transitioning from positions as K-12 classroom teachers to positions as faculty members at colleges and universities.

Dr. James Pedersen is the principal at South Plainfield High School in South Plainfield, New Jersey. His article, The History of School and Summer Vacation, stems from his dissertation study completed at Seton Hall University in 2011. In an era when lengthening instructional time for K-12 students by extending the school day or year is at issue, Dr. Pederson’s historical study gives some insights into why solving the problem is not an easy task.

Dr. Andrew Hostetler is an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Social Studies Education in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies-Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. His paper stems from research done for his doctoral dissertation entitled, Understanding the Relationship Between Beliefs about Democracy and Practice: How Three Beginning Social Studies Teachers Enact Personal Practical Theories, which he completed at Kent State University in 2012. Exhibiting a creative research procedure and design to arrive at his findings. Hostler’s paper will be inspirational to teachers and teacher candidates aspiring to teach social studies.

As always, the review panel for the Journal of Action and Inquiry in Education appreciates your comments and encourages you to become a contributor.

Applied Theory/P-12 Educational Research

Collaborative Partnerships/Programs