Wright, Handel Kashope, McClam, Tricia, International Education
This is a special issue of International Education, not in the sense that it is a themed issue but rather because it is marked by transitions that provoke mixed feelings for us as co-editors. We welcome Dip Kapoor to the editorial board of the journal and are certain that his energy and expertise in the fields of comparative, international, and adult education will serve him and the journal very well indeed. Even as we celebrate Dip's transition onto the team, we announce with mixed feelings that Sue Carey, who has served as managing editor of International Education for many years, is retiring from the University of Tennessee and from her position with the journal. We are happy for her of course. However, we are also sad to lose her expertise and efficient handling of the publication details of International Education. Someone will step in to take on her role but Sue cannot really be replaced. We have a few more words to say about both of these transitions but in the interim, we provide below a summary of the essays in this issue.
The opening essay is by M. Camargo, G. Calvo, M.C. Franco, S. Londono, and M. Vergara, a team of researchers from Universidad de La Sabana, a private institution in Colombia. Titled "Teacher Training in Colombia: A Need for Continuous Education," their essay addresses issues in teacher education in the Colombian context in two parts. In part one they provide a rich description of recent reforms in general and teacher education reforms in particular in Latin America generally and in Colombia more specifically. This information is quite useful in and of itself and it also provides the context for the second section in which they report on a survey conducted to assess teacher needs and the extent to which faculties of education are meeting those needs. Findings from the survey include teachers' perceptions that university courses were not preparing them adequately for the realities of the classroom, and the researchers' recommendations include proposals for pedagogical research that is more closely oriented to the problems of teaching practice.
The second essay is by Ee Lin Lee and is titled "Linguistic and Cultural Factors in East Asian Students' Oral Participation in U.S. University Classrooms." Lee describes the context of the study as including the explosion in international student presence in U.S. universities (a 16-fold increase from 1954 to 2002) and an apparently perennial problem of low levels of participation of international students from East Asian countries (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan) in verbal communication in the U.S. classroom setting. Lee's essay reports on a survey of East Asian students conducted to test whether linguistic and cultural factors are related to their relatively low levels of oral participation in the university classroom. The study found that English language proficiency, English language speaking anxiety, and fear of negative evaluation were three primary linguistic and cultural factors responsible for the phenomenon.
Next, Thomas Misco and Gregory E. Hanot explore an international dimension of moral education in their study of post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan. …