Editorial: Welcoming the Global Comparative Education: Journal of the WCCES
N’Dri T. Assié-Lumumba Cornell University
We are delighted to welcome the inaugural issue of Global Comparative Education: Journal of the WCCES, a bi-annual peer-reviewed academic periodical which publishes articles in any of the six official languages of the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. This journal is scheduled to appear twice annually, in March and September, starting in the 2017 calendar year. It is published electronically. The first issue that was scheduled for March 2017 was, however, delayed and is released this month of September 2017 as we needed more time for the scientific, administrative and technical preparation of this fairly recent initiative. Additionally, as the completion of the preparation coincided with the months of the academic break of many institutions, a decision was made to release the first issue in September when many universities globally renew their full activities and the members of the CE community may receive the journal immediately upon its release. The second issue that was scheduled for September will appear at the end of this calendar year. After 2017, the regular schedule of March and September will be observed for the publication.
As brief background to the process this new publication, I would like to indicate that in my new role as President of WCCES with the promise to manage new structures and innovations in a forward-looking manner, I wanted to initiate new activities aiming to contribute to enhancing the sense of community and sustained productive interactions between the congresses every three years. WCCES and its constituent societies being academic organizations, I thought of and imagined the potentially constructive contributions of additional publication projects besides the activities of the Publications Standing Committee. For the purpose of strengthening WCCES, I devoted considerable time to share my initial thoughts in reaching out to members of different constituent societiesto solicit their inputs. Through these consultations, I received constructive feedback and discussed some concrete plans. Subsequently, with the approval of the Executive Committee, I commissioned a new task force called the Journal and Chronicle Task Force (JCTF). The mandate of this task force was to create a new peer-reviewed journal and a publication that would include short scholarly peer-reviewed papers. This publication has been named World Voices Nexus: The WCCES Chronicle. After spending a lot of time and making a great deal of efforts to find a chair for this task force, in order to move swiftly, in February this year I committed myself to assume this role and subsequently as editor of the journal as well, with Greg Misiaszek as one of the Co-chairs of JCTF and the Co-editor of the Journal. The idea of new academic publications was generally well received, although some colleagues wondered whether it was necessary to create another journal, considering the potential difficulty of consistently assuring quality, especially with the ambitious plan of publishing in six languages. While these concerns were legitimate and given serious thought, it was apparent that as a global academic organization, WCCES has special and immense assets in the members of the constituent societies. Thus, with my own resolve and encouraged by the overwhelming enthusiasm and excitement expressed by many about both the journal and World Voices Nexus: the WCCES Chronicle, it became evident that, without downplaying the challenges, we had to devise ways to make it happen.
As quality is the hallmark of both these publications, we have set up a joint advisory board comprising of stellar academics from different parts of the world and two respective editorial teams for the Journal and the Chronicle. To uphold the principles of diversity and equity, we have been making, and will continue to make, systematic effort toward gender balance, geographical and generational representation and linguistic expertize in the six languages in the advisory board and editorial committees. This inaugural issue was planned to include the four keynote addresses that were delivered at the XVI World Congress of Comparative Education that was held in Beijing in August 2016. With the collaboration of many colleagues, except for one paper, we are able to publish the papers in languages other than English, in which the keynote addresses were delivered. “The State of the Art in Comparative Education and WCCES at a Crossroads in the 21st Century” by then outgoing WCCES President Carlos Alberto Torres is published in all the six languages; “The Prospect of Chinese Schools-from the perspective of dialectics” by WANG Yingjie is published in English and Chinese; “Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Lives” by Andreas Schleicher is in English; and “China in the Center: What Will It Mean for Global Education?” by Ruth Hayhoe. By the time the decision for the new publications was made and the authors of the keynotes addresses were contacted, Professor Hayhoe’s address had already been committed for publication in another journal. However, she kindly provided a synopsis in English and Chinese the link for access to her published article. Beside the keynote addresses, two additional contributions have been included in this inaugural: a poem “A Gift of Peace,” by Aïcha Maherzi. I would like to take this opportunity to indicate that in addition to regular articles, we hope to include in the journal creative contributions such this poem, that emulate the idea and mission of WCCES. Finally, I am also pleased to announce that in collaboration with the History Team, the Journal includes a section called “Profile of a Pioneer Leader.” For this inaugural issue, the title is “Profile of a Comparative and International Education Leader: Anne Hickling-Hudson” by W. James Jacob.
As we celebrate the launch of this journal, it is very important to acknowledge, on behalf of WCCES, the contributions of so many colleagues whose expression of caution, readiness, enthusiasm and unfailing support have led us to this momentous stage in just a few months. I wish to thank the core group of enthusiastic and committed colleagues for their contributions, from the substance and naming of the publications to the practical process. Remarkably, some of these colleagues have not even been formally members of the JCTF but made invaluable contributions. I would like to thank Greg Misiaszek, Kanishka Bedi, Jason Dorio, Joan Oviawe, and Lauren Misiaszek. I would also like to express our deepest gratitude to senior luminaries of our field, eminent scholars and practitioners with solid experience in publication especially first-rate peer-reviewed journals, who have agreed to serve on the Advisory Board, and other seasoned and emerging scholars and practitioners who have enthusiastically agreed to serve in different capacities especially on the editorial committee. I wish to thank several colleagues who enthusiastically volunteered to contribute to the translation and proof-reading of the different versions of the papers and various texts that are important for the Journal. I would like to also express our appreciation to the Journal Editorial Management Team and the Language-Specific Management Members.
The committees will continue to expand to reinforce inclusiveness and tap into the breadth of expertise in WCCES. We will contact many colleagues who may not be formally on the editorial team, but can assist with the review of the submissions and/or translations in the different languages. We also intend to develop additional dimensions such as book reviews for which we will need editors to cover the six languages.
I would like to reiterate my commitment for the principle of cumulative process, in building on past achievements to address gaps and emerging needs in fulfilling the mission of the Council as a community with a common goal amidst different objective situations. This journal offers a platform to share conceptual/theoretical perspectives, results of empirical research with different methodologies. It aims to contribute to strengthening the capacity of the Council by utilizing comparative education to promote further global understanding and collaboration to emulate the idea of our interdependence and common humanity.
It is a great honor for me to serve as Editor of Global Comparative Education: Journal of the WCCES. On behalf of WCCES, I would like to thank all the contributors to this issue. It will be critical to tap into the immense resources of the Council to achieve and maintain the status of a top and relevant journal. The submissions and feedback of the members and all the readers in general will be needed as the vitality and sustained quality of this journal will be a reflection of the continued support, commitment and engagement of each and all of us in the Council and comparative education community.