Dr. Victor Wang Interviews and Introduces New Co-Editors-in-Chief of IJAVET: Dr. Patricia Cranton & Dr. Stephen Brookfield

Acclaimed Editors Join Forces for the International Journal of Adult Vocational Education & Technology

By IGI Global on Apr 18, 2013
International Journal of Adult Vocational Education and Technology (IJAVET) As a special Newsroom Post for IGI Global, we asked the acclaimed Dr. Victor Wang, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Adult and Vocational Education and Technology (IJAVET) to host an interview addressing his new joint Editors-in-Chief, Dr. Patricia Cranton of the University of New Brunswick, Canada, and Dr. Stephen Brookfield of the University of St. Thomas, USA.

Dr. Victor Wang: The International Journal of Adult Vocational Education and Technology was first endorsed in 2008 by a peer of Malcolm Knowles, Dr. Edgar Boone. The journal is distributed throughout many countries. We are excited to introduce two new co-editors of the journal, the esteemed Dr. Patricia Cranton and Dr. Stephen Brookfield. We are honored that you both have agreed to serve as editors-in-chief to raise the awareness of the journal to a new level.

I grew up in China, studying Marxism. When I read Dr. Stephen Brookfield’s writing on critical theory, I tell colleagues and students, "This is our contemporary Karl Marx, whose books are full of wisdom." Similarly, I say at national and international conferences, "Dr. Cranton is the Queen of transformative learning..." Your research has truly helped advance and develop the field of adult education.

Would each of you tell us something about your academic background and the research and writing you will continue to pursue?

Dr. Patricia Cranton: Victor, thank you so much for that wonderful introduction. I am honored to be invited to make a contribution to the IJAVET as a co-editor. My interests in adult education in general are fairly broad, but I have focused my writing and research over the last ten years on transformative learning and authenticity in teaching. In relation to the specific goals of IJAVET, I taught for two decades in a program designed to help tradespeople become teachers of their trades. This was some of the most rewarding teaching I have ever done. I also had the opportunity to conduct research on the transition that tradespeople make as they move to a new identity as “teacher.”

I’m never quite sure of the directions that my future research and writing will take, but I have been working with the use of fiction in teaching and narrative and arts-based learning. When I was teaching in
trades program, I found arts-based learning to be a fascinating alternative for folks who were not especially fond of writing essays.

Dr. Stephen Brookfield: Critical theory seems to me to provide one of the most helpful sets of explanations as to how people live in communities and organizations, particularly how they experience the dynamics of power. As a teacher, critical theory has made me far more aware of power dynamics in my classroom, and has helped me understand the need to intervene to stop power relations outside the classroom from automatically reproducing themselves in the classroom. The exercises and activities I've developed for this purpose are everywhere in my books and on my website. Critical theory also makes me aware of how dominant ideology - prevailing sets of ideas, practices, values and habits - structure so much of what happens in class, and how students approach learning. Capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, heterosexism, ableism - all these ideologies shape how curricula are developed, learning assessed, and teachers approach their work. Ideologies of individualism and capitalism, for example, mean that the assessment of student learning, consideration of what represents scholarly excellence, and models of good teaching, stress individual competition as the norm. Collaboration and the collective generation of knowledge are viewed skeptically as not 'properly' academic.

Dr. Victor Wang: Most universities subscribe to the e-version of this journal and many other of IGI Global's journals. What are your thoughts on e-journals and the advantages they may give to readers?

Dr. Stephen Brookfield: The explosion of E-communication has revolutionized how knowledge is created and disseminated. Of course, the glaring digital divide means that large sectors of the globe do not have access to adequate modes of information sharing. But as technology becomes cheaper and access grows we have the opportunity to integrate new forms of democratic participation and information sharing into political and educational systems. We are now in an era when knowledge generated at different ends of the globe has the potential to be shared almost instantaneously.

Dr. Patricia Cranton: As a faculty member who has been teaching online for more than a decade, I am fully conscious of the advantage of online resources and e-journals. It is important to be accessible to journal readers in general and especially to students of adult education. Thirty years ago, Dr. Malcolm Knowles envisioned a world where adult learners could have free and easy access to resources in order to engage in self-directed learning. It is good to see his vision becoming a reality.

Dr. Victor Wang: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! Your generosity is greatly appreciated. The journal and its community of scholars/researchers will be well served with your wealth of knowledge, skills and unmatched prior experience as well-respected editors in the field of adult education. I am confident that more universities and researchers from around the globe in the next three years will subscribe to this journal that serves as a premier resource for teaching and learning. Your expertise, prior experience and vision as editors will certainly continue to help advance and develop the field to a new height. No need to say the whole academia will immensely benefit from your leadership as editors in chief of this prestigious journal by IGI Global. On a personal note, I am indebted to your scholarly contributions to this global learning community. Thank you again!

Victor C.X. Wang, a tenured associate professor, joined the faculty at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Wang’s research and writing activities have addressed workforce education, the foundations of adult education, adult teaching and learning, training, transformative learning, cultural issues in vocational and adult education, distance education, human performance technology, instructional/administrative leadership, assessment and evaluation of learning, and curriculum development. He has published more than 150 journal articles, book chapters and books, including two encyclopedias and one handbook of research.
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