I accepted your suggestion and decided to help Vehid in improving his presentation and resubmitting his work. I would like to invite you to read and comment new version which is available at http://ejolts.net/files/journal/2/2/Ibrakovic_Bognar.doc
I think that you have provided your students with the opportunity to use divergent ways of thinking by using different creative techniques, including freedom of choice. You have engaged in a dialectical process with your critical friends, which has not only challenged and affirmed your experiences but has perhaps inspired other teachers who would like to work in a similar way.
I agree that further work on the writing is necessary prior to publication. I have attached your original document, with my own comments added throughout. You will also see that I have made a start with editing the English but I feel that when you have worked on the suggested changes I can then be of further help with this aspect.
I accepted Ram Singh-Punia's suggestion to help Vehid to improve his work. Vehid also asked me to help him in finishing his paper since he is not English speaker and he could hardly alone improve everything that you suggested him to do. He asked me to be co-author of this paper too. I accepted his offer after a careful consideration although I would prefer that Vehid could be independent author.
I am wondering, and this is a principle question which is not address only to you, is it possible that we take in account difficulties which ordinary practitioners, particularly non English speakers could have in submitting papers for publishing in EJOLTS. Namely, this would not be the problem in ordinary academic journal but in the journal which "is committed to publishing the accounts of practitioner-researchers from a wide range of global, social, cultural and professional contexts that explain their educational influences in their own learning, in the learning of others and in the learning of social formations" this could be a crucial issue which needs to be discussed.
I am eager that papers in this journal be quality as much as it is possible, but maybe we could take in account that practitioners in some social, cultural and professional contexts are not able to read literature which is easily available to those who lives in developed Western countries and who speaks English.
Namely, although I am eager that EJOLTS become respectable international journal, I am much more eager that it allows practitioners from different countries (particularly less developed) to present their stories in the way which maybe won't be completely in accordance with all requirements of Western academic community, but which would be genuine, warm and inspirational.
Bernie, your detailed and insightful suggestions has helped us significantly in improving and resubmitting our paper. On behalf of Vehid and I personally would like to express deep gratitude for the huge effort which you invested to help us in improving the paper. I hope you will be kind to read the new version (http://ejolts.net/files/journal/2/2/Ibrakovic_Bognar.doc) and help us to improve it. I hope you won't resent the principle question which is not valid for the new version.
Dear Branko and Vehid,
I have read the revised paper, which I think shows a real commitment to improving learning and offers an explanation for why and how you do this.
I have made two additional comments this time in respect of action research, a living education theory methodology:
1. Vehid, you refer to how Jack Whitehead emphasises the value basis of action research, in which the researcher determines his values at the beginning of the research, and that these values are the standards for assessing the quality of the resulting action research (Whitehead, 1989). I think then that when you write about setting goals and criteria (page 5) that you need to link them directly to your espoused values.
2. I think that your work has allowed you to learn through the generation and testing of your educational theories, which are now the standards by which you can judge this practice. In writing about the changes you have made and seen (page 18) perhaps you could re-iterate your values briefly here, and explain that they are the standards by which you now judge the quality of the changes in practice.
Presently, the paper needs some English editing. I have no problem in working on this if you would like me to do so.
I recommend this article be published when the English editing is complete and the link to living theory is more explicit.
As a practising teacher, I understand and appreciate that practitioners should have the opportunity to present their stories, which I think contribute to the promotion of high quality practice. I do think that the work of teachers like Vehid and Mario should be told.
But I think that teacher researchers should also show how they are contributing to new knowledge in their area. Their work should allow for a synthesis of material drawn from personal experience, including a critical evaluation of the comments of critical friends, of those of the pupils and of their own reflections, in light of what it says in current literature. I accept Winterâ€™s (1998) explanation: â€that the phrase â€developing a theoretical interpretationâ€™ is a better indication of what we need to do within an action research inquiry than... the phrase â€linking practice to theoryâ€™â€™ (p.66). For me, this means valuing the insights from theory in the generation of personal theories of education from practice.
I appreciate the difficulty that practitioners in some social, cultural and professional contexts have in accessing and in reading literature which is easily available to English speakers. But the question is â€How do we do share their stories in EJOLTS?â€™I would have to accede to the experience of the Editorial Board in answering this question.
Winter, R. (1998). Finding a Voice â€“ Thinking with Others: a conception of action research. Educational Action Research.6 (1), 53-68.
Thank you very much for your suggestions and help!
Vehid & Branko
Please find the edited document attached. I have concentrated on the English in the text so I have added some addtional comments that you will need to attend to - but they will not any length of time to do.
I hope that I have not changed the intended meaning in the text, or in the comments of the critical friends or students. This was not my intention!
Regards and good luck,
Vehid and Branko