Worcester State’s Academic Journal Highlights Innovative Research from Teacher-Scholars

October 8, 2019
By: Kristen O'Reilly

When faculty around the country search for the best practices in teaching in higher education, they turn to a respected academic journal published right here at Worcester State University. Currents in Teaching and Learning is a repository of academically sound, peer-reviewed research from teacher-scholars around the country and the world.

“This journal reflects the values of our university,” says Associate Professor Benjamin Jee, Ph.D., who was recently named editor of the 11-year-old publication, taking over for Associate Professor Martin Fromm, Ph.D. “It’s online, open access, and focused on high quality instruction of students. We want to be the thought leader, the hub of that information.”

“There’s a cache of having the journal reside within a university, especially one where the primary focus on teaching and learning,” says School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences Dean Linda Larrivee ’76, M.S. ’80, Ph.D., who serves as managing editor. “When you look at the archives, it’s is an accumulation of all the innovative practices in teaching over the past 11 years.”

Currents is published twice a year—one issue is general and the other themed. The latest edition, focused on general topics, includes submissions on using personal narration in online writing courses, working with diverse students through game-based learning activities, teaching students to write from sources, and crowdfunding with first-year students as a way of introducing them to philanthropy. Authors in this edition come from diverse institutions, including Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Norfolk State University, Metropolitan State University in Denver, Bowling Green State University, and American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

The spring edition, a themed one, is now accepting submissions on digital pedagogies—topics at the intersection of technology, teaching, and learning. According to its website, the publication solicits: short reports from different disciplines on classroom practices; longer research, theoretical, or conceptual articles, and explorations of issues and challenges facing teachers today; and book and website reviews. The deadline for spring submission is Dec. 15.

Larrivee says the journal should be a source of pride for alumni, especially given the institution’s origins as a teacher’s college. “We are highlighting innovative thinking that will have direct impact on students. It’s good to be seen as a resource of that information,” she says.

She hopes that with additional private support, Worcester State can grow its academic reputation by hosting scholarly conferences related to the research in the journal.

“We would become better known for our forward thinking in the area if we can invite scholars to campus and show them, ‘This is our area of research,’” she says.

Currents in Teaching and Learning is a peer-reviewed electronic journal that fosters exchanges among reflective teacher-scholars across the disciplines. Published twice a year, Currents seeks to improve teaching and learning in higher education with short reports on classroom practices as well as longer research, theoretical, or conceptual articles, and explorations of issues and challenges facing teachers today. Non-specialists and jargon-free, Currents is addressed to both faculty and graduate students in higher education, teaching in all academic disciplines.

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