Time to Reflect
As I begin my second year as Editor of the Journal, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect back over this past year's activities. The Journal continues to provide a high quality outlet for the scholarship of the profession. The diversity and range of manuscripts published over this past year continues to reflect NAITTE's philosophy and organizational structural. Topics have included a broad spectrum, ranging from those with a specific vocational focus to those exploring issues related to general education. We have continued to strike a balance between conceptual and research-based work and there has been an increased interest in qualitative methodologies.
In my initial From the Editor piece of one year ago, I attempted to encourage those who are in the early stages of their careers to submit their work to the Journal. This has happened over the past year. The quality of these manuscripts has been excellent and signals an encouraging flow of new talent into the profession. At the same time, the many demands and heavy workloads of experienced faculty are competing with research and scholarship productivity. While the overall volume of manuscripts remains steady, contributions from experienced researchers have declined. It is vitally important that we continue to encourage our colleagues to engage in research and submit their work. The continued quality and vitality of JITE simply cannot be sustained without a steady flow of quality manuscripts.
At this juncture, I also want to comment on the work of the reviewers and the editorial board. These people steadily work behind the scenes and regularly provide invaluable perspectives on, and assistance with, manuscripts. Without their professionalism, advice, and dedication, it would not be possible to maintain the high quality of the Journal. During this period of transition into Volume 35, I want to take this opportunity to announce some changes to the Board. With the relocation of the Journal from the University of Missouri-Columbia to Illinois State University, Dr. Nan Erickson completed one year of service as Style Editor. Her dedication, professionalism, and ability will be sincerely missed and the profession owes her a debt of gratitude. I am pleased to announce the additions to the editorial board which officially occurred on July 1, 1997. I would like to welcome three new Assistant Editors to the board. They are Dan Brown, Murray State University; Marie Hoepfl, Appalachian State University; and Richard Satchwell, the CeMaST center at Illinois State University. In addition to his work as Assistant Editor, Richard Satchwell has agreed to serve as Style Editor for Volume 35. These individuals have distinguished themselves through their work as reviewers and I look forward to working with them in this expanded capacity. I also look forward to continuing to work with Associate Editor Ken Gray, The Pennsylvania State University, as we transition into his Editorship next July. During this year, two Assistant Editors will be serving the final year of their terms. These individuals are Richard Lakes, Georgia State University; and David Pucel, University of Minnesota. Bryan Simmons, Clemson University will continue in his valuable role as Circulation Manager. Thank you to all of these individuals for their valuable service and dedication to JITE and the profession.
In This Issue
This issue is a special theme issue focusing on critical issues facing developing countries. Guest editors are Scott D. Johnson and Robert E. Nelson. In this time of increasing globalization, it is important to explore how challenges related to the advancement of technology and workforce development are being addressed in various cultural and international contexts. This special theme issue of the Journal of Industrial Teacher Education discusses many of the problems that are unique to developing countries. Paramount among these problems are growing unemployment rates, economic restrictions, limited access to information technologies, and weak technical support. This special theme issue highlights the critical problems that face developing countries through descriptions of multiple research studies that examine various aspects of technology entrepreneurship, and apprenticeship. These studies provide evidence that industrial and technical education must play an important role in the solution of the problems that face developing countries.
The lead article, written by Robert Nelson and Scott Johnson, provides a general overview of the economic development problems faced by African countries and links the solution of those problems to education. Industrial and technology teacher education play an important role. In addition to describing efforts to introduce entrepreneurship education in all technical training institutions in Kenya, the article also discusses a graduate program in entrepreneurship education where indigenous leadership provides consulting services and conducts research that add to the knowledge base on the development of entrepreneurial competencies.
The second article, authored by Jason Githeko and Scott Johnson, examines the problems encountered in developing countries when attempting to introduce technological innovations into the workplace. Using an ethnographic case study design, observations and interviews were conducted at four educational institutions in Kenya over a four month period. The authors discuss critical factors that influence the acceptance of innovations, including the quality of the technological infrastructure, the education and training levels of end users, economic and technical support requirements, and political and personal agendas. Specific barriers that need to be addressed when implementing innovations in developing countries are discussed.
The third article, by Ahmed Ferej and Scott Johnson, addresses the severe unemployment problems in Kenya that have created a need to produce six million new jobs by the year 2000. The only way this can be achieved is if the majority of the new jobs are created by individuals who have the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills needed to establish successful businesses. This study examines the extent to which entrepreneurial knowledge and skills are gained by apprentices through formal and informal training systems in Kenya. The results indicate that the environment in which apprentices learn a trade is critical for the development of entrepreneurial skills.
In the fourth article, George K'Aol and Robert Nelson address the same problem as Ferej and Johnson, but focus on the perceptions of craftsmen and apprentices regarding the extent to which self-employment skills are taught through informal apprenticeship activities. Using data gathered through structured interviews with over 100 craftsmen and apprentices, the authors conclude that few self-employment skills are explicitly taught, primarily because of skill deficiencies on the part of craftsmen.
The fifth article, by Robert Gichira and Robert Nelson, describes the perceptions of entrepreneurs regarding the external and internal problems that affect small business operations. Differences between Kenyan entrepreneurs who have and have not received management training are identified. Implications for education and training are also discussed.
The At Issue section contains an essay by Edgar Farmer that is designed to heighten awareness of the need for additional diversity among the leadership in post-secondary technical education. The Under Review section contains a review by Brian McAlister of Hafner and Lyon's Where Wizards Stay Up Late, which chronicles the individuals and events involved in the development of the Internet. The issue concludes with the Bits and Pieces section containing information about submitting manuscripts to JITE, how to become a member of NAITTE, and ordering various NAITTE publications.
Reference Citation: Custer, R. L. (1997). Time to reflect. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, 35 (1), 3-6.