CTER v30n1 - Editor's Note

Volume 30, Number 1

Editor's Note

Steven R. Aragon
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

I would like to welcome you to the first issue of Career and Technical Education Research ( CTER ) formerly known as the Journal of Vocational Education Research ( JVER ). It is a pleasure for me to serve as the first editor of the journal under its new name. I see this role as an opportunity for me to expand my knowledge and understanding of career and technical education as well as to work with some excellent researchers within the field.

By looking at the inside cover, you can see that the journal has a very strong editorial board comprised of some strong researchers in the field of career and technical education. Neil Knobloch, also at the University of Illinois, is serving as the 2005 Chair of the Editorial Board. In conjunction with the Board, I am committed to continuing in the footsteps of the previous editors by publishing manuscripts that represent a high level of rigor.

As many of you are already aware, the Journal's new name became effective in 2005 along with that of the American Vocational Education Research Association (AVERA) which changed its name to the Association for Career and Technical Education Research (ACTER). These name changes represent both the organization's and journal's desire to reflect the evolution that has been occurring within the field over the last several years.

In addition to the change in both the name of the journal and editor, you may have also noticed that the first issue of 2005 is coming out a little late in the year (to say the least). This is due to the low number of submissions we received towards the end of 2004 and into the first few months of 2005. It is not clear whether this was due simply to the name change and a subsequent assumption the journal was no longer around, the normal end-of-the-year wind down, or other factors of which we are not aware. I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the journal is very much still alive and only the title has changed to better represent the field of career and technical education. Consequently, please keep sending in your CTE manuscripts!

In this first issue, I think you will find studies that represent quality contributions to our body of knowledge in career and technical education. The first paper, co-authored by Antje Barabasch and Richard Lakes, use a multidisciplinary literature review to examine the conditions of risk in school-to-work transitions in East Germany. Using Beck's theory of risk, Barabasch and Lakes posit that market societies leave young people to fend for themselves in CTE. The authors discuss factors of individualization, structure, post-industrialization, and unification.

Julie Chadd and Marcia Anderson examine worksite mentors' level of knowledge and training for teaching work skills to students participating in workbased learning programs. Chadd and Anderson take the position that the effectiveness of work-based learning programs can diminish because worksite mentors may not have the training experience to reinforce previously taught skills by the teacher. In this paper, the authors look at a sample of workplace mentors to determine their level of knowledge and training for teaching work skills to students.

In the last article of this issue, Maria Gentry, Mary Rizza, Scott Peters, and Saiying Hu investigate an exemplary career and technical education center. Using ethnographic and grounded theory approaches, Gentry, Rizza, Peters, and Hu obtained insights into this center than distinguished it from traditional secondary school settings. The authors found themes of professionalism, sense of community, and reasons to learn which allow them to recommend methods that secondary educators can use to engage students in meaningful and challenging learning.