Evolution in educational change: A literature review of the historical core of the Journal of Educational Change
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This literature review explored educational change trends as reflected in the first 15 years of the Journal of Educational Change (JEC), from 2000 to 2014. The examination of 52 articles accounting for 61% of the Journal’s historical citations indicated that the JEC has evolved through five periods, which relate to ‘waves of educational change’ beyond the Journal itself. At the center of this development there has been a process of de-centering of Anglo-American perspectives on educational reform, pushed both by an increasing pessimism among U.S. and U.K. scholars regarding their countries’ reforms and by systematic evidence that other educational systems are achieving better student learning outcomes. The aforementioned evolution also shows a shift from more conceptual works by the field’s historical leaders toward more empirical research conducted by emergent scholars. After discussing the predominant concept of educational change, the major silences in the reviewed literature, and what this evolution in the JEC says about the field of educational change at large, the paper ends reflecting on challenges as a new generation of scholars begins to enter the conversation.
KeywordsEducational change Large-scale educational reform Sustainability of educational change High-achieving educational systems Teacher professionalism Emerging trends in education
The authors would like to give special thanks to Professor Dennis Shirley for his support throughout this endeavor. Without his encouragement to engage in this process with a critical lens, and his willingness to offer feedback at critical junctures, this review would not have been possible. We would also like to thank the JEC’s board and editorial staff for their openness and insights as we completed this review of the Journal’s historical core.
The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
Conflict of interest
The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
The asterisks indicate the 52 reviewed articles.
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