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TC Students: Pioneers in Comparative Education with New Online Journal

Current Issues in Comparative Education (CICE), a new journal at TC launched in the fall, is not just any scholarly journal.

For one thing, the journal is only available online at http://www.tc.columbia.edu/cice. Secondly, it deals with controversial issues in the field of comparative and international education that often lack a fair share of research attention, such as the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in society-the focus of the debut issue. And lastly, it is produced and created by an editorial board of approximately ten TC students, with an active international advisory board, all on a volunteer basis.

It isn't the first time TC has supported pioneers in comparative education. According to Professor Gita Steiner-Khamsi, the first print journal in the field, Comparative Education Review, was also founded here in the late '50s by Professor George Bereday. "Now, it's unique that TC has founded the first online journal in the field," said Professor Steiner-Khamsi, who is an Associate Professor of Education in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies at TC and a member of the journal's advisory board.

Professor Steiner-Khamsi also attests to the journal's uniqueness in using the online medium instead of print as its format: "Other journals take one to two years before they get out. With CICE, things get released faster, with shorter articles."

Dana Burde, CICE Co-Editor-in-Chief and Ph.D. student in Comparative and International Education, agrees. "Print journals have a lag time, and responses to printed articles take even longer," said Burde. "(We) wanted something that would be accessible online-for current issues to be debated." The CICEWeb site allows for more communication and interaction among scholars, students and practitioners in the field.

So far, the journal has garnered feedback from all over the world, in part due to the larger audience the journal can reach in its online format. "CICE is debate-oriented, so responses are ongoing-and there is always new material going up," said Carolyn Kissane, CICE Outreach Director and Ph.D. student in Comparative and International Education.

The theme for CICE's inaugural issue was decided based on the results of a Comparative International Education Society (CIES) panel discussion on NGOs held in Buffalo, N.Y. last spring. "It's a cross-disciplinary journal," said Burde. "For example, in this issue, the discussion of the role of the state versus private nonprofit organizations requires a variety of perspectives."

The unique format on the CICE Web site consists of one central debate topic and several response articles. In addition, other members of the field may then respond in one of two ways: either formally, by submitting a response article for editorial consideration; or informally, by submitting comments to the ongoing debate hosted on the site's chat board.

The students see the next step as institutionalizing the journal and envision it somewhat like the Harvard Education Review in its potential contribution to education-but online. "Institutionalizing it is a major goal, not a short term project," said Kissane. "The journal is valuable to the entire TC community."

CICE will be published twice annually. Due to appear online in April, the next issue will be based on issues raised in the lecture given by Professor Michael Apple in November at TC, which was co-sponsored by CICE. It will cover market forces in educational reform, with a subcategory of edu- cational borrowing and transfer. For the current issue of the journal and the running debate, go to http://www.tc.columbia.edu/cice.

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