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Volume 47, Number 1 of the AJE again provides a diversity of material. The first two articles open up different aspects of globalisation, communications and social inclusion, issues that are now dominating much of the world-wide literature in social policy. The article by Margaret Alston and Jenny Kent draws on research conducted at Charles Sturt University to conclude that the financial cost of education is excluding many rural families. Although Australian politicians have been quick to acknowledge the salience of the rural vote, governments have been slower to support the infrastructure necessary to sustain high quality rural communities.

Lawrence Angus, Ilana Snyder and Wendy Suthefiand-Smith conclude from their examination of different families' engagement with information and communications technologies that questions of equity and advantage/disadvantage in relation to ICTs cannot be reduced to the availability of hardware and software alone. Families vary in their capacity to make use of computing. Culture, family affect, resources, literacies and technologies interact in complex ways. The study points the way to further and larger-scale qualitative research along these lines.

Ross Guest and Alan Duhs probe the inferential conditions of the new program of quality assurance in Australian universities, presently being conducted by the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA). They find that not only do we lack accurate indicators of teaching performance, but teachers lack incentives to allocate effort to teaching rather than research. Guest and Duhs propose a model for the performance-based funding of university teaching.

In the first of two articles on teacher stress, Ali Murat Sunbul uses a survey of Turkish school teachers to analyse the relationships between stress and burnout, and aspects of locus of control, job satisfaction and various demographic characteristics. He finds that an external locus of control, and age, are both related positively to the emotional exhaustion dimension of burnout. Not surprisingly, 'excessive job involvement'--which is more likely to be a problem for older teachers--is also correlated to burnout. The AJE does not normally publish single country articles from outside Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, in which Australia has a special interest (see 'Editorial policy and contributions' on the inside back cover). But it was felt that this particular article was of sufficient quality and general interest to readers to be included.

Narelle Thomas, Valerie Clarke and Judy Lavery report the outcomes of a study of self-reported stress among female primary teachers in Geelong, Victoria. Despite the fact that the women teachers carried out two-thirds of the total household work, the researchers found that perceived work stress made a greater contribution to perceived global stress than did family-related stress. Stress in each domain tended to impact on stress in the other. However global levels of stress were moderate overall. The major single cause of stress was time and work load pressure.

In the final article, Andrew Martin continues the development of a Student Motivation Scale, applying this to a sample of 2561 secondary students. The scale identifies factors associated with enhanced or suppressed motivation. Its application demonstrates variations on the basis of level of schooling, gender (girls have a more adaptive pattern of motivation), ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The Scale can be used to determine students at risk of disengagement and hence under-achievement.

The revised version of the article on teaching physics in Taiwan, the publication of which was foreshadowed in AJE, Volume 46, Number 3, is still under consideration.

AJE, Volume 47, Number 2, will be a special issue on the international shortage of principals, edited by Peter Gronn.
Simon Marginson
Monash University
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Article Details
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Author:Marginson, Simon
Publication:Australian Journal of Education
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Apr 1, 2003
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