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Educational Research on Diversity and Quality Improvement in Education.

We must face many challenges in order to improve the quality of our Education if we want it to be based on basic and applied research. Contemporary advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), which arrived years ago with the intention of remaining among us, allows us to derive from them (from a deep reflection about and investigation on their possibilities of utilization) several applications destined to improve the quality of Education per se and to maybe contribute to a change of paradigm. Despite the intrinsic great capabilities of ICT to process information, this cannot be based on a simple manifestation of 'brute' force, that is a simple displaying of 'brute' data; rather it must be based on the relational capability and the development of cognitive possibilities that contribute efficiently to the production of knowledge. And this must come in turn from a healthy and intelligent interdisciplinary approach based on the contribution of many epistemological points of view, diverse techniques, disciplines, personal experiences, and concepts. Also, it must be based on healthy biodiversity and the practice of exogamy, that is a large number of scholars that represent several research teams working from numerous highly reputable universities in several countries. We are talking not only about magnitude, quantity, and size but also--and particularly, we must add--about a fine-tuning that promotes-from concrete data--an access to a refined knowledge.

The articles that we are proud to present in this new issue of the Journal of New Approaches on Educational Research amply satisfy the abovementioned requirements. In addition, and to use the keywords of the very title of the journal, they include new approaches and the utilization of new techniques, disciplines, and concepts on the benefits that Education can effectively derive from an interdisciplinary research about the great options provided by the ICT.

In this regard, and upon fulfilling the strict requirements of a double blind peer review, we are happy to present the results of the original research of these articles: "Determinants of Internet Use for Interactive Learning" by Jonatan Castano, Josep M. Duart, and Teresa Sancho (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya); "Media Literacy through photography and participation. A conceptual approach" by Angel V. Rabadan (Universidad de Huelva);"Educative Supervision in International Cooperation Contexts" by Ana Ortiz (Universidad de Jaen), Pedro Valdivia-Moral (Universidad de Huelva), Javier Cachon (Universidad de Jaen), and Joel Prieto (Cardenal Herrera); "Enhancing Learning with the Social Media: Studient Teachers' perceptions on Twitter in a Discussion Activity" by Gema Tur (Universitat de les Illes Balears); "The Evaluation questionnaire of Teaching Skills at the University Level" by Juan Antonio Moreno-Murcia, Yolanda Silveira Torregrosa, and Noelia Belando Pedreno (Universidad Miguel Hernandez); and "Analysis of Risks in a Learning Management System: A Case Study in the Spanish National University of Distance Education (UNED)" by Esteban Vazquez-Cano, and Ma Luisa Sevillano Garcia (UNED).

To these articles we must add those belonging to the Special Section "Diversity Issues in Psychology and Education". This section is based on the idea that in a world of increasing globalization and immigration, psychologists and educators are continually faced with issues related to diversity in the classroom, practice settings, and the workplace. This diversity can take the form of cultural, linguistic, racial/ethnic, gender, and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) differences among students, clients, and employees. Mounting empirical evidence indicates that many, if not most, psychological and educational processes are culture-specific and context-dependent, emphasizing the ever-increasing need for research and practice guidelines on diversity issues. This special section is aimed at examining the impact that diversity has had on recent psychological and educational research, teaching, and practice in a wide variety of settings.

Also after having fulfilled the strict requirements of a double blind peer review, we are happy to present in a coherent thematic progression the following articles: "The Relationship between Test Anxiety, Epistemological Beliefs and Problems Solving among Students" by Vali Medinezhad and Zeneiab Bamari (University of Sistan and Baluchestan); "An Attack on Inclusive Education in Secondary Education. Limitations in Initial Teacher Training in Spain" by Manuel Lopez-Torrijo, and Santiago Mengual-Andres (Universitat de Valencia); and "Teachers' beliefs about diversity: an analysis from a personal and professional perspective" by Ester Chiner and Maria C. Cardona-Molto (Universidad de Alicante).

In sum, it is our honor to present these ten studies that result from the most rigorous and specialized research that centers on very specific objects of study and, when taken in total, allow us to have a complete overview of the field as it they were a perfect octahedron.

Julie Spencer-Rodgers (1), Antonio Cortijo-Ocana (2)

(1) Dept. of Psichology, California Politechnical University, University of California, Berkeley, USA {rodgers@berkeley.edu}

(2) Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA {amcortijo@aim.com}

Received on 18 December 2014; revised on 18 December 2014; accepted on 29 December 2014; published on 15 January 2015

DOI: 10.7821/naer.2015.1.121
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Title Annotation:ISSUE INTRODUCTION
Author:Spencer-Rodgers, Julie; Cortijo-Ocana, Antonio
Publication:NAER - Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research
Date:Jan 1, 2015
Words:812
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