Tuesday, 20 March 2018

New publication: Special issue on schoolscapes for Linguistics and Education

I happily announce that our new Special Issue entitled Studying the visual and material dimensions of education and learning has been published as Vol. 44 (2018) of Linguistics and Education. We edited it together with Petteri Laihonen.

Our editorial summarizes what we consider the main contribution of this publication:
In this special issue we offer an extensive exploration and conceptualization of the visual and material dimensions of education and learning, bringing together a cluster of emerging scholarly ventures that investigate how people create, explore, interpret, negotiate, adjust, contest, transform and envision learning environments. This edited collection of research papers shows the versatility of the growing field of schoolscape studies and the high potential of recent theoretical and methodological innovations to investigate the visual and material dimensions of education and learning. The studies share the view that premises designed for education as well as other spaces can equally serve as sites of teaching and learning. Among others, the papers ask what the environment offers and how images, multimodal texts and artifacts can be used to enhance (language) learning and communication. The empirical case studies apply a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches, bringing innovation into the generation, presentation and analysis of data from varying educational institutions and mundane settings covering geographical sites from Europe and North America.

The present special issue is the first systematic collection of studies that deal with educational policies and practices from a linguistic landscape point of view (see also Gorter’s commentary in this issue). As first ventures into a specific theoretical concept, methodology or theme, the chosen empirical case studies advance numerous fields of applied linguistic inquiry.
The special issue includes our editorial, seven original research papers and Durk Gorter's comprehensive review paper. With Petteri, we are glad that this venture attracted a group of scholars representing different approaches and career stages. We are very grateful for their cooperation, openness and flexibility which made this special issue possible.
The table of contents provides an overview of the richness of topics and methods discussed in the special issue:

It is our pleasure that Linguistics and Education accepted our proposal that we submitted in late 2015. At that time, we were in the preparation phase of a two-day colloquium for Sociolinguistics Symposium 21 in Murcia, Spain. Our colloquium also had the title Studying the visual and material dimensions of education and learning, and some of the presenters are among the authors of the special issue (the program of the colloquium is available in the symposium booklet, on pages 106–108 and 210–213).
The papers of this special issue have been available in a close-to-final in press version since last autumn, and we learnt that some of them are on university course reading lists, and some of them already got cited. It shows that this publication started to reach its audience, and we hope it will be used extensively in research and teaching.

 You can read our editorial for free until 6 May 2018 using this link. Enjoy!

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