Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Journal of Expanded Learning Opportunities (JELO)

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
My long-time colleague, Kim Boyer, Executive Director of the Central Valley Afterschool Foundation, will be working with Logan Robertson and Matilda Soria to launch a new afterschool and expanded learning journal called The Journal of Expanded Learning Opportunities (JELO). I'm honored to support their efforts by serving as a peer-reviewer. Kim recently released a call for papers for the first edition of the journal. Click here to view. Below I ask Kim to tell us more about this journal. 

Q: You and the Central Valley Afterschool Foundation are launching a new journal on afterschool and summer programs entitled “Journal of Expanded Learning Opportunities (JELO)”. Can you describe the purpose of this journal?

Dr. Kim Boyer
A: The aim of this journal is to promote scholarship and consciousness of the ways in which students’ engagement in afterschool and expanded learning activities contributes to their learning and development by publishing original empirical, practical, and theoretical manuscripts. The JELO will connect research and promising practices throughout California and the nation, fostering a dialogue that engages both researchers and practitioners in the field. 

Q: There are a couple of journals that share the purpose of your new journal. Why did you decide to launch this?

A: There is a growing need to bring awareness to the positive impact of afterschool and out-of-school time learning. While there are journals that focus on this, we wanted to launch something that looks at the unique programs in California, as well as bring awareness to the term expanded learning opportunities and how it is very much connected to afterschool programming. 

Q: You describe the JELO as peer-reviewed. What do you mean by this and what advantages does it offer you, the editor?

A: What we mean by peer–reviewed or refereed is the process of subjecting an author's paper to careful review/scrutiny by others who are experts in the same field. This process needs to be done before a paper can be published in a journal like the JELO. The work may be accepted, considered acceptable with revisions, or rejected. The associate editors and I wanted to implement this process with the journal submissions in order to ensure papers published in the JELO are considered quality manuscripts. 

Q: What kind of articles will the journal feature? 

A: The journal solicits original papers in two categories: 

  • Research-based: presentation of new research using data that includes an abstract, an introductory paragraph, a brief literature review, methods (quantitative and/or qualitative), results and implications.  An example would be an academic or field study. 
  • Practitioner-based: presentation of an essay or brief focused on a specific promising practice that includes an abstract, introductory paragraph, discussion of the practice and recommendations for implementation, sustainability and scaling.  An example would be a review of a program project/activity.  

Q: You state in your call for papers that suggested topics are inspired by the Learning in Afterschool and Summer (LIAS) principles that include: learning that is active, collaborative, is meaningful to participants, supports mastery, and expands horizons. Why did you decide to cite the Learning in Afterschool & Summer learning principles as a framework to guide the development of your new journal? 

A: It is an exciting time in the field of afterschool and out-of-school time learning. Collaboration and input from the field is being encouraged and celebrated. The LIAS learning principles serve an important framework for quality afterschool programming and is being encouraged/implemented not only at the program level but at at the California Department of Education level.  Like many others, the associate editors and I embrace these principles and feel it should be interwoven throughout all of the work being done in this field and at all levels. This includes the JELO. 

Q: When can we expect that the journal will be available to readers? How will they be able to access it? 

A: Depending on the number of paper submissions, we are planning to publish the inaugural issue of the JELO sometime between May and August, 2013. When it is ready, the JELO will be open–access and available online through our website.  

Dr. Kimberley Boyer is the executive director of the Central Valley Afterschool Foundation. She has seven years experience working directly with children as an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles, and as an afterschool program coordinator and project specialist in Fresno. While at CVAF, Kim helped design and facilitate the Region VII ASSETs Learning Community, in addition to providing support to develop high quality elementary afterschool programs through trainings and onsite coaching. She continues to be involved in the sustainability of high school ASSETs programs, in the development of tools and resources to support Quality Self-Assessment, in curriculum development, in field research and in the implementation of English language learner support in afterschool.Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UCLA, a master’s degree in education from California State University, Fresno and a doctorate in educational leadership from Fresno State. 

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