The Editor’s Corner
Marisha L. Humphries, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Chicago
Erika Taylor, Ph.D.
National Education Association
AAL Editors Column – Welcome, Spring 2016 Issue
Welcome to the spring 2016 issue of African American Learners (AAL). We are thrilled to greet you as the new co-editors-in-chief. We would be remiss in not acknowledging the inaugural co-editors-in-chief, Drs. Gloria Boute (University of South Carolina) and Hakim Rashid (Howard University). Their four years of service was marked by hard work and dedication to launching a new journal. Drs. Boute and Rashid were instrumental in helping to establishing AAL as a source for educational research regarding African Americans.
We are joined by new Associate Editors, Drs. Julius L. Davis (Bowie State University) and Mack Hines III (Sam Houston State University), as we shepherd AAL to the next level. We are honored to be associated with a peer-reviewed publication that takes a strengths-based perspective in studying factors that support the learning of African Americans.
As editors, we are looking for manuscripts that ultimately seek to improve learning for African Americans. There are multiple ways to accomplish this goal, including empirical and qualitative studies, and clinical practice writings. In order to dismantle the deficit orientation towards African American learners, it must be approached from multiple perspectives. As no one paradigm will conquer this deficit and elevate the research and practice to a strengths perspectives, AAL seeks work that will adopt a diversity of approaches to address the needs of African Americans in education.
Peer-reviewed journals typically focus exclusively on studies done by academic researchers for consumption by other researchers. Unfortunately, this keeps academic knowledge in the “ivory tower”, and practical knowledge in the field. However, since its inception, AAL has taken a very different orientation. Specifically, AAL is committed to being a peer-reviewed journal for both researchers and practitioners who work both within and outside of academia. The inclusion of both practitioners and researchers as creators and consumers of manuscripts that focus on educational outcomes for African Americans will hopefully contribute to both improving the science and practice that facilitates positive learning. This is an effort to which we are both very committed as editors, as it reflects our career trajectories.