Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
A publication of the Centre for Social Partnerships in Lifelong Learning (SPiLL) at Charles Darwin University in Australia’s Northern Territory, Learning Communities reports “original research … relating to the learning of individuals, groups, communities and organisations…, [with an] emphasis on the socio-cultural dimensions of learning in different contexts and configurations.” The journal focuses on “potentially generically applicable research that applies to particular situated problems or issues.”
Most issues include an editorial along with anywhere from three to 18 articles. It is necessary to download the PDF of each issue, then scroll, page through, or jump to a page in the issue to reach an article. It takes about 30 seconds to download the issue, but when I asked to jump to the page of the last article in that issue, on page 59, the system repeatedly took me to page 53. This was inefficient.
The articles in the most recent two issues, number 12 and 13, April and May 2013, reveal the focus of the journal; they include: “Generative and ‘Ground-Up’ Research in Aboriginal Australia,” “Teachers Begin Developing Socio-Cultural Awareness in Early Field Experiences,” “Doing Philosophy at the Boundaries: Researching the Design of Health Multimedia with Doctors and Indigenous Australians,” “Yolŋu Sign Language: An Undocumented Language of Arnhem Land,” “Following Actors: Enrolling the Vocabulary of Actor Network Theory to Talk about Internet Banking in a Remote Indigenous Town,” “Regulating Responsibilities: Income Management, Community Engagement and Bureaucratic Learning at Mäpuru, North East Arnhem Land,” “The ethnographer in the text: Stories of disconcertment in the changing worlds of north Australian social research,” “Belonging, being and becoming: Learning within early childhood education in a remote Aboriginal community,” “Rising to the challenge of SEIQoL-DW... or not,” “Fire, lamb chops and engagement: Practice and theory entanglements in remote Aboriginal education,” “The promise of milmarra,” “The child under the table: Optimism and melancholy in school-based ethnography,” “Talking home and housing: The ethnographer brought back down to earth,” “The dead as participants: Challenged by the Yolŋu Aboriginal child learner at Gäṉgaṉ,” “An ethnographer searching for the hybrid economy finds she's been doing it all along: Pandanus, participation and perseverance,” and “The generative role of narrative in ethnographies of disconcertment: Social scientists participating in the public problems of north Australia.”
The journal editor and seven of the twelve-member editorial board are based in Australia, and seven of the ten authors of articles in the latest issue are based in Australia.
It’s safe to say that this is an Australian-focused journal; content about “the socio-cultural dimensions of learning in different contexts and configurations” can be extracted, certainly, but it will take a while given the technological setup here. Not broadly recommended.