Welcome to the 4th edition of Transformations journal. This edition has been guest edited by the excellent Elodie Wakerley from Birmingham City University. Elodie has recently welcomed her first child, so I have the pleasure of writing about all of the wonderful things she has achieved in bringing together this year’s journal in her stead. A longstanding and integral member of our review panel, it is a delight to be able to highlight Elodie’s continued diligence and commitment in preparing the following articles for publication in Transformations. I know that I speak for all of the BESA Executive Committee when I say that we have been very lucky to work with Elodie during her editorship, and we look forward to more opportunities for future collaboration. And of course, enormous congratulations from all of us to Elodie and her family on the birth of her daughter.
It has been another fantastic year for Transformations as a journal that platforms exceptional student writing. On behalf of Elodie and myself, enormous thanks go to the ever-exceptional team of reviewers, editors and publishers behind each edition. Of course, thanks must go to the authors and their dedication in bringing their work to a public forum. It must be acknowledged that all of this work has happened under the shadow of the most difficult of circumstances. I feel it important to recognise this as it exemplifies just how impressive the work contained in the journal, and everything that has gone into it being published, is. As the past year has demonstrated the significance of education to wider society, it has also highlighted the importance of educational research, and strengthened my belief in the importance of supporting the next generation of educational researchers and scholars. This edition presents three high-quality papers across a range of educational fields.
In the first paper of this edition, Antonia Shevlin provides insight on a small-scale project that examined student experiences of studying in different countries. The work focusses on the tensions students encountered in going abroad to study and then returning home and the notion of ‘culture shock’ of these transitions. Exploring disruption, ‘home sickness’, and loneliness, the paper provides a thematic analysis of interviews and suggests additional support for students looking to study in different global contexts.
The second paper, by Nay Myo Htet, offers a conceptual critique of the adoption of UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 by Myanmar’s ‘National Education Strategic Plan’. Employing a World Systems theoretical framework, the author asks important questions about the impact on learners in the conflation of economically driven ideology and education in Myanmar. This policy analysis culminates in a call for more social justice-oriented understandings of education, and suggests ways for equitable and inclusive practice within this context.
Finally, Chloe Spencer-Dene explores the relationship between attending a faith school and individuals’ religious views later in life. Highlighting the teaching of Sex and Relationships Education and Religious Education in a Jewish faith school, the author explores questionnaire responses gathered in their small-scale study. The work investigates the role of religion in communities outside of compulsory education, and suggests further research into this field due to the implications for faith-based education more broadly.
All three of these papers explore interesting subjects, and examine potentially important implications within their respective fields. On behalf of Elodie, I hope you enjoy this edition of Transformations.
Sarah Evans (writing on behalf of Elodie Wakerley, guest Editor)