- A Note from the Editors
There's space for only a short note from us this time because the current issue is so rich and full—one we hope will spark conversation and reflection, as usual.
Our second special issue can perhaps best be introduced by the wonderfully appropriate words of Monty Python: "And now for something completely different." (NB: we did try any number of other openings, but ultimately we just couldn't resist.) Although throughout the history of the journal we have published examinations of teaching English in a range of global contexts, here at the end of our seventh year of production we are pleased to feature an entire issue on the current state of pedagogy in one location, Britain. Whether the United States and the United Kingdom share a "special relationship" or whether, in George Bernard Shaw's oft-quoted sally, we are "two countries separated by a common language," we nevertheless feel that there is much that we in the United States can learn from the way our British colleagues work—whether in community partnership, responses to a very different system of assessment, approaches to curriculum, or a range of other topics.
Our most sincere thanks to guest editors Ben Knights and Nicole King of the English Subject Centre for their work on this issue. The English Subject Centre, part of the United Kingdom's Higher Education Academy, was founded in order to create a "single, central body to support the enhancement of learning and teaching in higher education." Indeed, one of our interests in this special issue is to understand the impact of such a state-sponsored [End Page 321] entity—as such, they provide resources for teachers, they publish books and newsletters on teaching, they sponsor workshops and conferences, and they have funding opportunities for research into teaching. We here in the United States have nothing exactly comparable in scale and focus in our national organizations, such as MLA and NCTE, or in teaching organizations, such as the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Under a different model, then, what kind of teaching scholarship can be produced, and, as important, how might that apparatus assist in forwarding a conversation about teaching in higher education? The answers to these questions—and others that this issue raises—are by no means self-evident. But we are thankful to these British colleagues for raising them with us here.