The article by Mylène Ducrey Monnier & Brigitte Gruson on "Lesson Study research and initial teacher education: how to teach interactive speaking in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in primary school?" is an internationally oriented contribution from the field of foreign language education, that "presents an experimental course project developed by teacher educators and student teachers from two partner institutions (Switzerland and France) in a collaborative study. (...) By combining research work in the academic institution with teaching experience in schools, Lesson Study seems to be an efficient way of helping student teachers acquire professional skills and didactic knowledge."
The second contribution from the area of mathematics education by Anselm R. Strohmaier, Freydis Vogel & Kristina M. Reiss is also the product of international cooperation, namely between the Technical University of Munich in Germany and the University of Nottingham in Great Britain. It deals with writing-to-learn in collaboration that "can be beneficial in many mathematical learning processes". The perspective of the article is exactly what RISTAL is aiming for: "Finally, we believe that the rather specific considerations from this paper can be applied to other domains and learning activities. Writing-to-learn offers possible benefits not only for mathematics, but for subject-matter education in many fields, for example science (...). We regard this generalizability as one of the great potentials of writing-to-learn in contemporary subject-matter educational research."
The article „Subject Didactics and Educational Sciences: Relationships and Their Implications for Teacher Education from the Viewpoint of Educational Sciences“ by Colin Cramer & Felix Schreiber likewise deals with a central concern of RISTAL: To foster the dialogue between subject didactics and the academic discipline of educational sciences. The article describes „different relationships between subject didactics (elements of subject-matter teaching and learning) and educational sciences in Germany“ and reflects theories of teacher professionalism „as a possible way to promote dialogue between the two elements while still taking their autonomy into account.“
The second and final part of this launch Issue of RISTAL is also a good opportunity to reflect on the first steps of our new international journal for research in subject-matter teaching and learning and on some general as well as subject-didactic questions from an interdisciplinary international perspective.
A total of 29 articles have been submitted since the first call, eight articles in the year 2017 and 21 in 2018. Three of the submitted articles are still in the review process, so that the acceptance rate stands at about 38% due to the 10 articles accepted. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the reviewers for doing this important and often arduous task and completing it within the time limits given. At present, a glance at the articles shows that it is primarily authors from German-speaking countries who are seizing the chance to present their specific educational research to an international audience. For the future, we hope that, in the spirit of the article by Monnier&Gruson from France and Switzerland, RISTAL will become increasingly attractive for international submissions from all around the world. The nine articles of this launch issue show how valuable and fruitful international exchanges on educational research and on general as well as interdisciplinary didactic issues are from an international perspective.
Again, a heartfelt thankyou goes out to the staff of the Institute of Religious Education (University of Vienna) who have made this publication possible through their hard work and dedication: Karin Sima and Marietta Behnoush for their technical and editorial work, Maximillian Saudino for proofreading the contributions and last but not least Dr. Sabine Hermisson for all her support in her function as journal manager.
Finally, we would like to thank the University of Vienna and the Association for "Fachdidaktik" (subject-matter education) for their financial support without which launching this journal would not have been possible.