Education Canada is published three times a year by the EdCan Network (formerly the Canadian Education Association). Rooted in the Canadian K-12 education experience and perspective, our articles provide voice to researchers and education practitioners at all levels – a growing network of experts who examine today’s school and classroom challenges with courage and honesty. Pragmatic, accessible and evidence-based, Education Canada connects policy and research to classroom practice.
By sharing best practices, case studies, relevant research and first-person stories that capture the reality of today’s classrooms, Education Canada supports educators to address their day-to-day challenges head-on.
Editor contact Info
English: Holly Bennett
French: Gilberte Godin
1. Your article
We are looking for:
- a compelling, relevant, and valuable topic
- subject matter expertise and/or solid research skills
- an accessible, readable, jargon-free writing style (see “Style Notes,” following)
Education Canada is interested in sharing valuable research with practitioners, and sharing valuable on-the-ground experience with researchers and policymakers. That said, we are looking for more than the standard “research report.” We challenge researchers to use their study results and knowledge as a springboard to offer interpretation and recommendations for practitioners. What are the implications of the research for classroom practice or school/district leadership? Ask yourself, “What can readers take away from my article that will help them to do their jobs better?” An example is the 2015 article, “No More Math Wars,” in which neuroscientist Daniel Ansari cuts through an ideological debate with the neuroscientific evidence on the most effective way to learn math.
Most articles will run between 1500 and 2,000 words. Please try not to let your article expand much beyond 2,000 (excluding citations).
Please review the Style Notes that follow before drafting your article. It will give you a clearer picture of what we mean by “magazine style” and pay off in a smoother editing process.
Please give your article a two-part title: a shorter main title, and a longer more explanatory subtitle. To ensure your article appears when people search on your topic, try to ensure that relevant key words appear in both the main and subtitles, and that the main title clearly reflects your topic.
Live links are appreciated in the references and can also be included where appropriate within the text. Please do be selective and ensure that any text-embedded links really are useful and relevant.
We would ask you to restrict citations to the bare minimum required, and a maximum of 12. It makes for easier, more accessible reading if the text is not constantly interrupted with citations. For example, if you are saying something like “a large body of research shows” and this fact is well accepted in your field, you don’t have to provide a bunch of sources to prove it. Similarly, a statement like “COVID-19 caused major disruptions in education” does not need a supporting reference, as it is a matter of general knowledge.
Please also restrict the number of references given “at one go.” We don’t want to see a string of five different authors in brackets within the text. Choose the one or two most relevant. You may also use a numbered footnote for a brief explanatory note if needed. Authors bear full responsibility for the accuracy of quotations and references.
As of the winter 2020/21 issue, Education Canada follows APA Style for citations, with the following exception:
- If the cited work has more than 4 authors, do not list them all in the References. List the first 2, followed by “et al.”
- For URLs, do not include the https// if it is followed by www. or doi.
APA will be familiar to most authors. If you are unsure of how to properly cite your sources, contact your editor for assistance.
Visual and Video Elements
If you have access to photos relevant to your article (and permission to publish them), we would love to see them. Good quality (sharp focus, high resolution) “real life” photos are always of interest.
Similarly, if there is video footage that would be interesting and relevant to share on our website, please let us know.
2. Editorial Process
The editor will give you a deadline for your draft submission. Please be aware that our new timelines are tight and the deadline is important to meeting our publication date. When you submit your draft article, please include your last name is in the file name.
Following submission of your manuscript, the editor will suggest changes to improve the clarity and readability of the manuscript or to adapt it to magazine format and style, and may shorten it as necessary. Authors may be asked to make revisions to make the article more relevant or engaging for a wide variety of education professionals. You will have right of approval for all substantive edits.
Education Canada articles are licensed under a non-exclusive Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License. Users are free to copy, distribute and transmit content for nonprofit purposes, provided it is distributed in its entirety, and proper credit is given to the author, Education Canada, and our website www.edcan.ca. Users may not alter, transform, or build upon content, nor may they use content for commercial purposes without the author’s permission.
As author, you retain copyright of the article and, once we have published it, are free to repurpose it.
3. STYLE NOTES: WRITING FOR EDUCATION CANADA
Education Canada is not a scholarly journal. Our readers are well-informed and concerned educators, but they are not all academics, and some Education Canada articles are shared with parents and other lay readers.
Magazine writing is quite different from journal style, and this can be a steep learning curve for authors who have been trained in a more academic form. The editors are committed to working with you to achieve a more engaging, readable, magazine-style article without compromising important information or analysis. Some tips are offered below, as well as links to previous articles that demonstrate what we are looking for:
Loosen up! Avoid the jargon and formal, circuitous wording that gives academic writing precision at the cost of readability. Pretend you are explaining your project or research to an interested friend. Watch out for long, multi-clause sentences, heavy reliance on the passive voice, and long strings of adjectives (“innovative, pedagogically-driven, inquiry-based, empowering, culturally inclusive curriculum”).
Find an interesting lead. Look for something personal, surprising or visual to capture readers’ interest and draw them into your story.
The standard journal-type introduction – “In 2015, a four-year longitudinal study, funded by the XYZ Foundation, was undertaken by the University of X’s School of Y to compare formative assessment policy and practice in… “ – is not inviting. Consider these alternatives, with examples from recent EdCan articles:
- Show it in action: “It’s Fairy Tale month at St. Gregory Catholic School and at its Happy Creek Learning Center, a large castle has been constructed from cardboard. Dressed up in their armor, three princes discuss how they are going to slay the dragon and save the princess from her impending doom…”
- Make it personal: “Wyatt sat uncomfortably in his chair, squirming as I looked over his transcript and file. Five different grade schools, two middle schools, not back to back… “
- Offer an analogy: “Suppose that you go to your doctor to learn the results of your annual physical examination and blood tests. She warns you that your blood pressure is high and so is your cholesterol. Unless you make some serious lifestyle changes, you are at risk of a heart attack.
Contrast this scenario with the typical response to wide-scale national and international assessments like the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)…”
- Ask a question: “What are the transformative possibilities of schooling and education today?”
Bring it down to earth and invite in different perspectives. Using real-life stories, examples, quotes from participants and first-person experiences can help turn theoretical advice into something more concrete that the reader can envision and potentially use. Gathering and weaving in personal quotes from students, teachers or expert commentators pays off in a more engaging article that connects emotionally as well as intellectually with readers. Note that just saying, “We had some concerns from parents but with good communication we allayed their fears” is not as compelling as asking a parent to actually share their initial fears and what changed their mind, and quoting them to give a solid, specific example to your general comment.
Break up text. Use subheads to help your readers see the structure of your article and invite them into the next section. Consider whether some of the information in your article could be packaged into a sidebar box or put into a graphic. Boxes with lists of take-home points, steps to get started, or resources are welcome.
The previous Education Canada articles linked to below are not perfect – but they all demonstrate important elements of the style and approach we are looking for. We encourage you to read through at least one or two to see how the tips we’ve offered can be applied to a range of education articles.
“The Peaceful Village”
Strong description and quotes from participants make it easy for readers to envision the program and understand its impact on participants, not just “what was done.”
“No More Math Wars”
A more formal, evidence-based article that nevertheless is readable, practical, and connected to a very current debate.
“Educational Outcomes and Indicators”
The authors deal with the somewhat dry topic of data in a readable and useful way.
“Truth and Reconciliation in YOUR Classroom”
A sensitive and practical article that directly supports teachers and school leaders to begin to integrate Indigenous teachings in their practice.