Editorial Guidelines – Education Canada Magazine
Education Canada magazine is published four times a year by the EdCan Network and is always available online. Rooted in the Canadian education experience and perspective, our English and French articles provide voice to teachers, principals, superintendents and researchers – 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 and is frequently used in staffrooms, seminars and lecture halls to stimulate discussion about educational reform. We actively challenge our readers to re-think their preconceptions about youth, learners, learning, teaching, and the definition of educational success.
CONTENT OF THE MAGAZINE
Content for each issue is determined by the editors (English and French), in consultation with the EdCan Network’s advisors and the Editorial Board. We strive for a variety of perspectives from various sectors and from different parts of the country.
Each issue has a theme section. Typically, three feature articles will make up the theme section. The remaining articles cover a broad range of educational issues and topics, selected for their relevance, interest and usefulness to educators. Most feature articles (in English) are between 1,000 and 2,000 words.
ISSUE 1: Signals of Change
The EdCan Network’s recent regional consultations asked participants to identify “signals of change” in the world – the early examples of innovations and issues that are either influencing the way we live now, or are likely to in the future – and look at their relevance/potential for education. The result was an exciting and creative re-imagining of “how we do school.” In this issue, a cross-section of our network contributors – teachers, principals, superintendents, academics and students – explore how emerging big ideas could be creatively applied to education, why it may be important to do so, and the drawbacks or risks that need to be guarded against. From the aging population to micro-credentialing and artificial intelligence, what lies ahead for education?
Deadline for queries: Sept 1, 2017
ISSUE 2: Truth and reconciliation in the schools – how can we move forward?
One of the ten “guiding principles” set out in the Final Report of the T&R Commission of Canada is:
- Reconciliation requires sustained public education and dialogue, including youth engagement, about the history and legacy of residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal rights, as well as the historical and contemporary contributions of Aboriginal peoples to Canadian society.
It goes on to state,
…education is also the key to reconciliation… Education must remedy the gaps in historical knowledge that perpetuate ignorance and racism. But education for reconciliation must do even more. Survivors told us that Canadians must learn about the history and legacy of residential schools in ways that change both minds and hearts.
From provincial ministries to individual teachers, we all need to be thinking about how we can “Indigenize” education: incorporate respectful, accurate information and experience about Indigenous history, world view, ways of teaching and learning, and contemporary issues into all levels of schooling. But how can teachers, who may know little themselves about Indigenous cultures and issues, teach this material authentically? And what should we do to ensure new curriculum is developed in in accordance with the principles of T&R?
In this issue, we invite explorations of good practice examples, researchers’ insights on how we can “scale up” Indigenized learning, and other articles aimed toward helping schools move forward towards education for reconciliation.
Deadline for queries: Nov 8, 2017
ISSUE 3: PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION OF TEACHERS
The needs and expectations in today’s classrooms have changed, as has the world we live in. And the learning curve for newly graduated teachers is steeper than ever, leading to high rates of stress. Moreover, recent studies show that many of them leave the profession in the first five years. In this issue, we take a critical look at how we prepare teachers for their first years of teaching, and how we support them during their induction into the profession.
With the rapid development of technologies and new pedagogical approaches, have universities truly entered the modern era and adapted their environment and teaching strategies to meet the demands of the 21st century? Are these university courses providing inspiring examples of the interactive learning environments we expect teachers to provide? And what happens to young graduates when they enter the labour market? We are looking for leading edge examples of how faculties are adjusting their training program to meet today’s demands, and successful new teacher mentorship and other support programs that assist in their transition and retention. We also welcome the voices of recent graduates reflecting on their experience.
Deadline for queries: February 28, 2018
ISSUE 4: TEACHING CITIZENSHIP IN THE DIGITAL AGE
In this age of “alternative facts,” “fake news,” and personalized news feeds, the consequences that can happen when democracies fail to educate their people to be active, informed citizens – critical thinkers who know how to discern fact from fiction and are able to consider issues globally and long-term as well as personally and immediate – are suddenly all too apparent. So how can schools teach students to look and think deeply in a world where news comes prescreened to one’s taste? How do we equip students to be active but careful and ethical users and consumers of digital media, in the context of political issues and action? How can civic education become a dynamic, engaging component of schooling rather than a dusty token effort? The theme encompasses, but goes beyond digital citizenship and critical thinking, extending to the challenge of educating students who are prepared to engage responsibly with the complex issues facing us.
Deadline for queries: May 23, 2018
2019 ISSUE 1: making the grade
What do grades measure, what is their purpose, and how accurate are they really? The value, purpose and methodology of grading continues to be a subject for debate. On the one hand, we have a recent decision by the Quebec Ministry of Education to prohibit the practice of “rounding up” a near-passing grade to allow students to meet the threshold of success. On the other, some experts point out that grading inevitably has a subjective component and a substantial margin of error. So what is the real difference between a 58 and a 60 percent? Is it fair to incorporate the student’s behaviour in an evaluation of learning? What impact does an emphasis on grades and summative evaluations have on both students’ and teachers’ attitudes, and on actual learning? And on the other hand, what it the effect of leveling from the bottom or “no fail” policies? Could/should student self-assessment play a role in the mix? A critical look at our current learning assessment process, in Canada and internationally.
Deadline for queries: Sept 7, 2018.
In addition to feature articles, the magazine includes a number of regular departments that appear in most issues, and range from 700 to 1,500 words:
The Voice of Experience: This back-page department is a one-page (700-word) personal reflection on the experience of teaching and learning. Share an encounter with a student that re-affirmed your commitment to teaching, an experience that changed the way you look at things, or a personal experience that amplified your understanding as an educator or student. We hope this story will leave readers feeling moved, inspired, or re-connected with the value of our work as educators. We welcome submissions from teachers, students, parents and others who are intimately involved in education.
Promising Practices: This department showcases innovative programs and practices that are showing exciting results. Tell us how you got the project started, what obstacles you overcame, how students and other stakeholders responded, how you evaluated your success. This department typically runs from 1,000 to 1,500 words.
Viewpoint: An essay with, as the title suggests, a point of view. It is the magazine equivalent of a newspaper editorial. Your argument must be well-reasoned and well-supported, and ideally will tackle an area of controversy — a polarizing educational “hot topic.” This department most often runs at one page – 700 words.
Tech Savvy: A one-page (700 word) column to help educators up their edu-tech game. Whether covering best practices to safeguard privacy or providing teachers with ideas to better engage students, the focus is on using technology effectively to serve student engagement and learning goals.
Notre Monde Aujourd’hui / Global Perspectives: This is often (but not exclusively) a French department looking at international developments and issues in education.
School / Community: A department that explores relationships within the school community and between school and the greater community — everything from building a positive school climate to working with community volunteers to the importance of connecting kids with nature.
Book Review: We run one English and one French review per issue, running about 350 words. These are often related to the issue’s content theme.
Format and Style
Education Canada is a magazine, not a scholarly journal. Our readers are well-informed and concerned educators, but not necessarily academics.
With that in mind, we encourage authors to write in an informal, accessible style without compromising important information or analysis. Use real-life stories, examples, quotes from participants and first-person experiences to provide interest and to illustrate key points. Use sub-heads to provide visual interest and help the reader stay with you. Some material (such as lists of practical tips) may lend itself to being separated out into a sidebar box.
In keeping with this informal style, references (endnotes) should only be used when absolutely essential to give credit to material taken directly from other sources. Education Canada follows the University of Chicago Manual of Style for documentation (numbered citations and endnotes). Authors bear full responsibility for the accuracy of quotations and citations. Please restrict your endnotes to a maximum of 10.
Most feature articles are between 1000 and 2500 words. Departments run between 700 and 1500 words. We also welcome proposals for shorter articles.
2. PITCHING AN ARTICLE
As of 2017, Education Canada is being repositioned to become a more accessible magazine that invites in all readers who are interested in education. Understanding the ideas and style that we are looking for in Education Canada and striving to meet that criteria will greatly improve the chances of your proposal being selected. We give priority to authors who present:
- a compelling and valuable topic: “What do educators talk about when they’re together, and worry about when they’re alone?”
- subject matter expertise and/or solid research skills
- an accessible, readable, jargon-free writing style (see “Style Notes,” following)
A note to academics: Education Canada is interested in sharing valuable research theory with practitioners, and sharing valuable on-the-ground experience with researchers and administrators. 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, theoretical debate with the neuroscientific evidence on the most effective way to learn math.
To propose an article
Please email the editor a few paragraphs describing the focus of your article, why it’s a valuable or important topic, and how (in broad strokes) you would organize your material. Do bear in mind that our average article length is shorter than in many journals, so be sure that what you are “biting off” is not more than can be covered in a 1,000-2,000-word article. A writing sample is very helpful.
While we will consider completed manuscripts, a shorter query is preferred. It’s rare that a finished article is a close enough fit that we can use it.
We receive many article proposals, and have limited pages, so we sometimes have to reject strong article pitches simply because we are already overbooked.
All proposals will be acknowledged, and accepted or rejected (unless some deciding factor is pending), within one month of receipt. Please feel free to contact the editor if you have not heard from us after a month.
Education Canada does not accept articles that promote commercial products or programs. Please restrict mention of your business interests to your bio.
Send proposals for English articles to:
Holly Bennett, Editor
60 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 703
Toronto, ON M4T 1N5
Tel: (705) 745-1419
Send proposals for French articles to:
Yolande Nantel, Rédactrice
60 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 703
Toronto, ON M4T 1N5
Tel: (416) 591-6300
Fax: (416) 591-5345
3. EDITORIAL PROCESS
When a proposal has been accepted, the editor will establish a deadline for your draft submission with the author. Failure to provide copy by the agreed-upon deadline without prior approval of the editor may result in cancellation or postponement of publication.
Please read 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.
The final decision to publish an article, whether solicited or not, is made only after the complete text has been received. The editor reserves the right to reject material if its style or content is unsuitable for the magazine.
Following submission of your manuscript, you can expect several back-and-forths with your editor over the course of about six weeks. 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 accessible to our readers.
Authors will be given the opportunity to approve all editorial changes before final articles are submitted for layout. Notwithstanding that approval, the editor may make minor last-minute changes for space as necessary.
Search Engine Optimization
In order to make your article more easily discoverable online, you may be asked to integrate certain highly-searched relevant keywords into the body of your text. This is only so Google knows to recommend your article when people are searching for that topic using other words – the more a keyword is included, the more the system perceives your article to be tied to that topic. Contextual links to other Education Canada articles are also encouraged to improve search ranking.
Education Canada’s online version receives significant national and international traffic from a growing audience of web readers and researchers. This format also provides us with the flexibility to showcase web-exclusive articles.
Occasionally we will assign an article to run exclusively on our website. Sometimes it’s apparent that a submitted article is ideal for online presentation, which allows us, for example, to embed video links. As well, when we do not have as many editorial pages available in an issue as was expected, we may suggest running an article we don’t have room for as an online exclusive, as a timelier alternative to holding it back and waiting, perhaps through several publishing cycles, for an opportunity to run it in a future issue.
Online exclusives are submitted with the rest of the issue for archiving on educational databases, and are well promoted on the EdCan Network website and via social media. Since most of our readers come to us via the website, online exclusives have just as robust a readership as our print articles.
Except under exceptional circumstances, the EdCan Network does not pay for articles. In addition to their author copies, published authors will receive a complimentary one-year membership to the EdCan Network, which includes a subscription to Education Canada Magazine.
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 to the EdCan Network and its website https://www.edcan.ca/magazine/. 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.
4. STYLE NOTES: WRITING FOR EDUCATION CANADA
Education Canada is a magazine, 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 we understand that 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 the kind of writing 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 overly 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 three different school jurisdictions… ”– is not inviting. Consider these alternatives, with examples from recent EdCan articles:
Show it in action: “Fairy Tale month is being celebrated at St. Gregory Catholic School and at its Happy Creek Learning Center, a large castle constructed from cardboard serves as a focal point to inspire and engage the 65 students, aged 4-6, in their education. Dressed up in their armor, three princes discuss how they are going to slay the dragon and save the princess from her impending doom. Nearby, adventurous mountain climbers find safe passage to the top of the mountain…”
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… ”