Education Canada magazine is published four times a year by the EdCan Network (formerly the Canadian Education Association) and always available online. Rooted in the Canadian education experience and perspective, our English and French articles provide voices 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 encourage our readers to rethink their preconceptions about youth, learners, learning, teaching, and the definition of educational success.
1. 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 (plus one or two web exclusives) 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 (March 2020): The Greening of Schools
This issue would look at environmental education and leadership around greener schools design and practice. Possible topics include outdoor education, hands-on environmental learning, and actual environmental education programs, including how climate change is being taught. There are also issues of “greener” school design (both in terms of energy-use reduction and in making a stronger connection with nature) and “eco-certification” of schools. This would also be a good opportunity to showcase Indigenous education programs that are teaching traditional connections to and on the land.
Deadline for queries: September 1, 2019
ISSUE 2 (may 2020): Education and the Skilled Trades
With fewer youth learning the skills required to replace an aging generation of soon-to-be-retired tradespeople, critical shortages in skilled trades workers is on the horizon while these careers grow more complex. As automation, instrumentation, electronics and new energy systems become ubiquitous in our lives, many of the traditional trades such as construction, transportation and manufacturing are now intertwined with the technology and thus require new, more sophisticated skills. Despite the fact that skilled trades provide steady, well-compensated employment, there remains a deeply entrenched perception that pursuing a trade is a secondary career path far less desirable than attending university—even as increasing numbers of university grads find themselves struggling with precarious employment. In this issue, Education Canada looks at the role our public schools do, could, and/or should play in exposing students to these career pathways, preparing them for future labour market needs, and facilitating their transition to trades training. Are students given adequate experiential learning opportunities to consider trades, adequate opportunity to learn about them, and adequate support in negotiating entry to post-secondary programs and apprenticeships that will take them there? How can we shift the narrative, counter the stigma and articulate the value of skilled trades to youth and their parents? How does our education system embrace the multiple roles of fostering the skills and knowledge students require to become informed, active, citizens of the world, and also preparing them to meet the workforce needs of tomorrow?
Deadline for queries: November 15, 2019
ISSUE 3 (SEPTEMBER 2020): STRESSED AT SCHOOL
School is a learning environment, but we need to recognize that it is also a workplace. In this issue, we look at K-12 staff and student stress as being two sides of the same coin. We share the realities of staff burnout through real-life accounts, look at the relationship between staff and student stress, and bring new perspectives and approaches to alleviating stress at school. This theme is an extension of EdCan’s Well at Work initiative and recognizes that stress, anxiety, violence, and bullying negatively impact both staff and students as well as the overall school culture. The rising complexity of student needs, the lack of adequate supports for students with special needs, difficult or abusive relationships (whether peer-to-peer, parent/teacher, principal/teacher, trustee/director, or other), overwhelming expectations, and exposure to trauma all challenge the mental health of the whole school community. Stress and burnout in students and K-12 staff are interconnected, affecting each others’ well-being and teaching effectiveness, and ultimately learning outcomes.
Deadline for queries: February 25, 2020
ISSUE 4 (DECEMBER 2020): TEACHING IN NORTHERN AND REMOTE CANADA
Educators in northern and remote locations have different challenges – and different opportunities – than in more populated centers, so what can their urban counterparts learn from them? What is it like teaching in the north? What are northern districts doing to recruit and retain teachers and other school staff? What are some of the creative and inspiring programs being developed to meet the needs for Indigenous and land-based curriculum, for bridging programs and community-based training, for distance learning opportunities, and to address the intergenerational/cultural trauma that schools in the past have contributed to so that contemporary schools can be, instead, places of healing and empowerment? What challenges stand in the way of excellent and equitable northern/remote education, and what are potential solutions?
Deadline for queries: May 20, 2020
ISSUE 1 (MARCH 2021): EDUCATING WITH THE U.N. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Climate change is our most pressing environmental issue, but there is much more to achieving true sustainability. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (NDGs) lay out 17 action areas aimed at sustaining life (both human and non-human), ending poverty, and achieving social justice. For educators, these goals are relevant to many subjects across the curriculum and offer the potential for real, engaging research and action projects that involve students in working to achieve these goals in their community. In this issue, we explore how school communities can contribute to the SDGs while engaging students solving our most wicked local, regional and global problems.
Deadline for queries: September 1, 2020
ISSUE 2 (MAY 2021): CAREER PATH OR ROUNDABOUT? CONNECTING STUDENTS WITH THEIR POST-HIGH SCHOOL OPTIONS
Can we envision a future where the “career path” analogy becomes more like a roundabout, where entry into and out of education and work is more fluid and less disruptive, where people routinely cycle in and out of education or training several times over the course of their working life in order to advance careers and/or change jobs? What role does K-12 education play in facilitating student’s access to the information and experience that will help them choose wisely as they begin this journey? Now more than ever, the value of educating students to become thoughtful, curious, well-informed citizens capable of making wise decisions for an increasingly precarious future is clear. However, we also owe it to our youth to prepare them to succeed in a changing and uncertain job market. This issue is about career education in all its forms, with a particular interest in innovative programs and partnerships that offer more flexible and accessible options to K-12 students for learning about and transitioning to work or post-secondary studies — such as work-study terms, dual-credit and micro-credentialing courses, and “career sampler” programs.
Deadline for queries: November 15, 2020
In addition to feature articles, the magazine includes a number of regular departments that range from 700 to 1,500 words. Promising Practices and Voice of Experience run every issue; the others appear less regularly.
The Voice of Experience
This back-page department is a one page (700 words) personal reflection on the experience of teaching and learning. Share an encounter with a student that reaffirmed 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 reconnected with the value of our work as educators. We welcome submissions from teachers, students, parents and others who are intimately involved in education.
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.
Well at Work
Part of our year-long focus on why and how to support the well-being of our school staff at all levels and create a healthy school culture for students and staff alike.
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.
A one page (700 words) 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.
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.
We run one English and one French review per issue, running about 350 words. These are often related to the issue’s content theme.
2. PITCHING AN ARTICLE
As of 2017, Education Canada was 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 to be 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 1-2,000-word article. A writing sample is very helpful.
While we 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:
Annie Côté, rédactrice en chef francophone
60 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 703
Toronto, ON M4T 1N5
Tél. : 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 a 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-forth with your editor over the course of about four 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 run an article we don’t have room for as an online exclusive, as a more timely alternative to holding it back and waiting, perhaps through several publishing cycles, for an opportunity to publish it in a future issue.
Online exclusives 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 an 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:
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 armour, 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…”
- 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, and … that unless you make some serious lifestyle changes, you are at risk of a heart attack. You take her advice seriously and at your follow-up visit some time later, all of your risk indicators are back to a healthy level. Contrast this scenario with the typical response to wide-scale national and international assessments like the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) and the Program 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 both broaden the perspective and help turn theoretical advice into something more concrete that the reader can envision and potentially use. Gathering and weaving in personal quotes, whether 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 adding their experience in a quote to give a solid, specific example to your general comment.
- Breakup 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 a few 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.
- “The Happy Creek Learning Centre”
Strong use of quotes brings in the experience/response of various stakeholders and helps readers envision how this model of early learning works.
- “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.
Changing things for the better takes courage, in the education sector as everywhere else. We know that the most effective educators and change agents are often those who are willing to take a risk and try something, to speak up about problems, to go against the grain and advocate for innovation. We want Education Canada (and the EdCan Network) to be a place where these courageous educators can find a home.
Part of that courage is the willingness to not only learn from failure, but to share that learning. As educators, we all know that mistakes are valuable learning opportunities. In education, as in other sectors, there’s a tendency to be very cautious about what can “go public.” It is understandable that everyone wants to present their best face to the world. But please consider:
When you only share your successes, you deprive your readers from learning from your failures. Whether you are discussing a provincial curriculum change, a board initiative to raise literacy rates, a school partnership program with community business, or a classroom innovation, please don’t gloss over the bumps in the road and mistakes made along the way. By all means celebrate and share what you did right, but also let us know what didn’t work out so well, what you would do differently next time, and why.
Visual and Video Elements
If you have access to photos relevant to your article (and either permission to publish or can guide us through the proper channels), we would love to see them. Good quality (sharp focus, high resolution) “real life” photos are always of interest. We have photo guidelines available.
Similarly, if there is video footage that would be interesting and relevant to share on our website, or you think your subject lends itself well to a supplementary video, let us know. (We have limited resources for video, so we won’t always be able to follow through.)
In keeping with accepted magazine-style, we would prefer you not use references (endnotes).
It is generally acceptable in magazines to acknowledge sources briefly within the narrative, for example, “a large body of research shows” (if it’s a large body and well accepted in your field, you don’t have to provide a bunch of sources to prove it); “a recent study by Brown found”; or in David Price’s book Open, he writes: “QUOTE HERE.”
Please use endnotes only when absolutely essential to give credit to material taken directly from other sources that for some reason is too unwieldy to acknowledge informally in the body. You may also use a numbered footnote for a brief explanatory note if needed. Authors bear full responsibility for the accuracy of quotations and citations. Please restrict your endnotes to a maximum of 6 for a department, 10 for a feature.
Education Canada follows the University of Chicago Manual of Style for citations (superscripted numbers in the text and endnotes at the end of the document). The Chicago style is more “reader-friendly” as it does not interrupt the flow of the text.
When working in Word, use the “insert footnote” function, choose “endnote—end of document” and set the numbering to 1,2,3 etc. PLEASE NOTE: the numbers are sequential and there is only one at a time. If there is a repeated source, don’t try to re-use the original number; repeat the information in the endnote.
The style when a book is being cited is as follows:
- Harvey Minow and Craig L. LaMay, Inside the Presidential Debates: Their improbable past and promising future (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), 24–25.
Style for a journal or periodical:
- Walter Blair, “Americanized Comic Braggarts,” Critical Inquiry 4, No. 2 (1977): 331–332.
Do not add a list of references.
A note on URLs in endnotes
Many reference sources are now available online and so you may wish to provide the URL where your source can be found. The difficulty with a print publication is that there is no “clicking on the link”; interested readers must key in the URL manually and some are so long and complex it is difficult to do so accurately. When that is the case, please consider whether the full URL is actually necessary and useful. If the article is easily found via Google, then adding the URL may not be helpful. Alternatively, consider using a link shortener such as Bitly or Owl.ly.