Write For The Learning Professional
The Learning Professional is the flagship publication of Learning Forward. The magazine is published six times a year and is included in all categories of membership in Learning Forward.
The Learning Professional editors looks for practical articles by leading educators that show the challenges and successes related to implementing professional learning grounded in the Standards for Professional Learning. They expect articles that are interesting, thought provoking, timely, practical, informative, concise, and complete.
Issues are organized around themes. Authors are encouraged to submit articles for the upcoming themes. In addition, the editors look for articles that reflect Learning Forward’s current organizational priorities, which include educational equity, professional learning linked to high-quality instructional materials, and research on the impact of professional learning. Most issues also include a small number of articles that are non-thematic.
The Learning Professional offers no payment for articles. Decisions regarding publication are made by The Learning Professional editor and other staff. The Learning Professional is not peer- or blind-reviewed. Learning Forward reserves the right to reject poor quality or untimely material, whether solicited or otherwise, at any time during the editing process. Initial acceptance of an article is not a guarantee of publication.
Manuscripts, editorial correspondence, and questions about submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Issue themes 2022
February 2022: Collaboration and community in a divided world
Collaboration is fundamental to high-quality professional learning. Growth starts with establishing norms of trust, mutual responsibility, and open communication. Those skills are more important than ever to address the crises our schools and communities are facing – but they are also challenging in the current climate of political and personal tensions. This issue will examine how professional learning leaders are establishing trust, facilitating communication, and building community so educators can grow and students can thrive. It will examine fundamentals of professional learning through the lens of schools’ current challenges.
Submission deadline: December 1, 2021
April 2022: Coaching across contexts
Coaching is an essential strategy for job-embedded professional learning at all levels – not just for teachers but also for school leaders, district leaders, and beyond. This issue will explore how to go beyond the limited notion of coaching that some educators and systems hold to support the development of educators at all levels. Topics of interest include effective coaching models for teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school staff; peer coaching and other innovative models; leadership coaching; and how to make coaching part of a systemic and career-long professional learning approach.
Submission deadline: January 15, 2022
June 2022: (Re)setting the standard
This issue will celebrate the revised Standards for Professional Learning, which will be released in the spring of 2022. It will look back at the history of the standards, describe the evolution, and examine how they have made a difference for educators and students. Articles will also explore revised standards in depth and how changes in the standards support today’s educators.
Manuscript submissions will not be accepted for this issue. If you would like to pitch an article based on your experience with the standards, or if you would like to suggest a topic to be covered, please email email@example.com by February 1, 2022.
August 2022: Nurturing new teachers
New teachers occupy a unique and important place in the professional learning landscape. This issue will explore how to prepare and support teachers in the first few years of their careers. Topics of interest include but are not limited to teacher residencies and grow-your-own programs; mentoring and coaching; preparing and supporting mentor teachers and cooperating teachers who supervise student teachers; and supporting new teachers of color.
Submission deadline: May 1, 2022
October 2022: Teaching difficult topics
Our world – and our schools – are rife with challenges and controversies. As students navigate those challenges, they need to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. They also need to develop self- and other-awareness and learn how to have constructive dialogue and resolve conflicts. How can professional learning support educators to nurture students’ skills in these areas? And how can we help educators navigate school and community tensions and controversies while teaching students the essential skills they will need to address the problems they face now and in the future?
Submission deadline: July 1, 2022
December 2022: Dismantling racism
Learning and leading for equity are fundamental themes of every issue of The Learning Professional, but this will be the next in an ongoing series of issues devoted to the topic of professional learning about racial equity and antiracism. Areas of particular interest include examples of systemic and district-wide approaches; integrating antiracism into coaching and other professional learning work; and lessons and insights about what’s working and what hasn’t worked.
Submission deadline: September 1, 2022
The Learning Professional looks for brief (2,000-2,500 words) manuscripts that are helpful to practicing pre-K-12 educators and administrators, as well as those who support their work (e.g., nonprofit organizations, higher education). Published articles will have as their primary focus professional learning and may include the purpose and goals of the learning, what the learning looks like, the support and context related to successful implementation, who is involved, and the results and impact of the learning.
Our primary audience is education leaders, including superintendents and other district staff; principals and assistant principals; directors of professional learning, directors of curriculum and instruction, and other administrators responsible for professional learning; instructional coaches and other leaders of professional learning; lead teachers and classroom teachers; along with those who lead, conceive, or evaluate professional learning from organizations outside of schools or school systems, for example universities and non-profit organizations.
Highest consideration will be given to work that is aligned with the Standards for Professional Learning and can provide data demonstrating improvements in educator practices and/or student learning.
We prefer articles written in an informal, conversational style. Writers should avoid educational jargon and complicated phrasing. They should write in simple, direct sentences. When appropriate, writers may share their stories in the first person.
We discourage the use of lengthy quotations from other published work. References to previous research and writing should be in support of and woven into the writer’s unique arguments or insights. We look for articles that make a unique contribution and generally do not publish literature reviews unless they have a new and specific application or insight.
Writers should look for opportunities to break out interesting information into separate "sidebars'' to run with the main article.
If methodology is essential for understanding, please include that in a sidebar and not in the main text of the manuscript. Writers also can include a list of additional resources (books, articles, videos, web sites) that are not referenced directly in the article. Where appropriate, graphs and charts also can be used to illustrate key points. Writers should provide the raw data for such charts and not attempt to produce a publishable graphic on their own.
Submit your manuscript using the form below
Format for submissions:
Cover page should include
- Suggested title of article. (Please note that all titles are subject to change by Learning Forward.)
- Writer's name.
- The theme and date of issue for which the manuscript is being submitted.
- Complete contact information for the writer(s), including phone, address, and e-mail address. This information is essential for follow up contact.
- Writer's current professional position. You may also identify any major articles or books you have recently published.
- A word count.
Learning Forward acknowledges every manuscript that is received. Writers should expect a confirmation message within several weeks of the manuscript deadline.
The Learning Professional editor and other staff review each submission to determine its appropriateness for The Learning Professional. Manuscripts are either accepted as submitted, returned for revisions, or rejected.
We ask that you not submit manuscripts that are currently under consideration or in process with another publication.
An early option for writers: Well in advance of the final deadline, writers can submit by e-mail a brief synopsis of a few hundred words regarding an article they would like to write. Either the editor or the director of communications of The Learning Professional will respond regarding the appropriateness of the idea and offer early guidance about producing such an article.
Style and references
Writers are responsible for providing complete and accurate references, as appropriate. For references, The Learning Professional adapts guidelines established in the most recent Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Please be sure to consult APA's 2020 revision of the manual; new requirements include noting a DOI number when applicable. Writers are expected to ensure that their references comply with those guidelines.
Cite references in text like this (Sparks, 1997) and list them in bibliographic form at the end of the article. See a recent issue of The Learning Professional for examples of citations.
Authors bear full responsibility for the accuracy of citations, quotations, and information supplied for figures and charts. For questions of spelling, we use Webster's Eleventh Edition Collegiate Dictionary.
Where appropriate, writers also can include a list of additional resources, even if they are not directly cited in the article.
The editing process
If your article is accepted, it will be edited for publication by the editor and managing editor and will also be copy edited.
During this process, the editor is likely to contact you to clarify certain points. Because we strive for high-quality writing, your article is likely to undergo substantial editing, including some rewriting and reorganizing. Remember that this is a normal part of the editing process for any publication with high standards. Don't be startled or upset that an editor is changing your article. The editor's goal is to produce the most readable and interesting article possible for the magazine's targeted audience. Your help and understanding in this process is greatly appreciated.
You will receive an edited version to review, correct, and approve. Typically, you will be asked to return the article within several days.
When you receive this final edited version, you also will receive a copyright form. Signing that form gives Learning Forward permission to print your article in The Learning Professional, to post it on our web site, and to use it for other electronic purposes. When signing this form, you verify that your work is original. Authors are responsible for citing other works as appropriate and seeking permissions to include artifacts or elements that are not original.
The Learning Professional encourages writers to submit appropriate photographs to illustrate their articles. We prefer full-color, high-resolution (minimum 300 dpi) jpgs.
When a photograph has been accepted, please include a note with each photograph that:
- Identifies the individuals pictured;
- Describes what they are doing and where; and
- Names the photographer.
Writers are responsible for obtaining written permission for publication from the subjects of the photographs. If photographs have been published by a local newspaper or magazine, we will make the necessary contacts to obtain those photos if you will provide us with the appropriate information. The Learning Professional also will bear the cost of purchasing such photographs.
When your article is published
Writers receives two complimentary copies of the issue containing their published articles. Those copies will be mailed as soon as they are received in The Learning Professional office. In addition, writers will receive instructions for purchasing additional copies if they wish to do so.