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.
Issues are organized around themes; each issue also includes non-thematic articles. Articles that are appropriate for an announced theme are more likely to be published. Upcoming themes and a submission form are listed below.
Learning Forward members and the field rely on The Learning Professional for practical articles about timely professional learning topics and strategies. The editors look for articles that reflect the Standards for Professional Learning and that are written in an engaging, complete, concise manner.
The Learning Professional offers no payment for articles. The Learning Professional is not peer- or blind-reviewed. Decisions regarding publication are made by the editor and staff. We reserve 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
The Learning Professional 2022-2023 themes
April 2023: Continuous improvement in schools
Networks for School Improvement provide powerful opportunities for teams of educators to learn and work collaboratively to achieve school and student goals. These networks engage in cycles of continuous improvement that align with Standards for Professional Learning and involve setting goals, designing intervention strategies, reviewing data, reflecting on progress and challenges, and making adaptations based on their learning. This issue will examine how Networks for School Improvement function, what they’re learning, and how they are making a difference for schools and students.
This issue will be produced in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Manuscript submission is by invitation only.
June 2023: Accelerating learning
The Covid-19 pandemic left many students with unfinished learning, and students are still behind where they would normally be for their age and grade levels. This is especially true for students with the highest needs and those farthest from opportunity. While policymakers push for schools to play catch up, educators grapple with learning gaps that predate the pandemic. High-quality professional learning is essential for building educators’ capacity to understand and meet each student’s needs – academic, social, and emotional. This issue will examine how professional learning enables teachers to assess students’ needs, engage in differentiated instruction, accelerate learning for students farthest behind, and implement effective strategies for academic recovery and advancement.
Submission deadline: February 1, 2023
August 2023: About time
Time is an essential resource for professional learning, and the most frequently asked questions about professional learning center around finding time to ensure that job-embedded, collaborative learning makes a difference for teaching and student learning. Often, we hear educators ask, “How do we find time in our busy schedules for professional learning?” “How many hours of professional learning do we need to make a difference?” “Is it better to do several days of intensive collaborative learning or spread it out?” “How do we allocate time so that professional learning is ongoing, job-embedded, and linked to school improvement goals instead of a series of one-off events?” This issue will examine these and other questions about time. Articles might address the logistics, policies, mindsets, and values around time for professional learning. Submissions might involve tools and commentaries as well as full-length articles.
Submission deadline: April 1, 2023
October 2023: Supporting students with special needs
All educators need to know how to support students with a range of needs, particularly given the stresses and setbacks of the past couple of years. This issue will look at how high-quality, standards-based professional learning gives teachers, administrators, and professional learning leaders the knowledge and tools to meet the needs of students with special academic, social, and behavioral needs. Topics of interest include what all educators need to know about identifying and supporting students with special needs; special educators’ unique professional learning needs; empowering special educators as professional learning leaders for their general education colleagues; and how learning professionals can apply models and insights developed for special education to supporting all teachers and students.
Submission deadline: June 1, 2023
December 2023: The next step
In an ideal system, professional learning supports educators across the career continuum, from their first days in the classroom to deepening practice to developing leadership capacity. This issue will explore how professional learning helps educators navigate their career development and serve students with equity and excellence as they progress in the profession. Topics of interest include strategies to mentor and support teachers to explore administration and central office positions; opportunities for teachers to grow in the profession without becoming administrators; balancing current responsibilities with goals for the future; and how developing next-level skills can help educators deepen and broaden their impact on student learning and success.
Submission deadline: August 1, 2023
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:
No manuscript should exceed 12 pages, including references and charts. Please number the pages and include the author's name next to the page number on each page.
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.