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 email@example.com
The Learning Professional 2024 themes
Evaluating professional learning – February 2024
Evaluation is essential for ensuring professional learning is having the impacts we intend. It can help us learn what’s working and what we need to change, and whether educator practices and student outcomes are improving. This issue will look at the most up-to-date evaluation models, methods, and findings. Articles might address levels of evaluation (e.g., changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills, practices, student outcomes); data collection methods; practical evaluation measures; putting findings into practice; and how to engage teachers in designing and learning from evaluations. Articles describing the findings of evaluation studies are also encouraged.
Submission deadline: December 1, 2023
Technology and the future of learning – April 2024
This issue will examine the rapidly changing face of technology in professional learning. What roles can and should technology play in coaching, PLCs, new teacher induction, and other forms of educator support? And in a world rich with ed tch innovations, how can professional learning prepare and support educators to use the latest technology in the classroom? Additional topics might include: the professional learning needs of technology directors and other school and district technology leaders; technology tools for pinpointing student learning needs in real-time; how technology can support the successful implementation of high-quality curriculum; the potential and pitfalls of AI in professional learning; and when not to use technology for professional learning.
Submission deadline: January 1, 2024
Global perspectives on professional learning – June 2024
Living in a globalized world provides opportunities for education leaders to look beyond their regional and national borders to learn what is working elsewhere and apply those lessons to their own contexts. The Learning Professional always welcomes contributions from around the world, but with this issue, we shine a special spotlight on successful professional learning initiaitives from a broad range of countries and contexts. Articles should describe professional learning needs addressed and models applied; geographical, cultural, or educational context; lessons learned; and research findings when applicable. Cross-cultural comparisons are welcome.
Submission deadline: March 1, 2024
Learning to pivot – August 2024
Teachers and schools have to pivot all the time, in ways both big and small, whether to incorporate new research, adapt to changing student needs, or address a crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic. This issue will examine opportunities and moments where educators and systems have needed or wanted to pivot and how professional learning enabled them to make needed changes. Topics might include: how efforts to incorporate the science of reading are leveraging professional learning to shift practice; what teachers need to know and do differently as a result of post-Covid learning trajectories; the role of data in assessing and improving professional learning – and what to do when data shows your current practices aren’t working; and how to introduce or improve professional learning in a system that is resistant to change.
Submission deadline: May 1, 2024
Curriculum-based professional learning – October 2024
High-quality curricula and instructional materials are essential for students to master content and meet academic standards, but they are not enough on their own. Teachers and leaders need and deserve professional learning to support deep understanding and high-quality implementation of the materials. This issue will take a deep dive into curriculum-based professional learning methods, initiatives, and research. It will include examples of how curriculum-based professional learning is changing educators’ practice and improving students’ outcomes.
Submission deadline: July 1, 2024
Building bridges – December 2024
Meaningful professional learning doesn’t happen in isolation, nor does it occur at a single moment in time. It requires an ongoing continuum of support and a long-term plan that includes multiple stakeholders and systems. This issue will look at why and how bridge-building is essential for professional learning to achieve results. Topics of interest include: partnerships between pre-service teacher education and ongoing professional learning; connections between alternative certification programs and district professional learning; alignment of professional learning for teachers and leaders; how to ensure professional learning is part of district and school improvement plans; and professional learning that connects educators across schools or districts.
Submission deadline: September 1, 2024
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.