We publish articles of general interest as space is available. You may submit manuscripts on any topic that will appeal to EJ readers. Remember that EJ articles foreground classroom practice and contextualize it in sound research and theory. As you know, EJ readers appreciate articles that show real students and teachers in real classrooms engaged in authentic teaching and learning. Regular manuscript guidelines regarding length and style apply.
Reading, Writing, and Relationships:
Centering on Learners
Submission Deadline: May 15, 2015
Publication Date: January 2016
In April 2014, Peter Taubman testified to a New York State legislative committee on education about the influence of standardized testing on the field. As part of his testimony, he illustrated how teaching differs from other professions:
[E]ducation is inherently about a relationship between human beings, which means that identity and subjectivity and context are always at play, unlike medicine or engineering. After all, I don’t really think we want to know that the efficacy of antibiotics depends on the mood of the physician or the poverty status of the patient. And we certainly don’t want to know that the strength of a bridge is dependent on whether or not the passersby had breakfast that morning or whether there was chemistry among them. It’s not like engineering. It’s not like medicine. Education is an art and a craft. And central to it is the relationship between a student and a teacher. (New York State Assembly 166)
Any significant human endeavor is complex, and we would never claim that medicine is not, at its core, a collaborative undertaking, but Taubman’s point—that relationships are central to teaching and learning—is a principle that is absent from the accountability-oriented contexts many teachers and students currently inhabit.
In this issue, we hope to explore how relationships influence the practices and processes of teaching and learning. Submissions may consider how students and teachers interact, and how these interactions connect with learning. Authors could also explore relationships among faculty members, administrators, parents, and community members. In what ways are relationships central to your art and craft? How do relationships affect you, and how do you work to effect positive relationships in your classroom and beyond?
We seek research-based articles that investigate and consider the professional experiences of English teachers as they forge relationships centered on the enhancement of teaching and learning.
Reflections and Echoes: Nonfiction in English Classrooms
Submission Deadline: July 15, 2015
Publication Date: March 2016
When we imagine English classrooms and the texts that inhabit them, many of us think first of fiction. The canon of our curriculum typically conjures references to novels, short stories, poetry, and drama.
But English teachers appreciate the endless varieties in which language takes form. We teach rhetorical arts that include persuasive speeches, spoken word poetry, and visual poetics. We understand that the demarcations between and among fiction, memoir, and nonfiction are blurry and perhaps unknowable. We know that great truths can be told through fiction, and great lies perpetuated through nonfiction. While it is true that literature expresses universal truths, nonfiction offers particular features for readers, features that English teachers, and our students, can tap into. Nonfiction reflects--and refracts--reality; its echoes bounce between yesterday and tomorrow.
For this issue, we seek articles that explore innovative ways of incorporating nonfiction texts into secondary English classrooms. What original instructional approaches have you tried with traditional nonfiction works? What new works of nonfiction have you incorporated into your curriculum? How have you engaged students to read, write, speak, and listen to nonfiction to connect them to the past, present, and future? What are the unique challenges in teaching nonfiction; and how have you and your students met these challenges?
We invite you to consider how literary genres are being redefined and reconsidered, as well. Have you and your students developed new understandings of media, journalism, and culture by reading nonfiction, perhaps paired with fiction? We welcome you to share your experiences creating meanings with and through nonfiction texts of all kinds.
Imagination, Creativity, and Innovation: Showcasing the “A” in English Language Arts
Submission Deadline: September 15, 2015
Publication Date: May 2016
Maxine Greene, the renowned philosopher and scholar known for her work in aesthetic education, insisted that the arts invite us to see things not as they are, but as they could be. The arts challenge expectations, dismantle stereotypes, and enhance our ability to question, adjudicate, create, infer, synthesize, and interpret. However, the “capacity to perceive, to attend, must be learned,” Greene wrote in her 1981 essay, “Aesthetic Literacy in General Education.” The English classroom presents students a range of opportunities to practice perceiving and attending and offers a learning space ripe for the integration of arts-based teaching strategies that rely on robust reflection and critical engagement with texts.
We invite you to share your experiences of incorporating the arts—creative writing, music, drama, dance, and visual art—in your work with students. How are students’ experiences of ELA content instruction enhanced by the inclusion of the arts? How have you borrowed from the ethos of the artist, whose work is premised on pursuing a personal interaction with ideas, as you’ve developed lessons for your students? Which artists’ work do you find yourself consistently bringing into your classroom? Which art forms have influenced your thinking about yourself as an English teacher? How have you operationalized the idea of “training the imagination” for your students? How have you reenvisioned arts integration to incorporate 21st century technologies?
Speaking My Mind: We invite you to speak out on an issue that concerns you about English language arts teaching and learning. If your essay is published, it will appear with your photo in a future issue of EJ. We welcome essays of 1,000 to 1,500 words, as well as inquiries regarding possible subjects.
Teacher photographs of classroom scenes and individual students are welcome. Photographs may be uploaded to Editorial Manager at the address above in any standard image format at 300 dpi. Photos should be accompanied by complete identification: teacher/photographer’s name, location of scene, and date photograph was taken. If faces are clearly visible, names of those photographed should be included, along with their statement of permission for the photograph to be reproduced in EJ.
Cartoons should depict scenes or ideas potentially amusing to English language arts teachers. They can be submitted to Editorial Manager at the address above; we can accept any standard graphics format at 300 dpi.
For information on writing for the EJ columns, see the Columns and Column Editors page.
For EJ Submission Guidelines, click here.
For more information, contact Englishjournal@ncte.org.