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.
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?
Native Feminist Texts
Guest Editors: Eve Tuck and Karyn Recollet
Submission Deadline: January 15, 2016
Publication Date: September 2016
Native feminist theories engage Indigenous social thought and diverse perspectives on gender and sexuality to analyze intersections between coloniality and heteropatriarchy. Over the past five decades, Native feminist theories have demonstrated how whitestream and other feminist movements often ignore and even perpetuate Indigenous erasure, settler ascendancy, and antiblackness.
Native feminist texts yield opportunities for secondary teachers and students to consider Indigenous theorizations of gender and sexuality alongside Indigenous ontologies of land and sovereignty. Native feminist texts often describe and perform critiques of settler colonialism, heteropatriarchy, and antiblackness.
This special issue employs “texts” as an open term, referring to many kinds of communication. Along with written and digital forms, texts may include filmography, digital storytelling, gaming, gestures, movements and forms of dance, poetry, spoken word forms, and performance(s).
We invite manuscripts of 2,500-3,750 words, written to an audience of educators in grades 7-12 English classrooms. Scholars, activists, and public intellectuals--especially Native feminist theorists--are invited to write about working with Native feminist texts in formal and informal educational settings and home/community spaces. Authors are encouraged to link issues of land and sovereignty to Native feminist texts from specified tribal communities and First Nations--that is, attend to issues connected to particular places rather than attempting to establish generalities and universalities.
Please direct questions about this issue to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visible Teaching: Open Doors as Resistance
Editors: Julie Gorlewski, David Gorlewski, P. L. Thomas, and Sean P. Connors
Submission Deadline: March 15, 2016
Publication Date: November 2016
Under pressure to adhere to a scripted curriculum or to conform to standardized instructional practices, educators might choose to adhere to a popular adage that recommends that they “close the door and teach,” presumably as an act of resistance. This advice is problematic, however, because it denies the agency of teachers, as professionals, to effect change in their schools. It willfully conceals alternative instructional practices that might otherwise benefit students, and it ignores the role that shared knowledge can play in sustaining a community.
Alternatively, teaching with our doors open establishes agency where the system has denied it; offers direct alternatives to the practices we reject, especially those that are not supported by the evidence of our field; and models for students how professionals behave.
This issue of English Journal explores how a decision to “teach with our doors open” can be interpreted as a form of empowerment and an act of resistance. It acknowledges teachers as agentive, and aims to understand how making one’s practices visible to others can disrupt standardizing forces and disciplinary mechanisms that are intended to promote conformity and compliance.
Contributors might consider questions such as: What conditions prompt teachers to teach behind closed doors, and how can they productively be addressed? How do you negotiate space to teach with your door open, and what advice would you offer others interested in doing so? How have you engaged with colleagues who respond differently to mandated and prescribed practices that you feel are not valid or effective? If you have experienced a transformative moment—moving from teaching with your door closed to teaching with your door open—how did that look and what advice can you offer those interested in making the same transition? How can teachers work with school leaders to create a school culture that values the open exchange of ideas and embraces evidence-based practices that push against mandates? We welcome educators to share experiences that investigate this important topic in the context of scholarly literature.
We invite manuscripts of 2,500-3,750 words, written to an audience of educators in grades 7-12 English classrooms.
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.