Kappan call for manuscripts, 2019-20

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Phi Delta Kappan is committed to publishing lively articles and commentary on a wide range of themes related to K-12 education. Because school practitioners make up the largest portion of our readership, we are most interested in exploring topics that will enrich educators’ professional lives and inform their day-to-day work. We seek articles that are written in a conversational voice and draw lessons from both research and practice. We welcome submissions from researchers and policy advocates as well as from teachers, principals, district and state leaders, students, parents, school board members, and anyone else who wishes to share vital stories and insights about K-12 education.  

The themes and questions listed below are meant to be provocative, helping writers to generate interesting ideas for articles on critical topics in education policy and practice. Keep in mind, though, that while each issue of Kappan highlights a specific theme, we reserve a portion of the magazine for articles and commentaries on additional topics.  

Please review Kappan’s Writer Guidelines before submitting a manuscript, and keep in mind that the editors will not consider submissions that do not meet the guidelines. All submissions should be sent to manuscripts@pdkintl.org. This will ensure that each submission is acknowledged and included in our review process. 



Results and analysis of the 2019 PDK Poll   

Deadline for submissions (non-thematic articles only): June 1, 2019 



All over the map: An ESSA progress report  

Deadline for submissions: July 1, 2019 

When it was signed into law in December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act represented a long-overdue, bipartisan effort to rein in the federal government’s influence over educational decision making at the state and local levels. But what’s happened since then? Released from the pressure to adopt Washington’s favored school reforms, have states begun to go their own ways on K-12 improvement? Have they stayed the course on high-stakes testing, accountability, teacher evaluation, and other past priorities? And when state policy makers make these decisions, who’s whispering in their ears? 



Education in a stressed-out nation  

Deadline for submissions: August 1, 2019 

It’s time to panic — or at least to consider the causes and effects of stress in K-12 education. Do today’s young people just seem more stressed out than in the past, or are cortisol levels truly on the rise? If so, why? Can we blame helicopter parenting? Economic inequality? The 24-hour news cycle? What does the research say about the ways stress influences learning, motivation, and performance? And how effective is mindfulness, physical activity, anti-anxiety medication, and other means of helping students, parents, and educators reduce their stress?  



The stories we tell about school   

Deadline for submissions: September 1, 2019 

From books, television shows, and movies to op-ed pieces, political platforms, and school mission statements, everybody has a story to tell about K-12 education. In this issue, we look at the ways people frame the narrative about schools, and we consider their reasons for telling the stories they do. For instance, why is education so often described as the panacea for every societal problem? Why does Hollywood so often portray educators as superheroes? Why do education journalists write so many articles about Finland? And whose stories rarely get told? 



Language matters  

Deadline for submissions: October 1, 2019 

We Americans have a love-hate relationship with the languages we speak. For instance, we spend millions of dollars on apps to help us learn new languages, but we pass English-only laws and underfund our bilingual programs. Our population boasts speakers of hundreds of languages, but most of us are stubbornly monolingual. In this issue, we take stock of our conflicted approach to language learning, checking in on new research into topics such as bilingual instruction, services for English learners, foreign language study, code switching, and regional dialects.  


MARCH 2020 

What kind of profession is teaching?  

Deadline for submissions: November 1, 2019 

Should teaching be compared to high-status professions like law, medicine, and architecture? Does it more closely resemble nursing, social work, and other “helping” professions? Or is it an entirely unique occupation, with a professional identity all its own? This issue will explore the pros and cons of various efforts to elevate teaching, from union organizing to offering board certification, requiring graduate degrees, and creating teacher ladders. What strategies have had the greatest effect on teachers’ professional status, which have not, and where do we go from here? 


APRIL 2020 

Anti-intellectualism in American education 

Deadline for submissions: January 1, 2020 

“It is ironic that the U.S. should have been founded by intellectuals,” Richard Hofstadter wrote in 1963, “for throughout most of our political history, the intellectual has been for the most part either an outsider, a servant or a scapegoat.” Was this true then, is it still true today, and if so, what are the implications for K-12 education? Do Americans really want their kids to read deeply, think critically, challenge assumptions, and ask difficult questions? And what are today’s educators doing to cultivate young people’s intellectual lives?    


MAY 2020 

The joy of school 

Deadline for submissions: February 1, 2020 

As human as it is to focus on what’s going wrong and what needs to be improved in K-12 education, life in school is often terrific. What are the best parts of our professional lives? What do we remember most fondly from our own days as students? And what does the research say about making learning enjoyable? Potential topics include motivation and engagement; play, games, and humor in the classroom; the camaraderie of teams, orchestras, and clubs; perfect teaching moments; the importance of graduation ceremonies and other celebrations. and the satisfactions of a career in education. 


Submit manuscripts to manuscripts@pdkintl.org.