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What We Are Learning Through Hope, Worry, and Change:
A Call for New Voices
Voices of Practitioners, Fall 2021, Volume 16
For the past year, early childhood educators have been bombarded by overlapping crises: the pandemic, a renewed national recognition of persistent racial inequities, economic hardships, deep political divisions, and environmental degradation that is reaching a tipping point. These crises have demanded that those educating and caring for young children adapt in unprecedented ways.
For the 2021 Voices of Practitioners compilation issue, we are inviting practitioners to reflect on what they are learning from these crises about caring for and educating young children. Where do you find hope? What are your worries? Where have you changed, and how must we all change?
Please share your story with the early childhood community! We are looking for reflections of two to five pages in length. To be considered for publication, please provide a one-page proposal by April 30 that provides:
- a brief overview about your context (geography, population of children in your program, about your program)
- a bulleted list of two to three key lessons learned over the past year
- an anecdote (descriptive narrative) that illustrates an experience you have had as a teacher during this time
- closing thoughts and suggestions for other educators based on the lessons you learned
Before submitting, we recommend that you review recent Voices articles, which are available to read for free on the NAEYC website. To submit a reflection, please follow the guidelines outlined for all Voices manuscripts.
We will inform you during the summer if your submission has been accepted. You will then work with a Voices board member to prepare your final draft, which will be due October 15. In November, you will work with a member of the NAEYC Periodicals Team on a final round of edits to prepare your manuscript for publication.
Voices of Practitioners publishes articles on teacher research and supporting teacher research.
Teacher research articles share intentional and systematic inquiry done by teachers with the goals of gaining insights into teaching and learning, becoming more reflective practitioners, effecting changes in the classroom or school, and improving the lives of children. Teacher research stems from teachers' own questions about and reflections on their everyday classroom practice. They seek practical solutions to issues and problems in their professional lives.
Supporting teacher research articles are designed as a resource for teacher educators who are interested in incorporating teacher research into their professional preparation programs or refining or expanding their current teacher research efforts. Contributors to this section explore current thinking on using teacher research in two-year, four-year, and graduate early childhood teacher preparation programs and as in-service professional development in early education settings.
Voices of Practitioners welcomes submissions. See the manuscript guidelines (below) to submit to any of the sections.
Editor in Chief, Young Children
Co-editor, Voices of Practitioners
To reach NAEYC staff please email email@example.com.
Voices Editorial Advisory Board
Co-editor, Voices of Practitioners
Professor, San Francisco State University
To reach Barbara, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amanda Branscombe, Athens State University
Ben Mardell, Harvard University
Debra Murphy, Cape Cod Community College
Frances Rust, University of Pennsylvania
Andrew J. Stremmel, South Dakota State University
Editorial Advisory Board
Stacy M. Alfonso, The City College of New York
Georgina Ardalan, JO Wilson Elementary School
Cindy Ballenger, Tufts University
Nancy Barbour, James Madison University
Megan Blumenreich, The City College of New York
Barbara Bowman, Erikson Institute
Robyn Brookshire, University of Tennessee
Cheryl Bulat, Morton College
Kathryn Castle, Oklahoma State University
Lori Caudle, Western Carolina University
Sherry Cleary, The City University of New York
Carol Copple, Early Education Consultant and Writer
Mary Cronin, Cape Cod Community College
Jerlean Daniel, Early Childhood Consultant
Isauro M. Escamilla, Las Americas Early Education School
Mary Garguile, Olympic College
Anna Golden, Atelierista Sabot School
Beth Graue, University of Wisconsin
Martha Melgoza, Skytown Preschool
Mary Jane Moran, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Leah Muccio, University of Hawaii
Carrie Nepstad, Harold Washington College
Rebecca S. New, University of North Carolina
Gail Ritchie, Fairfax County Public Schools
Danielle Savory Seggerson, Lansing Community College
Jamie Solomon, University of Michigan
Stacia Stribling, George Mason University
Patricia Sullivan, San Francisco State University
Kaile Thomas, San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center
Nathaniel U. Weber, Russian Hill School
Ashley Williams, San Francisco State University
Voices of Practitioners Manuscript Guidelines
- Who should submit manuscripts to Voices of Practitioners?
- Types of articles
- Submitting a manuscript
- Photograph and work sample submission guidelines
- Review process
- From acceptance to online publication
All teachers in early childhood settings serving children from birth through third grade are invited to submit their research. The study can focus on children, families, staff, the settings themselves, or other factors that influence teaching. The editors of Voices of Practitioners welcome all teacher research manuscripts and look forward to learning from early childhood communities that are seldom represented in the research literature (such as infant and toddler programs, family child care, or teachers and children from a range of ethnic backgrounds).
Authors can submit manuscripts to the following sections of Voices of Practitioners
- Teacher Research Articles feature original research conducted by early childhood teachers of their own practice.
- Supporting Teacher Research offers practical information, such as how to design teacher research courses, and stimulating discussions about teacher research issues.
Teacher Research Articles
All teachers in early childhood settings serving children from birth through third grade are invited to submit their research. The study should be conducted in the teacher’s own classroom or other early childhood practitioner setting and can focus on children, families, staff, the settings themselves, or other factors that influence teaching. The article should highlight the full teacher research process, beginning with a meaningful question or questions and ending with a reflection on each step of the process. Teacher research can be carried out by an individual teacher or by a teacher in collaboration with other teachers or with a teacher educator.
Content for Teacher Research Articles
Teacher research manuscripts submitted to Voices of Practitioners should include the following sections:
- Introduction/Research Question—What is(are) your research question(s)? How did it(they) evolve?
- Review of Literature—What does the professional literature/research say about your question?
- Methods—Describe setting and participants. What was your research plan? How was your study conducted? How did you collect and analyze data? What was the process you implemented to answer your question?
- Findings and Discussion—What did you learn? Support and illustrate findings with examples from the data.
- Conclusions—What are the implications of the study for others in the field, ideas for continuing teacher research as part of daily teaching practices, and further questions raised by the study?
Articles should also include personal reflections on the teacher research journey.
Parallel Voices: Teacher Research Complemented Teacher Educator Commentary
We accept an additional form for teacher research articles, “Parallel Voices” articles, that share the voice of a teacher researcher(s) and the voice of a supporting teacher educator. These submissions should feature a teacher research study performed and described by one or more teachers plus a separately authored commentary from a teacher educator who has supported the teacher(s) throughout the research process. As in the standard Voices format for teacher research, these articles must feature studies by teachers of their own practice and meet all the criteria for teacher research articles described above. The voices of teachers and their original insights are central.
The teacher educator writes the accompanying commentary after the teacher researcher has finished writing up his or her study. Through the commentary the teacher educator provides his or her outside perspective of the teacher research study, thereby enhancing the dialogue and extending the meaning, not to merely summarize or restate the findings of the teacher research. Commentary might include suggestions for ways to further improve practice (building on the research findings), the contributions of the teacher’s research to the early childhood field, discussion of broader theoretical issues raised by the teacher research, connections to other empirical studies or the professional literature, or additional questions that are raised by the research. The teacher educator might describe aspects of the process he or she has used to support the teacher inquiry or how it is built into her professional program.
Though usually published at the same time, each research article and accompanying commentary will have a separate title and credited authorship. Ultimately, Parallel Voices commentary should be considered together as a partnership between teacher researcher and teacher educator, each contributing scholarship and insights to enhance teaching and learning in the early childhood field.
Supporting Teacher Research
Teacher educators or professional development specialists who are experienced in teacher research may submit manuscripts that describe innovative practices in their professional preparation programs, teacher research issues, and/or innovative ways to support teacher research in early childhood communities and settings. Articles may be designed to help readers understand the diverse nature of teacher research. Authors can describe techniques to help early childhood teachers design studies, collect and analyze data, report and reflect on findings, and write up their research for professional audiences.
Article title and name(s) of author(s)
Author information: full name, affiliation, title, address, phone, fax, and e-mail for each author
Designation of one author as the primary contact.
The intended section (teacher research, for the teacher educator, teacher research initiatives) for the manuscript
Brief abstract of the research project. Describe the question or problem, the subjects, the findings, and the implications of the study (approximately ½ page).
- Teacher Research manuscripts should be no more than 3,500 words, including references or appendices.
- Parallel Voices accompanying commentaries should be no more than 2,000 words.
- Supporting Teacher Research manuscripts should be a maximum of 3,500 words, including references.
Style of text
- Double-space lines, and leave at least 1-inch margins
- Follow appropriate word count
- Include the title and date in the footer
- Use a clear informal style of writing. Avoid excessive educational and research jargon.
- Write in active voice…”The children contributed ideas…” rather than “Ideas were contributed by the children…”
- Include subheads and visuals (children’s work samples, photographs, charts, graphs).
- Photos or other graphics should illustrate and clarify the data and not just serve as decorative elements.
- Do not include the name(s) of author(s) anywhere except on the cover page as all manuscripts are subject to a blind review.
- Provide accurate and complete information for references and resources. Follow Chapter 15, “Documentation II” in the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, or use a recent Voices article in Young Children as a guide.
- Authors are responsible for seeking and maintaining written permission from parents or legal guardians to include children’s art and work samples.
- Authors are encouraged to submit photos with their teacher research. We require model releases for all recognizable people in each photo (signed by all adults who appear in the photo and by the parents or legal guardians of all the children photographed). We may ask photographers to provide copies of the model releases.
- For quoted material longer than 100 words, authors must seek and submit written permission from the copyright holder prior to publication.
Authors should submit manuscripts through Manuscript Central, the online manuscript submission system for Voices of Practitioners and Young Children. On many of the pages, you’ll see the Young Children logo and other information specific to Young Children. After creating an account, authors will find instructions for Voices of Practitioners submissions.
Be sure to select Voices of Practitioners under manuscript type and to submit the cover page, article, and photographs as separate files. Each manuscript will receive an ID number. Authors may check the status of their submissions at any time in Manuscript Central. For assistance with Manuscript Central, email the editorial team: email@example.com.
Photographs and work samples play a powerful role in communicating the content of your article. Each photo must be technically excellent and convey an important message about the care and education of children from infancy through age 8. Voices of Practitioners uses color photographs only. To see the types of photos used, photographers can review past issues of Voices of Practitioners.
For details on taking and submitting photos, please see our guidelines.
- Voices editors jointly determine whether the article meets the basic guidelines. If not, the author is advised why the manuscript is not appropriate for consideration. If they choose to, authors can revise their manuscript accordingly and resubmit.
- Manuscripts that meet the basic guidelines are peer reviewed by members of the Editorial Advisory Board, a group of early childhood teacher research experts, including teacher researchers, who represent geographic, cultural, linguistic, and subject matter diversity.
Using all the reviews as a guide, one of the following decisions will be made and notification will be sent to the author by email:
- The manuscript will be accepted for publication in Voices of Practitioners on the NAEYC Web site.
- The author will be asked to revise and resubmit the manuscript for further review or possible acceptance. Reviewers’ suggestions for enhancing the manuscript will be sent to author. Authors will have up to four months to complete revisions and resubmit the manuscript.
- The author will be advised the manuscript is not accepted for publication.
- It is not possible to determine in advance the exact publication dates of accepted manuscripts. Most manuscripts require some revisions during the editing and production process.
- Authors may be asked to update, clarify, or expand article content or references. An editor will return the edited article to the author via e-mail for final approval before the manuscript enters production.
- When an article is scheduled for publication, authors are asked to complete biographies and copyright transfer forms. Both forms are provided electronically.
Interested in writing for other NAEYC publications?
Check out our author guidelines for