By Elaine Franklin, Ph.D.
Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership
The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership is pleased to announce it has revised its submission guidelines for its Journal of Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership (JoITL), an online peer-reviewed publication featuring original work on research, professional learning, and leadership in K-12 education.
The first issue was published in 2016 in response to a group of teacher leaders in the Kenan Fellows Program alumni network who were seeking a new venue for publishing academic work. They envisioned a journal that would hold to high standards in research and scholarship, and be of value to reflective practitioners. We are pleased to report that, with the assistance of our 20-member editorial board consisting of Kenan Fellows alumni, we have made good progress. Thus far, we have published three issues and 20 articles that were authored by university professors, doctoral students and K-12 teachers from four different states.
With two years of experience behind us, we have learned a lot and are now poised to make some adjustments that we believe will make JoITL even more useful to the teacher leadership community. One of our most important realizations is that the previous 2,000-word limit was often not sufficient for relating the necessary details of more complex research studies. While a number of journals in the STEM education arena hold submissions to a similar level, they tend to feature best practices in education rather than original research. Therefore, going forward, we will be accepting articles with up to 7,000 words. This expanded word limit will allow authors to discuss their work in greater depth and provide readers with a more thorough treatment of the subject matter.
Another insight gained from our first two years of publishing JoITL’s is the uneven flow of submissions, with certain times of the year being much heavier than others. This may be attributed to the still-new nature of the journal, but it also may be related to the academic calendar and the greater availability of quality writing time that many educators find during the summer months. To address this, we are changing the publication schedule. Beginning this year, JoITL will publish annually in December. We will accept manuscripts year-round but authors will be required to submit articles by the beginning of September in order to have them considered for publication.
We are looking forward to growing our network of authors and readers, and believe the changes we are making will be very positive for JoITL. We would also like to stress that the core focus of the journal has not changed. JoITL is about teacher leadership and designed to engage a wide cross-section of education professionals. It is, to our knowledge, the only scholarly journal in the United States with this specific focus. We are dedicated to advancing thoughtful discourse around the intellectual work of teacher leadership in all disciplines. Guidelines for submission can be found on our website at kenanfellows.org/journals.