Voices of Practitioners features teacher research in early childhood education.
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 any of the three 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.
- Actions and Reflections highlights the wide range of early childhood teacher research initiatives and inquiry communities through brief summaries.
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 practioner 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 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? Illustrated 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 Accompanied by Commentary by a Teacher Educator
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 pieces might include 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 published at the same time, each research article and accompanying commentary will have a separate title and credited authorship. Ultimately, Parallel Voices research and commentary articles 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, can 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 can be designed to help readers understand the diverse nature of teacher research, such as our article on narrative inquiry. 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.
Actions and Reflections
Actions and Reflections is an ongoing series in which we will post new projects as we receive them. Authors should submit a 500-750 word summary of their teacher research project. The summary should include an overview of the teacher research initiative and should include contact information for educators interested in learning more about specific project goals and methods.
- 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 a maximum of 4,500 words not counting the 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 not counting 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.
- References, citations, and excerpts
- Provide accurate and complete information for references and resources. Follow Chapter 15, “Documentation II” in the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition (available at libraries and bookstores).
- 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 http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/youngchildren. 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 Heather Collick (email@example.com).
Also please email a Word copy of manuscripts to editor, Gail Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Voices of Practitioners is the Association’s peer-reviewed, teacher research journal.
Format: Send high-resolution images electronically via email or on CDs, DVDs, or flash drives in JPEG, TIF, EPS, or other standard formats. Digital submissions will not be returned. Photographs should be sent as individual attachments when submitting manuscripts.
Model releases: Authors/Photographers must have and keep model releases for all recognizable people in each photo (signed by all the adults who appear in the photo and by the parents or legal guardians of all the children photographed). Authors/Photographers must provide a sample copy of their model release.
Photo license: Authors/Photographers must sign a Photograph License Agreement. This agreement verifies that you own the photos and that you have the proper model releases for everyone appearing in the photos. It allows NAEYC to use your photos in print and digital formats.
Publication Photo Use
Credit: The author/photographer is credited and retains copyright for each photo published. By submitting photos to NAEYC, photographers assign to NAEYC the right to use the photos in current and subsequent printings of the publication in which they appear, whether in print or digital format.
Tips for Non-Professionals
• Use a 8 megapixel digital camera or better and use the highest quality setting when you shoot.
• Use natural light. Raise shades or open curtains as necessary.
• Try to be unobtrusive and allow the children and adults to forget that you are there.
• Take photos at the children’s level.
• Catch the children and adults in action, not posing.
• Focus on the people in the foreground.
• Take many photos but expect only a few to be just right.
• Clothing should not have any logos, cartoons or video characters, inappropriate sayings, or designs that date a photo.
- The journal editor, the teacher research coordinator, and the teacher research coeditors 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 will be sent out for peer review 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. The reviewers will provide comments and recommendations.
- Using all the reviews as a guide, one of the following decisions will be made (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 will require some revisions during the editing and production process.
- Editing involves the teacher research coeditors, the journal editor, and a copy editor. Authors may be asked to update, clarify, or expand article content or references. A copy 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. The copyright transfer provides permission for publication on the NAEYC Web site.
- If you have questions about the submission and review process for Voices of Practitioners contact Gail Perry, submit your queries in an email, or call 202-232-8777, ext. 8415.