Ends on August 31, 2019

The Harvard Educational Review (HER) is planning an upcoming Special Issue on Youth Voices in Education Research. The goal of this Special Issue is to publish essays and articles written by youth (and youth working with adults) about how their schools and communities could be more equal and just places to learn and grow. We think youth have powerful ideas about how to make our world a better place and want to ensure that teachers, education researchers, and policymakers have an opportunity to listen to and consider their ideas. In this issue, we are looking for young people who have:

  • Worked on a research project at their school or community organization and asked/answered questions about to make their school or community a better or more equitable place
  • Worked with (or are going to be working with) a researcher or teacher to study a problem in their school or community and come up with a solution
  • Written about what they wish was different about their classroom, school, or community in an essay for school or for their own learning

If any of these experiences describe something you have done, we would love to learn more about your experiences and ideas! Please consider submitting one of the following types of written pieces to us. Pieces do not need to address all the guiding questions we have inserted below, think of them as examples of what you might write about:

  • A research paper that examines a problem and/or discusses a solution about equality, learning, or justice in classrooms, schools, or community organizations [What problem did you examine and why is it important to you? What did you discover through your research? What ideas and solutions has your research uncovered that you would use to solve this problem?]
  • A reflection on your experience as part of a organization, class, or research team that describes the challenges and opportunities of working on research as a young person. [What was challenging about doing research work as a young person, or in collaboration with adults? What advice do you have for others who are interested in doing educational research with youth?]
  • An essay that shares your personal experiences as a student or member of an organization and describes a specific learning experience that was memorable, important, or inspiring for you [Tell us about the experience and how it impacted how you think about yourself, your community or the world differently. Do you think other students would benefit from having a similar learning opportunity? How would you suggest schools or organizations make that happen?]
  • An essay that describes the changes you would like to see in your local school or in schools across the country in order to ensure that all students receive a high-quality education [How should schools change to treat all students more equally? If you became principal, superintendent or US Secretary of Education, what would you change to improve education for all students? What do you think adults in your schools do not see or understand about what it is like to be a student in school today?]

All submissions must be between 500 and 5,000 words long. Submissions that are collaborations between young people and adults (teachers, nonprofit staff, researchers) are welcome, however to submit to this category, young people must be equal partners or primary authors with their adult collaborators. 

The deadline for all submissions for this Special Issue is August 31st, 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is considered youth?

For this issue, we consider young people aged 21 or younger to be “youth.” 

Can I send in more than one submission?

Unfortunately, due to the large volume of work that we are expecting to receive, we are asking that each potential author only send in one submission for our consideration.

Can I send in a piece that I have published elsewhere?

Unfortunately not. If you have had a piece of writing published elsewhere, we will not be able to republish it in our journal. 

How long does my submission need to be?

We are accepting submissions that range in length from 500 words to 5,000 words. Please check your piece’s word count before submitting!

Where can I go if I have more questions?

Please feel to contact us at HER.specialissues@gmail.com.

How do I submit my story?

To submit your piece, simply follow the prompts on our online submission management system (which is the page you are already on!).

How will pieces be selected for publication?

Submissions will be reviewed anonymously and selected by the Harvard Educational Review Editorial Board. 

How should my submission be formatted?

All text must be double spaced, type size must be at least 12 point with 1-inch margins on all sides, and paper size should be set to 8.5 x 11, even if printed on A4 paper. Authors  should refer to The Chicago Manual of Style for general questions of style, grammar, punctuation, and form, and for footnotes of theoretical, descriptive, or essay-like material.

Authors should use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for all reference and citation formats. References must be in APA format. Manuscripts with references and/or citations in another form may be returned to the author/s.

What makes a good submission?

This really depends on the type of piece you are submitting.

We find that narrative pieces or essays are typically strong when they have a clear message to convey to the reader, incorporate lots of detail and specific language, and help adults think about a topic in a new or interesting way. 

If you are submitting a research piece we would expect a bit more structure in your piece. Please include an introduction that introduces your research topic, your research methods, your key findings, and what we should take away from your research conclusions.

If you are submitting a reflection, please include at least a brief description of the research experience/project you participated in and then focus the bulk of your piece on what you’ve taken away from that experience, learned about yourself, or learned about the topic you studied. 

No matter what type of piece you submit, we expect it to be complete, fit within the word count, and be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Just like adult researchers, we recommend having someone else proofread your piece before you submit.