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Module 5

Focus: writing an article for a professional journal.

After you have completed your first assignment, you need to get started on the second. This module has no on campus session but is designed to assist you in progressing your understanding of educational research and completing sufficient work to gain value from our final module.

Publishing educational research

Depending on where you are in relation to the preparation of your 2nd assignment, you should post to the discussion forum the following ASAP and at least before the final weekend intensive:

  • A brief account of the article you’d like to write

  • The name of the journal

  • The journal guidelines, particularly if they need clarification in your reading of them

  • A sample or model article that you’ve read from the journal 

  • Any research articles that you have read and may want to use in your professional article but which is proving a little tricky to decipher. I can’t guarantee I can decipher everything but I’m confident we can find a way through it.

There is a list of suggested journals below.

Each is annotated with an indication of access/availability, i.e. either open access, freely available online or via the Griffith library. There are links to larger lists of professional journals if none of these do not suit your interests or needs.

The draft for the professional journal

The 2nd assignment is meant to build on from the work you’ve done in the first which was assembling a small set of references for which you wrote an annotation. It may be that you had been thinking about the article as you did your annotated bibliography and it all fits nicely. I suspect it might be that your thinking may have shifted a little from where you began. That is fine also. There is no one correct way to do this.

You will find that in some journals there is a predominance of writing from academics who work in universities. This is because, unlike teachers in schools, part of their employment conditions is to publish. This often means that they will draw on research data to present their argument. This is something you can’t do, i.e. report on your research data. You can however call on your own, personal teaching experience as a way of framing or setting up the article you write as some of you did for the annotated bibliography. 


If you are having trouble finding an article that might be a useful model for your writing, have a look at some of the research-based articles. They will always have a component which reviews the literature. This is effectively what you have already done, albeit a small sample, in your annotated bibliography.

Here are a couple of models that might be useful to look at. Not for the specifics but for the style or engagement, use of research literature etc. It is a sampling of articles from professional journals. Don’t panic about the number. I have tried to pick articles that demonstrate a range of style and approach. Just skim them and get a bit of a sense of the range of what a professional article can/might be. You might find a style/model for the paper you are planning. Alternatively, you can browse some of the professional journals that are of interest to you and bring along an article or two. We will have time to talk about models, styles and approaches.

Adermann, J., & Campbell, M. (2007). Anxiety Prevention in Indigenous Youth. The Journal of Student Wellbeing, 1(2). Retrieved from

Farrall, J., & O'Connor, G. (2010). Inclusive learning technologies : supporting students of all abilities. Professional Educator, 9(1), 34-37.  Retrieved from\conference\2012\pdfs\handouts\Inclusive-Learning-Technologies-Supporting-Students.pdf

Grey, A. (2011). Professional Dialogue as Professional Learning. Teachers' Work, 8(1), 21-32. Retrieved from

Holden, S. (2010). Pancake people in flatland. Professional Educator, 9(1), 44-47. 

Jingyan, L. (2009). A study of the pedagogical principles of ‘Crazy English’. English Australia, 25(2), 22-33. Retrieved from

Mitchell, P. (2011). Resourcing 21st century online Australian Curriculum: The role of school libraries. FYI, (Autumn), 10-15. Retrieved from

Patte, M. M. (2010). Is it still OK to play? The Journal of Student Wellbeing, Vol 4, No 1 (2010), 4(1). Retrieved from

Weeks, K. (2010). Bullying in the early years. Every Child Magazine, 16(4). Retrieved from

Some of these pieces are closer to the style of writing you will more likely do in other courses.

For articles that use some research data, the literature review section is not a bad model for the way you can develop your article because this is effectively what your article will have as its basis, a review of the literature framed into an article that engages a professional audience.

In our discussions about the requirements of professional journal articles, we have generated something of a continuum between the look of professional journals that have similar requirements to research journals and professional journals which adopt a more 'conversational', less formal style. The history of each journal is often a good indication of the waxing and waning of emphases and editorial or professional association interests.

There is an analogy that might help in thinking about the differences between professional knowledge and what is published in research journals and the role of professional journals. Kevin Kelly (2010) writes about the relationship in science between what might be labelled 'local knowledge' and the 'official stuff' that ends up in research journals. As he argues:

We casually talk about the "discovery of America" in 1492 or the "discovery of gorillas" in 1856 or the "discovery of vaccines" in 1796. Yet vaccines, gorillas, and America were not unknown before their "discovery". Native peoples had been living in the Americas for 10,000 years before Columbus arrived, and they had explored the continent far better than any European ever could. Certain West African tribes were intimately familiar with the gorilla and many more primate species yet to be "discovered." Dairy farmers in Europe and cow herders in Africa had long been aware of the protective inoculative effect that related diseases offered, although they did not have a name for it. The same argument can be made about whole libraries' worth of knowledge—herbal wisdom, traditional practices, spiritual insights—that are "discovered" by the educated, but only after having been long known by native and folk peoples. (p. 335) … The reason science absorbs local knowledge and not the other way around is because science is a machine we have invented to connect information. It is built to integrate new knowledge with the web of the old. (p. 336)

So, we might think about the 'local knowledge' of teachers, students, principals and parents as they carry out the day-to-day work of schooling. Education research then looks to connect, order and structure this knowledge. I know this is an idealistic account, as it for the sciences but as a rough way of thinking about the value and importance of Professional Journals it might be helpful. That is, the Professional Journal takes from the ordered, inter-connected knowledge in the research journals and tries to write it back for the use by the 'locals' in language they can follow and that articulates with the way they think about and talk about their work.

There is a lot of advice about writing for journals but Pat Thompson's recent post provides some good advice.

Educational Journals

There is a list of what ACER (Australian Council of Educational Research) call 'core journals' indexed by ACER for the Australian Education Index. Many of these are research journals but there are also Professional Journals. There is also an overlapping list at Aussie Educator. World Newspapers also has a list of magazines and journals for educators.

There is a directory of Open Access (*OA*) journals that you may find useful. It is a mix of research and professional journals.

*GU* = available via the Griffith Library
*OA* = available wholly or partly online (OA=open access)

One of the problems with Professional Journals in education is that they can suddenly disappear or change what they are doing/publishing. Some also operate as conduits for consulting firms keen to sell their materials.

This list is not meant to be comprehensive. 

Australian Educator. The Australian Educator is the quarterly journal of the Australian Education Union. *OA*
Australian Educational Computing is the journal of the Australian Council for Computers in Education. It publishes both professional and research papers. *OA*
Babel: Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. *GU*
Australian Journal of Adult Learning, a publication of Adult Learning Australia. It is concerned with promoting critical thinking and research in the field of adult learning as well as the theory, research and practice of adult and community education. *GU*
Australian Online Journal of Arts Education, an internet-based, open-access scholarly journal that aims to promote the arts at all levels of education as well as to encourage research, discussion and debate regarding the role, development and implementation of arts programs in both formal and informal educational settings. It is no longer accepting articles but you could use it to model your article.
Curriculum Leadership aims to provide comprehensive coverage of issues concerning school education for leaders in Australia and New Zealand, while also aiming for a broad international perspective. Its audience includes senior staff in schools, officers in education authorities, teacher educators, professional association staff, consultants, journalists, and researchers. *OA*
Educating Young Children, a journal of the Early Childhood Teachers Association. *GU*
Education Quarterly Australia a forum and showcase for all that is valued by educators.
English Australia, a professional journal for TESOL teachers. *OA*
Educating Young Children, a journal of the Early Childhood teachers Association. *GU*
English in Australia, a journal of the Australian Association for the Teaching of English. *GU*
Every Child Magazine, a journal of Early Childhood Australia. *OA*
Geographical Education, journal of the Australian Geography Teachers Association. *GU*
Journal of Artistic and Creative Education. *OA*
JSD, a journal of the Learning Forward (a professional development) organisation in the US. *OA*
Leadership in focus is a quarterly professional development paper-based journal for Australasian school leaders working in schools from preparatory to year 12 level.
The Journal of Student Wellbeing. *OA*
Learning Matters, a publication of the Catholic Education Office (Melbourne). *OA*
Literacy learning: The Middle Years, a journal of the Australian Literacy Educator's Association. *GU*
Mathematics Education. This is a Wiki with a large collection of research and professional journals that publish maths ed and maths ed related material.
Practically Primary, a journal of the Australian Literacy Educator's Association. *GU*
Primary and Middle Years Educator, a journal of the Australian Curriculum Studies Association.
Professional Educator, a publication of the Australian College of Education. *GU*
Screen Education, a journal of the Australian Teachers of Media. *GU*
Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development is an electronic journal focused on the intersections and interstices among and between learning, evaluation, innovation and development. *OA*
The New Zealand Journal of Teachers' Work is a free, national peer-reviewed journal containing articles of interest to Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary teachers. The journal aims to disseminate New Zealand research on and by teachers and also other articles on current issues which may be of interest to teachers. *OA*
Teaching Science, journal of the Australian Science Teachers Association. *GU*
TESOL in Context, the journal of the Australian Council of TESOL Associations. *GU*
the Knowledge Tree is an e-journal generated by members of the Australian vocational education and training (VET) system to enable the sharing of research and learning innovation in national and global e-learning practice. *OA*
The Social Educator, the journal of the Social Educators’ Association of Australia. (hard copy? at MtG library)
Unboxed: A journal of adult learning in schools, a broad education journal based on High Tech High in California. *OA*
VOCAL Journal, the Australian Journal of Vocational Education and Training in Schools. *GU*


Kelly, K. (2010). What Technology Wants. New York: Penguin

Jason Zagami,
16 Jul 2012, 19:13