Submission Guidelines

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Thanks for considering writing for Rethinking Schools!

Before you submit a piece to us, please make sure that you are familiar with our publication and have recently looked at some of the pieces in our archives. Rethinking Schools magazine features lively, conversational writing about social justice teaching and education policy. It is not an academic journal, and we avoid pieces that are written in an academic style, that are primarily theoretical, or that use large amounts of academic jargon. We also do not consider opinion / op-ed submissions. We prefer original submissions.

If you are not sure whether your article idea is a good fit for Rethinking Schools, send a query to If you have a piece to submit, attach your article, as a Word document, and email it to We will not read articles of more than 3,500 words, and we prefer articles that are substantially shorter.

For classroom teaching/curriculum articles:

We are looking for pieces that are alert to broad themes of social and ecological justice. We certainly are interested in how-to articles, but only those that are grounded in how this teaching connects to a larger vision of social and ecological justice. We are also looking for articles that are “replicable”—so that another teacher could read the article and then say, “Yeah, I think that I could do something like that, too.”

We don’t publish lesson plans in the magazine, but do look for pieces that are story-rich. Student voice is another element of a successful article. Are there quotes from students, examples from student work? Does this feel authentic? Although we are looking for exemplary teaching practices, we are not looking for heroism. Rethinking Schools editors are all teachers or former teachers. We know that this is tough work and that even the best teaching often falls short. We want articles that are honest, that acknowledge difficulties and shortcomings, and that model for readers a self-critical approach to the classroom.

For organizing, activism, and policy articles:

We look for articles with a strong social justice perspective that will be helpful and inspiring for teachers and other education activists. We are interested in features, not reports or news articles. So please approach it as a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end, filled with anecdotes and the voices of teachers, parents, and/or students. If the article is about organizing, show us what happened rather than telling us about it. As with curriculum articles, we want others to be able to apply or adapt successful organizing to their own situation. Papers written for academic assignments are almost never appropriate for Rethinking Schools without significant revision.

In general, the best guide to the kind of articles we run in the magazine is to look at lots of back issues. In fact, you might consider finding “mentor texts”—articles that are structured in ways that will be a helpful guide as you draft your submission. Our staff editors read all submissions. If an article seems like it would be a good fit for the magazine, an editor will either work with the writer toward submission to the full national editorial board or will simply submit a piece to the board. The editorial board makes all decisions about which articles are accepted for publication. Again, if you have any questions about our editorial process or whether an idea you have might make a good Rethinking Schools piece, please get in touch with one of us.