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Deadline for receipt of initial proposals: 1 July 2019 | Deadline for receipt of submitted articles for initial review: 1 February 2020


Special Issue

The Place of Professional Growth and Professional Learning in Leading Socially Just Schools

We invite you to submit an article for a Special Issue of Professional Development in Education on the place of professional growth and professional learning in leading socially just schools which we are intending to publish in Autumn 2020. Articles selected for the special issue will explore the significance of professional learning in the leadership of socially just schools.

There is an extensive and increasing literature on the issue of social justice and education and within this, the role and contribution of school leaders committed to social justice. However, knowledge and understanding of issues relating to the professional development of school leaders at all levels to support and sustain their work in building socially just schools is far less extensive. It is intended that this special issue of PDiE on professional learning, leadership development and social justice will advance critical thinking and practice in this area which has increasing significance in education internationally.

Relevant areas and issues

In inviting articles on this topic we would expect to receive properly researched accounts of successful practice. However, we are equally if not more interested in the complex personal, educational and social factors that may enhance or impede aspirations for social justice. The extent to which school leaders (not just those at principal or senior leadership levels) are able to enact their visions and to embed these principles in their own practice and the practice of others is of key interest. We would also be interested in receiving articles that provide a critical review of the key concepts in this area, for example the ways in which the perception of social justice is contested in differing geographical, social and political contexts and the ways in which school leaders at all levels may be empowered or constrained by policy directives.

There are various dimensions of professional growth and development in the leading of socially just schools that would be of relevance to this special issue of PDiE. These include:

  • leadership development opportunities for leaders of, and leaders within, socially just schools
  • tensions and/or contradictions in the enactment of theory into the practice of social justice leadership and the implications for professional learning
  • the professional learning needs of socially just leaders at all levels
  • the role of school leaders/leadership in promoting professional growth to build a socially just school.
  • models of professional learning used to underpin the development of social justice leadership.
  • macro – system level professional learning: the place of social justice in professional learning policy and strategy.

Submission Guidelines

Guest Editors: Prof Christine Forde, Dr Deirdre Torrance
Associate Editors: Dr Fiona King, Prof Ken Jones

This international Call for Papers is being made through the journal and its networks.

  • We invite you to submit an initial proposal (see below) which will be reviewed by the Special Issue editors. Only articles with a clear focus on professional learning and development will be considered.
  • A number of proposals will be selected and the authors invited to submit full manuscripts through the ScholarOne system for full blind peer review.
  • Feedback will be made to authors of full manuscripts as per PDiE normal practice.
  • It is expected that final decisions will be made by summer 2020.

 Outline of proposal

Please provide an overview indicating:

  • The proposed title of the article
  • The name(s) and institution(s) of all contributing authors with the contact author clearly indicated
  • The Email address of the lead author
  • An abstract of maximum 250 words summarising the scope of the article including the ways in which the article will consider critically the themes of social justice, professional growth and professional learning / development relating to leadership

Further details (maximum 500 words) setting out:

  • the geographical context of the study and any relevant issues relating to this (national education policy etc). The significance of the study, topic, its currency and relevance to the area of professional learning and socially just schools, the type of study and its significance i.e. for theory, policy or practice.

Please indicate clearly that this proposal relates to the PDiE Special Issue on Social Justice Leadership.


July 1st 2019 - receipt of initial proposals

February 1st 2020 - receipt of submitted articles for initial review

July 1st 2020 – revisions and further review as required

September 30th 2020 - final decisions and proceed to publication


Proposals and questions relating to the journal Professional Development in Education should be submitted by email to Professor Ken Jones, Managing Editor, PDiE (kenjonespdie@gmail.com).

Please refer to the instructions for authors on the journal website for more detailed information.

Professional Development in Education

Table of Contents for Professional Development in Education. List of articles from both the latest and ahead of print issues.

Language: en-US

Publisher: tandf

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