Practitioners


The Practitioner Strand of the Wales Journal of Education features contributions from practitioners engaged in research and inquiry across the various dimensions of educational practice. The manuscripts presented in the Practitioner Strand are produced through various engagements with action research, practitioner research/inquiry, and other methodological approaches that situate educational practitioners as active agents in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom within their professional contexts.

Although the emphasis of this strand of the journal is focused on practicing educators such as teachers and school leaders, we also invite submissions from individuals across various disciplines, levels, and educational organisations who undertake high-quality, educational research and inquiry, such as pre-service teachers, school Boards of Governors, and members of middle-tier organisations (e.g. LEA officers and inspectors). Each submission should reflect rigorous, systematic and ethical studies that can provide insight into current and future educational policy and practice in Wales and beyond. 

Practitioner submissions published by the journal will demonstrate how the use of ethical, rigorous, and systematic methods of inquiry can inform various dimensions of education and schooling. For example, submissions relating to teachers’ practice may address issues such as enhancing pedagogical knowledge, creating rich and engaging educational experiences, and improving student learning.


Categories of Publication

Empirical Research

For this journal, empirical submissions focus on findings derived through ethical, systematic methods of inquiry that observe or measure phenomena in educational settings. The findings derived from data generated through these methods are interpreted by the researcher through theories and concepts found in the body of the literature associated with the topic and their own theoretical deliberations. 

Theoretical, Conceptual and Descriptive Research

Theoretical & Conceptual Submissions. These submissions include discussions, arguments, and critiques that are not based on empirical evidence. Instead, the positions presented are based upon on a conceptual framework or theoretical concept.

Novel or Innovative Practice. These submissions provide a descriptive account of aspects of practitioner practice informed by educational research. The accounts may include descriptions of educational programmes, stand-alone interventions and activities, and/or aspects of teachers’ individual or collective pedagogical practice.

Book Reviews. Book reviews published by practitioners in this journal are descriptive, critical evaluations of contributions to the field of practitioner inquiry and action research. A good review is more than just a summary of a book. It should include a description of the purpose of the book and its intended audience. It should also evaluate the author’s arguments, identify overall strengths and weaknesses of the text, and provide an appraisal of the book’s general contribution to its particular subject, field or discipline.


Submitting an Article for Publication

Who can submit?

As mentioned above, the journal accepts submissions from practicing educators such as teachers and school leaders, as well as individuals across various disciplines, levels, and educational organisations who undertake high-quality, educational research and inquiry. These may include pre-service teachers, school Boards of Governors, and members of middle-tier organisations. Once published, the author owns the copyright to the work submitted and/or is authorised by the copyright owner(s) to submit the article. Authors are the initial owners of the copyrights to their works (an exception outside of academia might be if the author(s) have, as a condition of employment, agreed to transfer their copyright to their employer).


How are submissions reviewed and published?

Submissions are initially screened using the following criteria:

  • Appropriateness of content: How well the submission addresses the aims of the journal and practitioner inquiry.
  • Academic Literacy: How well the submission adheres to journal style guidelines and academic practice (e.g. referencing/citations)?
  • Written Expression: The overall quality of writing.
  • Research Quality: The appropriateness of the methods used to research a particular topic, including the rigor, validity and transparency of those methods in collecting, analysing and presenting the findings. The quality of research is predicated upon three criteria:
    - Rigor/Trustworthiness: Refers to the accurate and consistent use of methods (including data collection, analysis and interpretation of data) appropriate to the topic of study.
    - Validity/Credibility: Refers to how well the research design achieves the aims of the research.
    - Transparency: Refers to how well readers can understand the research process and findings, the author’s clarification of role and beliefs in relation to the research, and the steps taken to produce the written submission.
  • Potential Impact: How well the submission demonstrates its ability to positively contribute to literature on practitioner research.

Review Outcomes

Once a manuscript is completed and submitted it will be considered through a double-blind, peer review process. The outcomes of this process are described below. 

  • Accepted. The submission is accepted with no further edits required.
  • Accepted, minor edits. The submission is accepted upon the condition that minor edits are made by the author and accepted by the journal.
  • Rejected, major edits. The submission is rejected due to major edits being required by the reviewers. Authors may re-submit the manuscript once the edits have been addressed. The submission will be re-evaluated by the reviewers and the outcome of that evaluation will be communicated to the authors at the end of the review process.
  • Rejected. The submission was rejected and will not be published by the journal.  


General Submission Guidelines

In addition to the general rules of submission set out by the journal, submissions to the Practitioner Strand must focus specifically on (a) practitioner inquiry undertaken by the author(s) or (b) topics about practitioner inquiry. Irrespective of the topic or type of submission (e.g. book review, empirical or theoretical research), submissions are expected to be produced through ethical, systematic methods that introduce new and/or novel contributions to educational practice and policy.

Formatting and Word Count

Submissions to the Practitioner Strand should be created in a Microsoft Word document using Times New Roman font size 12 and include headings and sub-headings. The word count for submissions is between 2500-3000 words for empirical, theoretical and descriptive submissions, and 1000-1500 words for a book review. These word counts do not include references listed. References and in-text citations should follow Harvard referencing conventions.

Submission Structure

While various topics of research may require specific methods of investigation, practitioner submissions for publication must use the following pro forma when submitting their work. Exceptions may be considered on an individual basis.  

Empirical and Descriptive Research Submissions

  1. Abstract: A brief summary of the submission and keywords.
  2. Introduction: This section introduces the topic of investigation, the aims of the research, and the context in which the research takes place.
  3. Literature: This section provides a review of relevant literature to the topic of investigation and demonstrates the researchers’ knowledge of the field.
  4. Methods: This section describes ethical procedures, the generation of data, and analytical procedures and includes the following sub-sections:
    • Ethics: This section describes the measures taken to ensure the research was conducted ethically, particularly regarding the rights and general welfare of participants.
    • Sampling Procedure and Description: This section describes the process of generating the sample participating in the study, as well as a detailed description of the various characteristics of the sample that are appropriate and relevant to the topic of research.
    • Data Generation & Analysis: This section describes in detail the methods used in generating, analysing and interpreting data used in the study.
  5. Findings: This section describes the outcome and/or results of the research.
  6. Discussion: This section provides an interpretation of the findings through careful consideration of the evidence and theories discovered in the review of the literature.
  7. Conclusion:  This section concludes the submission by addressing the potential impact the research has for practitioners and their practice. It should identify new knowledge and understanding generated from the research and inform the reader about the importance and significance of these outcomes to the growing body of literature produced through practitioner research.

Theoretical/Conceptual Submissions

  1. Introduction: This section introduces the topic of investigation, the aims of the submissions, and the means through which the discussion will take place.
  2. Literature: This section provides a review of relevant literature to the topic of investigation and demonstrates the researchers’ knowledge of the field.
  3. Discussion: This section includes the main body of the submission, including the claims, analyses and outcomes provided by the author(s).
  4. Conclusion:  This section concludes the submission by addressing the potential impact the research has for practitioners and their practice. It should identify new knowledge and understanding generated from the theoretical consideration of the topic at hand and inform the reader about the importance and significance of these outcomes to the literature.


Submit an Article

Before submitting you should read over the guidelines here, then register an account (or login if you have an existing account).


If you would like discuss a preliminary idea, or have any questions relating to Practitioner articles, please email Kevin Smith: smithk26@cardiff.ac.uk