Contribute an Article to Teaching History


Do you have an idea that you'd like to share with the Teaching History community?  It's through member contributions that the HA maintains such a rich subject community - we'd love to hear from you!

Please don’t worry about being tentative, and please don’t worry if you have never written before! We really welcome first-time authors, those with new perspectives on old problems and those keen to share their practice or improve debate. If you feel you may need help in making your writing sufficiently clear to a wide audience, we will give you that help. That is what the editorial team is for. Our commitment is to getting teachers writing so that the history education community can learn together, record its practice for future generations of history teachers and build collective agency.

Initial guidelines for contributors to Teaching History 

First submission

Present a summary of ideas for your article in c600 words.

Please include

i) Some outline indication of type of article you plan to write

For example:

Will it be mostly pupil response and analysis of pupils' historical learning?
e.g. a practical approach you have tried out or a new curricular area. In such articles, figures might be mainly examples of pupils' work, activity/resource ideas and models, diagrams for planning, analytic diagrams etc?

OR Will it focus more on an historical issue?
This could be a content issue, e.g. introducing an area of content or an approach to content that you consider to deserve more attention than it currently receives.
Or it could be a discussion of how to introduce or improve an aspect of disciplinary practice in the classroom such as evidential thinking or a type of argument (change, continuity, causation, historical perspectives etc). This kind of article might still be illustrated with planning or pupils’ work, whether your own or others’ research studies, but its primary focus will be an historical issue

OR Do you want to debate a policy issue concerning a curriculum issue, examinations and assessment, a critique of government strategy or an international comparison?

Some articles will be blends of the above.

You may prefer to offer a short, practical feature rather than an article. If so, please let us know whether it will be a Triumphs Show, a Cunning Plan, Nutshell or Mummy (see earlier editions for examples of these, and house style).

ii) Explanation of how it will move forward the professional knowledge of communities of history teachers. Please explain how your ideas extend, elaborate, challenge or contrast with the practice of other teachers, practitioners, educators or researchers. The journal likes to encourage healthy debate and constructive critique so it is useful if you can show where your practice moves beyond or challenges others. This might be practice published in Teaching History or it could be anywhere else where history teachers, historians, other scholars and commentators write.

iii) Some indication of the figures that will be in the article.

These should be eye-catching, informative and practical. Please see earlier editions for reference. Articles without either visual, practical or diagrammatic figures will not be accepted.

Some indication of your evidence base and the process by which you have constructed your knowledge.

For example:

Will the article be based chiefly upon your (or your colleagues') experiences of teaching? If so, think about how you will support your claims. You might want to do this by referring to things your colleagues have said, by illustrating your points with examples of pupils' work or by including quotations from other forms of pupils' response. It is fine just to offer reflections and to write speculatively but however you do it, try to make sure that your writing is analytic and that you can include plenty of support for your claims.

OR will it be based on more systematic research? If so, of what kind? How did you set up your investigation? What were your research questions? What methods of analysis did you use? Will it involve theoretical analysis, empirical grounding or both?

All of these modes of writing are acceptable. We like to know what kind of writing it will be so that we can have regard to variety across each edition. We are interested in a variety of forms of professional knowledge construction and especially teachers' own reflections upon whether and what pupils are learning.

Please submit your 600 words, by e-mail, to all four editors simultaneously: 

Katharine Burn;

Rachel Foster;

Christine Counsell;

Tony McConnell

The editor on correspondence duty will acknowledge your submission. At a later date, an editor will supply feedback on your proposal and any tips for preparing a full draft of your article. Word length and deadlines will be agreed at that stage.

Second submission

This is your first, full draft of the article.

Please include plenty of practical exemplification and/or evidence of success or problems in securing pupils' learning in the form of pupils' work, successful activities, statistical evidence or analytic/theoretical commentary on the type or area of historical learning secured or proposed.

Word length will be as agreed after discussion following first submission - for normal articles normally between 2,000 and 5,000 including endnote references.

References are helpful where you want to i) acknowledge significant earlier thinking and practice on which your work builds; ii) point the reader to further helpful reading; iii) show how the knowledge of the professional community is linking up, whether that means challenging the scope of existing practice or developing it. Be precise and remember to use page numbers when you use direct quotations.

All references should be in the Teaching History house style.

No bold, underlining or any other variation from normal text (except within figures).

Please use point size to indicate relative status of headings, sub-headings and sub-sub headings.

Gather all figures together at the end of the article - not in the middle of it.

Ensure the text of the article refers to Figure 1, Figure 2 etc., so that layout personnel know roughly where to position them. Please do not refer to figures by writing such things as, ‘as this chart shows' or ‘see below' or ‘as this photograph illustrates'. Instead, simply put, ‘as shown in Figure 2'. Or ‘Figure 4 gives an example of how one pupil responded'.

Please investigate and resolve all copyright issues and establish what picture permissions or purchases are necessary (we will then carry these out if acceptable).

Submit to editors as above, remembering to e-mail all four together. 

When might your article belong elsewhere?

The audience for the journal is history teachers and all those involved in working to improve history education for children of school age. Articles that do not relate to teaching, learning or school curriculum are not relevant to the journal. If you want to write an article that is purely about history, we suggest that you submit it to the editors of other HA journals - The Historian or History. Our readers are certainly interested in reflections on historiography and historical scholarship but it is their implications for curriculum and for pedagogy that must be teased out, so that practising teachers find them useful and interesting.

Remember, too, that Teaching History is a journal for secondary history (pupils aged 11-19). If your article relates purely to pupils aged 4 to 11, please submit to the editor of Primary History.  Articles addressing continuity in curriculum and learning across ages 4 to 19 will be most welcome.    

Thank you for reading this. Please send us your ideas and feedback!