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About This Journal

The Rural Educator seeks manuscripts that contribute to our understanding of educational issues in rural contexts at all levels of rural education, including early childhood, p-12 education, post-secondary education, and out-of-school education contexts. Submissions must explicitly address rural education by defining rural and/or by extensively describing the unique rural setting. Submissions should explicitly explain the relationship between rural education and either research methods and findings or the promising practice being presented. Manuscripts that do not explicitly and extensively address rural education will not be considered for publication.

Four types of articles are published in The Rural Educator.

Research Articles

Research Articles are peer-reviewed reports of empirical research that address problems of practice in rural education. Research Articles contribute to our understanding of educational issues in rural contexts. Submissions must explicitly address rural education by defining rural and/or by extensively describing the unique rural setting. Research that happens to be set in a rural setting but does not explicitly address rural education in review of literature, research question, findings and/or discussion/implications will not be published. Research Articles present original, empirical research using a variety of methodological approaches and theoretical frameworks.

Reviews of Research

Reviews of Research are peer-reviewed and should focus on a specific topic in rural education. Reviews of research should summarize, synthesize and identify gaps in the research as they relate to rural education contexts. Reviews of Research synthesize research related to a specific topic Reviews of Research should summarize and synthesize specific topics within one of the NREA Research Priorities and identify gaps in the research as they relate to rural education contexts. Reviews of research are generally 20-30 pages in length, including references.

Peer Review Criteria

All peer reviewed manuscripts should address the significance of the research for rural education contexts. These questions may help authors determine rural salience: Does the manuscript support rural schools and communities in their education work? How will this manuscript matter to rural education practitioners, advocates, and researchers? Does this manuscript expand, strengthen, or complicate our understanding of rural education? Does the manuscript avoid stereotypes and add to an understanding of rural places as rich and complex?. In addition, manuscripts will be reviewed based on the following criteria.

• Manuscript will be of interest to readers of The Rural Educator

• Thoroughness and appropriateness of the review of the literature

• Rigor and appropriateness of the framework and methodology

• Rigor of the analysis and conclusions

• Clarity of writing (syntax, style, mechanics, and organization)

Promising Practices

Promising Practices highlight effective “boots-on-the-ground” practices with short, easy-to-read articles that tell stories of effective and emerging practices authored by a variety of voices in educational settings, including teachers, administrators, community leaders, postsecondary institutions, non-profit organizations, and others with experience in rural education.

Promising Practices should describe the rural educational setting, the practice and its outcomes, and may include reflections on rural education practices. Educators who have found success with particular instructional practices, assessments, collaboration and partnerships, or other educational practices are encouraged to share those experiences with readers of The Rural Educator

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Manuscripts submitted for Promising Practices can take many forms. While there is no length requirement, we encourage the submission of written manuscripts that are 5-7 pages in length (approximately 3000 words). Photographs, illustrations, or work samples can be included. Promising Practices manuscripts are not sent out for peer review. Instead, the editors will review submissions and make publication decisiuons based on the following criteria.

• Overall Description of the Promising Practice: The description of the promising practice is clearly stated and easy to understand; the article tells a story or shares an example of a successful practice

• Description of the Rural Context: The manuscript describes or explains the rural education setting in which the practice was created and refined.

• Level of Detail: Provides specific detail about what was accomplished and its impact so that readers can understand and consider implementing the practice, including concrete, specific, relevant examples from one or more rural education settings.

• Evidence: Provides evidence (e.g., outcomes, evaluation data, reflections) that the practice shows promise for rural education

• Connection to rural: Describes why the practice is particularly relevant or meaningful for rural people, communities, and/or schools. Reviewers can use these questions to consider connections to rural: (1) Does the submission support rural schools and communities? (2) Will this submission matter to rural education practitioners, advocates, and researchers? (3) Does this submission expand, strengthen, or complicate our understandings of rural education? (4) Does the submission avoid stereotypes and deficit ideologies?

• Writing: Writing is clear, easy to read and engaging.

If you have any questions about your ideas for a submission to Promising Practices, contact Amy Price Azano at azano@vt.edu.

Policy Briefs

Policy Briefs provide updates and analysis of national and state policy of importance to rural educators written by the editors and/or invited guest columnists. Authors with ideas for future Policy Brief columns should contact the editors at theruraleducator@gmail.con.

Indexed in Scopus, ERIC, EBSCO, Elsevier and Directory of Open Access Journals.