CFP: Transforming School Systems


EPAA/AAPE Call for Papers

Transforming School Systems: Questions of Power, Resistance, Equity, and Community

Guest Editors:  Vidya Shah (York University), Caitlin Farrell, University of Colorado Boulder

Education Policy Analysis Archives/Archivos Analíticos de Políticas Educativas/Arquivos Analíticos de Políticas Educativas (EPAA/AAPE; ISSN 1068-2341) announces a call for papers for a special issue, Transforming School Systems: Questions of Power, Resistance, Equity, and Community.

Much of the field’s understanding of local school governance and organizing is informed by education change research in America and Canada based in district reform policies. Existing literature primarily focuses on “deep learning,” collaborative relationships, local decision-making, data collection and analysis for decision-making, individuals versus systems, and scaling up “what works.” It does not typically include conversations about family, community, or educator resistance to policies, how power is re/distributed and re/negotiated, or how historically marginalized groups experience or are impacted by these policies.

In this special issue, we seek to broaden our understanding of the possibilities of how schools might be governed and organized, with an eye to local, regional, and national educational policy contexts. Through the collection of manuscripts, we aim to challenge the dominance of the Global North in reform literature and value the importance of local context and history. We seek to uncover how power changes across school organizing, governance, and community, by considering the following questions:

  • How do collectives of schools organize themselves, for what purpose, and to what ends?
  • How does local context, history, and culture shape the kinds of values pursued by educational systems, and with what consequences for how they operate and are organized?
  • How are inclusion/exclusion criteria determined in how schools are grouped, and for what purpose?
  • How are geographic and/or sociopolitical boundaries determined in systems of schools internationally and for what purpose?
  • How are different models of local and community engagement/decision-making influenced by context and history?
  • How are schools organized to address the needs of students, families, and communities most underserved by schooling?
  • How might studying the ways of knowing, being, organizing, and governing in the Global South interrupt or transform dominant logics of the Global North in education and district reform literature?
  • How have historical and contemporary factors (including the historical and ongoing imprint of colonialism) been maintained in the “transfer” and “adoption” of reform literature from the Global North in the Global South?

We especially encourage critical theoretical or methodological approaches to reform that attend to issues of power and difference. We welcome co-authorship between academics, community members, and practitioners. As part of our commitment to public scholarship, we would also encourage authors selected to participate in this issue to commit to some form of public scholarship, in which they take learnings from this special issue and contextualize them in their home settings to build critical scholarly, practitioner, and community connections.

Abstracts will be accepted in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and all articles will be evaluated through a double-blind process. More information about the EPAA guidelines can be found at

Submission Information: Interested contributors are invited to submit brief 200-word abstracts aligned with the special issue theme for review by September 1, 2023. Abstracts should be submitted electronically through the EPAA website, in the section Transforming School Systems and follow the Journal’s submission guidelines.


Abstract/outline submission deadline: September 1, 2023

Editorial decisions (on abstracts): September 15, 2023

Submission deadline (full papers submitted to journal system): December 1, 2023

Review of papers; Revised manuscript deadline: April 2024

Anticipated publication: August 2024

Questions concerning this call for papers should be directed to Vidya Shah,

 and Caitlin Farrell,