About the Journal
Orienting Commitments and Intentions (Focus and Scope)
Journal of Childhood Studies invites articles that:
- Are grounded in situated contexts, and locally-meaningful ethics and politics in the rapidly fluctuating political, social, and fiscal contexts of 21st century childhoods
- Work towards taking seriously with children the everyday ethical, political, epistemic, and ontological inheritances that shape worlds
- Grapple with situated politics, environmental precarities, social justice, innovative pedagogies, and co-constructed knowledge
- Critically engage taken-for-granted euro-western figurations and histories of childhood
- Challenge neoliberal, neocolonial policies that privilege child development as a dominant knowledge for understanding childhood
- Propose actionable orientations that nourish resistance, invention, speculation, and accountability and that think locally to imagine more just modes of living collective Engage methodologies, theories, and outcomes as ethical and political commitments toward multiplicity, diversity, justice, and situated responsibilities
We offer a series of questions and provocations for potential authors to consider in the preparation of manuscripts. These questions and provocations demonstrate - in both the peer-reviewed Articles from Research and Ideas from Practice sections - a strong commitment to how childhood studies will respond to current times. Some authors might confront these provocations directly. Others might patiently stick with a thread of one question throughout their manuscript.
- How might childhood studies get to know, and answer for, its scholarly and practice-oriented directions?
- How do the epistemic contours of childhood studies unevenly shape how we understand childhoods?
- How can we resist knowledge politics that actively sustain ongoing settler colonialism and eurocentrism and turn - ethically and with a deep concern for this history of knowledges - toward alternative or multidisciplinary perspectives on childhood, including theories shared by Indigenous and Black scholars?
- How do we do citational practices in childhood studies? What relations with scholars, knowledges, and histories do our citational practices make possible?
- How do theoretical approaches become powerful in childhood studies? Why? For who? How might we think with how ‘post’ theories (such as feminist new materialist, poststructural, posthuman, or postdevelopmental approaches) attend to power relations and are enacted in response to local politics and relations?
- How might childhood studies face its histories, including its complicity in disciplining and minoritizing children who do not conform to the ideals of childhood that prevail in a particular time and place?
- How might we write, about and with children, while taking seriously the violent consequences that the canonical history of research on children is built upon?
- Developmental conceptualizations of childhood are part of the trajectory of childhood studies. How do we answer, in our own locally response-able ways, to developmentalism throughout our research processes? How do post-developmental perspectives hold unfamiliar questions, relations, and possibilities for childhood studies, while remaining answerable to the histories developmentalism must answer to?
- What does childhood studies care about and with - and how?
- What are the concerns facing 21st century childhoods? How do they become concerns?
- How might we write in the context of ongoing settler colonialism, capitalism, neoliberalism, anthropocentrism, white supremacy, and individualism - and how might research imagine futurities beyond these worlds? How might we centre possibilities for engaging a particular concern (such as ecologies, gender, literacy, play, curriculum, or pedagogy) without excising our concern from the worlds it creates now and has created before?
- How do we research toward liberatory futures for Black, Brown, Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQIA2S+, refugee, immigrant, unhoused, poor, disabled, neurodivergent, and fat children in the global north and south?
- How do situated politics, environmental precarities, social justice, innovative pedagogies, and co-constructed knowledge become concerns that think in the company of other concerns?
Editorial Emphasis (Content Guidelines)
Journal of Childhood Studies is a peer reviewed, open access digital journal that aims to provide researchers and practitioners with a transdisciplinary space to cultivate experimental, creative, and alternative approaches to, and conceptualizations of, childhood. All manuscripts submitted for consideration in all sections must grapple with at least one of the Critical Questions listed above.
The Editors encourage submissions:
- From practitioners, early career academics, and established scholars
- JCS endeavors to support the work of young scholars and graduate students
- From scholars and practitioners who study a variety of international disciplines
- Practitioners and researchers worldwide are invited to submit manuscripts to the journal.
- In a variety of formats, including research articles, discussions of policy, multimedia essays, practice-oriented contributions, and conceptual work that employ an innovative edge in their engagements with childhood
- With diverse content, which opens space for alternative, critical, and contradictory ways of knowing that are relevant to the increasingly complex domain of childhood
- Relevant to one of the three sections of JCS: Articles from Research, Ideas from Practice, or Reviews of Books and Resources
Articles from Research
Content Guidelines: Manuscripts submitted to Articles from Research should be theoretically-grounded and/or research-based analyses relevant to the Journal’s Orienting Commitments and Intentions. The methodological framework and analyses should be robust, situated, and engaged as ethical and political decisions representative of the authors’ approach to generating knowledge. Articles from Research should work to unsettle taken-for-granted conceptions of childhoods and might speculate toward crafting alternative, more just possibilities for childhood studies both in Canada and internationally. The Editors emphasize that manuscripts utilizing research approaches in apolitical, instrumental, or universalizable ways; or that do not employ critical literature in their interpretation of data; or wherein authors do not confront the epistemological politics and consequences of their research process might not be appropriate for publication in Journal of Childhood Studies.
Technical Instructions: Manuscripts for Articles from Research should be 6000-8000 words in length and must be blinded by the author before submission. An abstract should be included at the start of the manuscript and not exceed 100 words. 4-5 keywords should be included following the abstract. Please include a brief biographical sketch (4-5 sentences) including the author(s) full name, title, professional affiliation, and other relevant information.
Peer Review Process: Articles from Research undergo a review by the Editors and then, if appropriate, a double blind peer-review process. Articles are evaluated by well-regarded reviewers for subject matter, quality/depth of analysis, appropriateness for publication in JCS, and writing style/organization. Reviews are then evaluated by the Editors, collated, and shared with authors alongside specific recommendations for revisions. Authors are expected to provide a summary of how the reviewers’ comments were addressed when submitting their revised manuscripts. Revised manuscripts may be subject to an additional peer review before a publication decision is made.
Ideas from Practice
Content Guidelines: Ideas from Practice shares articles that are overtly grounded in the everyday practices of educators, practitioners, and researchers. Through encouraging the submission of innovative manuscripts authored by practitioners, the journal supports practice-oriented submissions that bring a critical consciousness to understanding children’s everyday encounters and mobilize the theoretical perspectives emphasized within the journal through actionable, grounded, accountable practices. Manuscripts should think with theoretical provocations and everyday moments, reaching beyond familiar descriptive forms of documenting children’s learning. We invite manuscripts that complexify the theory-practice divide, that refuse to name generalized best practices, and that gesture toward questions, propositions, or practices that might reconfigure how we get to know worlds with children.
Technical Instructions: Manuscripts for Ideas from Practice are between 1500-3500 words in length. An abstract should be included at the start of the manuscript and not exceed 100 words. 4-5 keywords should be included following the abstract. Please include a brief biographical sketch (4-5 sentences) including the author(s) full name, title, professional affiliation, and other relevant information.
Peer Review Process: Journal of Childhood Studies uses a non-blind peer review process to evaluate submissions to Ideas from Practice. Manuscripts in this section are initially evaluated by the editors, and authors are then paired with a ‘critical friend’ who will work with the author to prepare the submission for publication. Reviewers will work collaboratively with the author to address issues of subject matter, applicability to practice, critical thinking, and writing style/organization. Authors and reviewers are expected to communicate via email during this process. The editors will then evaluate revised manuscripts a final time.
Reviews of Books and Resources
Content Guidelines: Book reviews should respond to the journal’s Orienting Commitments and Intentions. The Editors also welcome reviews that put two or three books in conversation or that think with “resources” created for use by those working with children. It is strongly encouraged for authors to engage the book/resource critically, ethically, and politically, to attend to how the piece enacts epistemological politics, and to carefully consider the situatedness of the book/resource. Through this process, we invite authors to articulate a generous but rigorous review that both analyses the book/resource and puts the book/resource to work in imagining alternative futures for childhood studies.
Technical Instructions: Manuscripts for Reviews of Books and Resources are between 1500-3500 words in length. An abstract should be included at the start of the manuscript and not exceed 100 words. 4-5 keywords should be included following the abstract. Please include a brief biographical sketch (4-5 sentences) including the author(s) full name, title, professional affiliation, and other relevant information
Submissions to Reviews of Books and Resources should adhere to the following guidelines:
- Provide an overview of the reviewed book/resource
- Situate how the book/resource fits within contemporary childhood studies (how it participates in ongoing debates, speaks to policy, furthers emerging research, ties to extant literature)
- Discuss the theoretical framework and context of the piece
- Highlight some key overarching takeaways or excerpts
- Give a summary of central or most generative ideas (either chapter by chapter, or synthesized within core ideas throughout the piece)
- Outline the important contributions that the article makes to current practice or research and/or to the lives of practitioners working with children and families, including the possible impact of the book/resource on the field
- Discuss the author’s critical reflections or engagement with the piece
- Connections between the piece and the reviewer’s work (how the author sees the piece mobilized and active in their own thinking)
- Are there other theories (or art, music, poetry) the author wants to think this book/resource with? What happens when you do?
- Is there a contemporary concern/moment the author wants to think this book/resource alongside? What happens when you do?
- Questions or reflections that the piece generated for the author to carry forward
Peer Review Process: Manuscripts submitted to Reviews of Books and Resources will be evaluated by the Editors. This process typically involves the author working closely with an Editor, typically over a few months, to prepare the review for publication.
Journal of Childhood Studies currently publishes a minimum of four issues a year.
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles in this journal, and to use them for any other lawful purpose.
Author Self-Archiving Policy
This journal permits and encourages authors to post items submitted to the journal on personal websites or institutional repositories both prior to and after publication, while providing bibliographic details that credit, if applicable, its publication in this journal.
The Journal of Childhood Studies does not charge Article Processing Charges (APCs) nor article submission charges to its authors for publication.
Aims and Content Guidelines
Journal of Childhood Studies is a peer reviewed, open access digital journal that aims to provide researchers and practitioners with a transdisciplinary space to cultivate experimental, creative, and alternative approaches to, and conceptualizations of, childhood.
Journal of Childhood Studies offers a forum for practitioners and scholars to engage in serious discussion related to the politics, tensions, and possibilities for childhood in increasingly complex and connected worlds. Articles published in the journal adopt a critical and post-developmental edge, as authors shift the conversation toward timely, innovative, and contradictory engagements with childhood that complexify traditional neoliberal, Euro-Western, or developmental understandings of children’s lives. In an effort to disrupt the violent, inequitable consequences of inherited developmental theories, JCS invites perspectives that work to resist developmental theory and developmentally-grounded understandings of childhood. The journal maintains a strong commitment to practice and recognizes the need for an accessible, high-quality online platform for practitioners to discuss the evolving and generative tensions they face in their work with children.
Journal of Childhood Studies includes a unique combination of submissions from practitioners, early career academics, and established scholars from a variety of international disciplines. Research articles, discussions of policy, practice-oriented contributions, and conceptual work that employ an innovative edge in their engagements with childhood are welcome. Practitioners and researchers worldwide are invited to submit manuscripts to the journal.
Through encouraging the submission of innovative manuscripts authored by practitioners, the journal supports practice-oriented submissions that bring a critical consciousness to understanding children’s everyday encounters and mobilize the theoretical perspectives emphasized within the journal through actionable, grounded, accountable practices. The journal also endeavors to support the work of young scholars and graduate students in an effort to add to the contributions of established and international researchers that are published in the journal.
The diversity of content in the journal opens space for alternative, critical, and contradictory ways of knowing that are relevant to the increasingly complex domain of childhood.
Guest-Edited Special Issues
The Journal of Childhood Studies is currently accepting proposals for special issues. Special Issues contain both Articles from Research and Ideas from Practice. Guest Editors (at least one guest editor must hold a PhD) are responsible for drafting a Call for Papers that aligns with the aims and scope of JCS, promoting the issue, and overseeing the review and publication process with the assistance of the journal assistant. If you are interested in guest-editing a special issue, please email email@example.com with a short statement of interest (including a brief description of the proposed special issue) and you will be provided with more information.
The Canadian Association for Young Children (CAYC) will provide a platform for guest editor(s) of JCS Special Issues to offer a post-publication Webinar featuring key authors in a virtual discussion on the Special Issue topic or theme. The Webinar will be approximately 1.5 hours and will be offered to members of CAYC as well as the broader early childhood community. Guest editor(s) wishing to pursue the Webinar option, must submit the information below to firstname.lastname@example.org at least three months prior to the Webinar proposed date. Guest editor(s) will be responsible for inviting the Webinar presenters (i.e., key authors from Special Issue) and for moderating the Webinar. CAYC will provide the virtual platform (e.g., Zoom Webinar), advertisement, and registration.
- Name of editor(s)
- Topic of Special Issue
- Title for and write-up for Webinar (150 words)
- Date for Webinar
- Name of Webinar moderator
- Names of Webinar presenters
Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement
Journal of Childhood Studies follows the Code of Conduct and Guidelines for Reviewers, Editors, and Publishers as set by the Committee on Publication Ethics. In addition, Journal of Childhood Studies follows the relevant publication ethics and malpractice guidelines outlined by Elsevier.
Purchasing a Print Version of the Journal
Printed versions of Journal of Childhood Studies can be purchased through the University of Victoria Bookstore.
Printed copies of online-only issues available for purchase include:
Printed copies of older issues of the journal can be ordered via Espresso Print on Demand at the University of Victoria.
Canadian Children changes its title to Journal of Childhood Studies as it responds to the evolving landscape of childhood studies, and renews its mandate to expand its international influence while attracting innovative, critical, and relevant submissions that more accurately reflect the diversity of the field.
Canadian Children has been published by the Canadian Association of Young Children, which was incorporated in 1974 and has been disseminating its scholarly content in print form since 1975. As the only national journal focused on the education and well-being of Canadian children, Canadian Children has played a vital role in generating and sustaining critical discussions regarding research, policy, and theory pertaining to the care and education of young children from multiple perspectives and in multiple settings.
In January 2016, Canadian Children transitioned into Journal of Childhood Studies. This change positions the journal within a multidisciplinary, international audience. Shifting from the boundaries set by the previous title, Journal of Childhood Studies addresses political concerns around the exclusivity of identifying a single nationality and instead opens up to publications that address the contested politics of globalized childhoods.
Following the lead of numerous other early childhood journals, Journal of Childhood Studies has transitioned from a subscription-based print format to an open-access digital platform in an effort to better target an international audience. This new publication platform also positions the journal to be relevant and sustainable in an age of rapid knowledge transmission coupled with urgent ecological concerns.