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A focused collection of qualitative studies in the psychological sciences: Reasoning and participation in formal and informal learning environments – Guest Editors: Tanner LeBaron Wallace and Eric Kuo

Reasoning and participation are two central topics of education research in the psychological sciences.  Understanding the mechanisms that govern thought and reasoning has long been a core enterprise of educational psychology and, over time, more modern views on learning have promoted participation as a key feature for research—either as a facilitator of learning, a practice to be learned, or as an operationalization of learning itself.

We are pleased to announce a focused collection highlighting qualitative studies of reasoning and participation in formal and informal learning environments. By inviting studies incorporating qualitative methods, we aim to complement the experimental and longitudinal statistical research on these topics that is typically published in this journal.  We encourage submission of papers focused on the following (or closely related) topics:

  • Student reasoning and/or participation in novel learning environments or activities
  • The relations between student reasoning, motivation, identity, and participation
  • Student perceptions and meaning-making during participatory experiences
  • Dynamic models of student reasoning that are grounded in data
  • Explanatory accounts for how and why participation is successful (or not)
  • Identifying new goals or targeted outcomes for reasoning or participation

We especially welcome qualitative studies that demonstrate the possibilities for unique discovery afforded by inductive analysis of rich data sources (e.g., real-time recordings of student reasoning, participation, discourse, and physical action, students’ meaning-making anchored to particular interactions experienced).  This collection will highlight the benefits of qualitative methods for extending and deepening theoretical and empirical understandings of reasoning and participation in both formal and informal learning environments.

The deadline for manuscript submissions is March 1, 2018.  We invite authors to contact the Guest Editors of this collection, Tanner LeBaron Wallace ( and Eric Kuo (, for discussion on how to maximize alignment between their submissions and this focused collection, though it is not required. Please follow both APA guidelines as well as specific submission criteria for the journal. When submitting manuscripts, please also indicate your intent to submit to this focused collection in the required cover letter.

All manuscripts must be submitted electronically at In the submission portal, please select the article type “Special Section: Reasoning & Participation – Qualitative.” For more information on the Journal of Educational Psychology, please visit