Special Issue of Educational Designer: On Design for Justice and Belonging
Guest Editors: Leslie Dietiker, Susan McKenney, Lucy Rycroft-Smith, Christian Schunn

Improving educational outcomes of learners has long been central to the work of educational designers. However, exclusion, injustice, inequities, and inattention to diversity in learners remain a persistent challenge that has become increasingly urgent. In addition, there are many competing conceptions of social justice, belonging, equity, inclusion, and diversity that challenge the work of educational designers, and there are now also strong criticisms of the foundational research traditions (theories and methods) that underlie many educational designs. To better support educational designers, we call for papers that provide new models, insights, and guidance on design for social justice and belonging. Submissions can take the form of short articles (2000–3000 words) or long articles (5000–8000 words).

Some possible contribution topics:

Conceptualizing key implications of justice and belonging for educational design

  • Review of different conceptions of social justice, belonging, equity, inclusion, or diversity and their impacts; implications for designers
  • Critique design products from a particular conception and providing an alternative approach
  • The impact of team diversity on design products / outcomes
  • The role of subject-specificity in this space 

Design Products (learner materials, teacher materials, assessments, TPD workshops,…)

  • An example design of a novel/effective/low cunning approach to achieving improvements
  • Design guidelines for what to (not) do
  • Examples of good design (under particular criteria)
  • Analysis of materials (e.g.textbook/website review/comparison)

Design Processes

  • Strategies for forming/running high functioning diverse design teams
  • The impact of team diversity on design processes
  • Specific processes to attend to particular aspects of justice and belonging


June 1 2022: Abstracts of up to 500 words may be submitted for initial feedback here

Sept 1 2022: Full submissions (in PDF) should be emailed to:  

Nov 1 2022: Reviews completed

Feb 1 2023: Revisions deadline if needed.

All articles will be collected in a special issue of the journal, but individual accepted manuscripts will also be published online shortly after being accepted to support immediate access on this important topic. Submitting authors will be invited to participate in the peer review process to ensure a broad set of perspectives are included.

Successful submissions will:

  • Define key terms: what is meant by justice, belonging, equity, diversity, inclusion or other issues that are tackled
  • Give examples (e.g.of designs, the situations/cases for which they were created, challenges faced…). 
  • The journal is entirely online, so embedded digital artifacts are encouraged (online tools, downloadable materials, videos of use, …).
  • Be especially relevant to and speak directly to an audience of designers
  • Additional information: https://www.educationaldesigner.org/ed/contribute.htm