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Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership

Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership

Published in cooperation with the University Council for Educational Administration

eISSN: 15554589 | ISSN: 15554589 | Current volume: 27 | Current issue: 1 Frequency: Quarterly
The Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership (JCEL) publishes, in electronic format, peer-reviewed cases appropriate for use in educational leadership preparation efforts across the globe. Building on a long tradition the University Council for Education Administration (UCEA) sponsors this journal in an ongoing effort to improve the preparation and practice of educational leadership. The journal's editorial staff seeks a wide range of cases that focus on timely and/or enduring issues germane to educational leadership preparation.

The Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership (JCEL) publishes, in electronic format, peer-reviewed cases appropriate for use in educational leadership preparation efforts across the globe. The cases provide a narrative and teaching notes with the aim being to prompt rich discussion and inquiry about issues pertinent to educational leadership across global contexts. We encourage cases that are supported by digital media or other creative forms of expression. JCEL is always looking for great ideas regarding special issues. If you would like to consult with us about this process, please reach out to our Editorial Team.

Curtis Brewer The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA
Mark Giles University of Illinois Chicago, USA
Nathern Okilwa The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA
Mariela Rodriguez The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA
Associate Editor
Jo Beth Jimerson Texas Christian University, USA
Managing Editor
Zobaria Zulfiqar The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA
Board Members
Joonkil Ahn University of Arizona, USA
Jasmine Alvarado University at Buffalo - SUNY, USA
Erin Anderson University of Denver, USA
Lisa Bass North Carolina State University, USA
Allison Borden University of New Mexico, USA
Joshua Bornstein Fairleigh Dickinson University, USA
Kelly Brown Lamar University, USA
Lizette Burks University of Houston, Downtown, USA
Mónica Byrne-Jiménez Michigan State University, USA
Shannon Calderone Washington State University, USA
Joshua Childs University of Texas, Austin, USA
James C. Coviello St. John's University, USA
Emily Crawford-Rossi University of Missouri, USA
Linsay DeMartino Illinois State University, USA
Sara Dexter University of Virginia, USA
Bryan J. Duarte Purdue University, USA
David Fisher Polk County Schools, FL, USA
Tanetha Fisher Texas Christian University, USA
Elizabeth Gil Fordham University, USA
Alounso Gilzene Florida State University, USA
Ramon Goings University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA
Detra D. Johnson University of Houston, USA
Taeyeon Kim University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA
Stephen Kotok St. John's University, USA
Priya La Londe University of Hong Kong, China
Van Lac University of Texas at San Antonio
Kara Lasater University of Arkansas, USA
Melinda Lemke University at Buffalo, USA
Tiffanie Lewis-Durham University of North Carolina, Greensboro, USA
Rebecca Lowenhaupt Boston College, USA
Hilary Lustick University of Massachusetts, Lowell, USA
Matthew S. McCluskey University of Vermont, USA
Ian M. Mette University at Buffalo, USA
Dustin W. Miller The Ohio State University, USA
Michael P. O'Malley Texas State University, USA
Alexandra Pavlakis Southern Methodist University, USA
Whitney N. Roach University of South Carolina, USA
Jason Salisbury University of Illinois, Chicago, USA
Karen T. Stansberry Beard The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA
Kristen C. Wilcox University at Albany, USA
  • EBSCO: Educational Administration Abstracts
  • ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
  • NISC
  • JCEL Submission Guidelines

    All manuscripts for JCEL should be submitted electronically at:

    Resources to Assist Authors

    We suggest that all potential authors become familiar with JCEL case study formats by reviewing articles already published in the journal. Articles published in JCEL are pedagogical cases, NOT empirical case studies.  Please read the following articles before submitting in order to help ensure your manuscript fits the aims and scope of JCEL.

    1. "The Elements of a Good Case" by R. Fossey & G. M. Crow (2011)
    2. "Writing the Undisguised Case" by R. Fossey & S. Glover (2006).
    3. Using JCEL Case Studies to Meet ELCC Standards” by L. Bass, G. Garn, & L. Monroe (2011).
    4. "Balancing Communities, Cultures, and Conflict: Lessons Learned From the East Ramapo School District Legal" by P. Ober and J. Decker (2016).

    In addition, please review recent Paula Sliver Award Winning Cases:


    General Instructions

    Submitted manuscripts will undergo internal and external review. Manuscripts will be subject to initial editor screening to determine if the manuscript format is appropriate and content is promising. Once a manuscript successfully passes internal review, cases will then be subject to double anonymize peer review. As is customary in most scholarly publications, authors should be prepared to work with the editorial staff in revising manuscripts in accordance with editorial policy.

    If you are asked to provide the names of a peer who could be called upon to review your manuscript, please note that reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) the below:  

    •    The reviewer should have no prior knowledge of your submission
    •    The reviewer should not have recently collaborated with any of the authors
    •    Reviewer nominees from the same institution as any of the authors are not permitted

    Please note that the journal’s editors are not obliged to invite any recommended/opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript.

    Cases are reviewed in consideration of the following elements:


    A good teaching case is full of ambiguity. The central problem of a case should not be apparent or easy to identify. On the contrary, there may be a multitude of problems, with some being more important than others. Case discussants should be presented with enough ambiguity that it is not apparent how a problem should be solved or even what the central problem really is. A case teacher will know that a classroom discussion of a case was successful when students present conflicting solutions to a case’s central problem or disagree in their identification of the case’s core issues.


    Good teaching cases are complex. All of us have read case studies in which the problem presented is so simple or the case characters are so stereotypical that there is very little to analyze or discuss. Complexity has become a major feature of contemporary educational leadership practice, and effective leaders learn to respond to this complexity by using multiple perspectives, understanding ambiguity, and thinking in more fluid, rather than static, ways.


    All cases describe a unique setting—typically a school, a university, or a workplace. A good case provides the reader with rich contextual details—information about the organizational setting, the characters, and the community or relevant larger environment. Other contextual details may be important as well: the legal climate, political themes, cultural norms, and historical information, for example.


    Above all, a good teaching case presents an important problem with broad implications that applies to the case discussants.

    Preparation of Manuscripts

    All case submissions should be divided into two documents.

    MAIN DOCUMENT: The main document should have all identifying information removed (no author or biographical information), but the following information should be included:

    • The recommended length of the combined cases, teaching notes, and references is between 15-20 double-spaced pages or 3500-5000 words.
    • Text Sections: All sections should be typed in Times New Roman font (12 pt) with page numbers centered at the bottom of the page. Sections typically include:
      • Title: Include a descriptive title.
      • Abstract: Include a short 100 word abstract describing the topic(s) of the case and a brief synopsis of the case.
      • Teaching Case Narrative:  Include the elements described above: ambiguity, complexity, context, and relevance.
      • Teaching Notes: Include "Teaching Notes" that situate the case in relevant literature
      • Classroom Activities and Discussion Questions: Provide ideas for activities and prompts for discussion
    • References: Provide contemporary references tightly coupled to the case and teaching notes. References should follow the style in the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
    • ERIC Descriptors: Three (3) ERIC descriptors suitable for searching should be identified.

    SECOND DOCUMENT: The second document should include identifying information, namely:

    · Author's name and institutional affiliation.

    · Biographical Statement Authors should provide a brief (2-3 sentence) biographical statement.


    Use and submission of figures should be as follows:

    · Tables should be used only when they can present information more effectively than in running text. Care should be taken to insure that tables can be effectively presented in html, since articles will be in both html and adobe acrobat (pdf).

    · Illustrations Figures should be numbered in series. Symbols (open or closed circles, triangles, squares) and lettering must be clear when rendered in GIF or JPEG format. Please review all figures after converting to GIF or JPEG format to insure that they are readable.

    · Original line drawings and graphs should be submitted as GIF or JPEG files.

    · Photographs should be submitted as GIF or JPEG files.

    Video Embedded Cases

    The JCEL editorial staff invites submissions that utilize video simulations to enhance case content or teaching notes. The same review criteria currently in place for text-only cases also apply to video enhanced cases. The use of embedded videos typically requires consent of participants. Questions may be addressed to the managing editor:

    Author's Warranty

    Authors must assign UCEA copyright of their cases to be published in JCEL and acknowledge that the case is an original work that has not been published elsewhere. UCEA grants its authors the right to republish their own cases wherever they wish, in any format, provided that they cite JCEL as the original source.

    Page Layout

    The page layout for the main document should follow the example above.

    **Note: Because excessive formatting can significantly delay conversion of a manuscript to the html and pdf formats in which the cases are electronically published, use of additional enhancements (headers, footers, automatic outlines, underlines, etc.) is discouraged unless these features are necessary to the content of the document. Authors with questions about formatting may contact Zobaria Zulfiqar,

    English Language Services

    Authors who want to refine the use of English in their manuscripts might consider utilizing the services of Sage Language Services, which provides editing services to authors. Sage Language Services specializes in editing and correcting English-language manuscripts written by authors with a primary language other than English. For more information, please visit


    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.

    The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. If any co-authors wish to have their ORCID iD linked to their published paper, the co-author must update their account in the submission system. We strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts before the paper is accepted to ensure that the iD will be linked to the published paper. ORCID iDs cannot be added once the accepted paper has been exported to production.

    It takes seconds to link an ORCID iD to your account in the submission system: edit your profile, click the ORCID iD link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID iD will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata and any future papers associated with your account, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID iD please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    For more information, please refer to the Sage Manuscript Submission Guidelines

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