Call for papers

April 2024 edition

Bridging Theory and Practice

The upcoming edition of He Kupu aims to showcase a range of professional articles that demonstrate the application of theoretical perspectives in early childhood education.

We invite educators, researchers, and practitioners to submit papers that explore the relationship between theory and practice, share innovative approaches and strategies, and discuss the impact of theory-driven teaching on children’s learning and development.

Examples of topics that align with the theme include, but are not limited to:

  • The application of Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory to children’s learning and development.
  • Analysing the implications of Vygotsky’s social constructivist theory on scaffolding and supporting children’s learning in ECE classrooms.
  • Examining the opportunities of applying Māori or Pasifika theoretical perspectives in early childhood education contexts.
  • Innovative perspectives in ECE drawing from critical theories, post-structural and posthuman theories, pushing the boundaries of traditional thinking.
  • Drawing on themes from the science of learning, including the influence of neuroscience and understanding of brain development and cognitive psychology.
  • Sharing case studies or best practices that demonstrate the successful integration of theoretical perspectives into early childhood classrooms.

We welcome submissions from a range of perspectives, including research studies, case studies, reflective essays, and practical teaching strategies. Articles should provide a clear connection between theory and practice, including how the theoretical framework was applied, the impact on children’s learning, and reflections on the outcomes. We encourage authors to consider the implications of their work for practitioners, policymakers, and researchers in the field of early childhood education.

 Final date for submission: 26 February 2024, 3pm


Submissions should be the author's original research and/or discussion of issues and experiences. We accept empirical research, literature reviews, critical analyses, colloquia, and reflections upon practice. Papers should be written in English and should be between 3,000 and 5,000 words for peer reviewed papers, and 1,000 to 2,000 words for commentaries that are not peer reviewed.

As used in these Conditions: "Author" means any person that submits a manuscript for publication in He Kupu; and "Paper" means any manuscript that an Author submits to He Kupu, including limitation, scholarly articles, reflections and accounts of personal experiences, interviews, reviews and comments.

By submitting a Paper to He Kupu, the Author represents and warrants that:

  • The Paper is the Author's original work, in respect to which the Author is the sole copyright owner, except where the Paper acknowledges the work or authorship of a third party.
  • The Paper does not contain confidential information or the Author has obtained a written release or waiver from the owner or discloser of such confidential information.
  • The Paper does not violate or infringe the intellectual property rights of a third party.
  • The Paper does not contain any defamatory material, or material that may be viewed as offensive or discriminatory on the basis of race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or cultural affiliation.
  • The Paper is accurate and does not contain any errors or omissions.
  • The Paper does not fail to state a material fact necessary to provide a balanced view.
  • The Paper complies with relevant privacy laws.
  • The Paper has not previously been published.
  • The Author has obtained all necessary permissions and consents.
  • The Author has paid any fees for the use of copyright materials.

The Author hereby indemnifies NZTC, and holds NZTC harmless, against any claims, losses, costs and damages that NZTC suffers as a consequence of the Author's breach of any of the foregoing representations and warranties. As used in the foregoing indemnity, 'NZTC' means New Zealand Tertiary College Limited and its affiliate, Kindercare Learning Centres Limited, together with their respective shareholders, directors, employees and contractors.

The Author acknowledges and agrees that NZTC is not responsible for any opinions or statements expressed in the Paper.

If He Kupu accepts the Paper for publication, the Paper shall become the copyright of He Kupu. Upon acceptance of the Paper for publication, the Author shall sign over the worldwide copyright to He Kupu.

He Kupu will consider a submission that has been rejected by another journal or of a complete report that follows publication of preliminary findings elsewhere, usually in the form of an abstract. The Author must deliver to He Kupu copies of any previously published versions of the Paper at the same time as the Author delivers the Paper.

If the Author uses material within the Paper that has been published elsewhere, the Author must obtain the permission of the earlier publisher.

If He Kupu publishes the Paper, the Author may not publish the Paper elsewhere. However, the Author shall have the right to use, reproduce, distribute, update, create derivatives, and make copies of the Paper (electronically or in print) in connection with the Author's teaching, conference presentations, lectures, other scholarly works, and professional activities.

The Author understands and agrees that readers of the Paper may copy it without the permission of the Author or He Kupu for educational, not for-profit, purposes and provided reasonable attribution is provided to the Author and He Kupu.

The Author shall not use the Paper as a platform to promote the sale of any goods or services. The Author shall refrain from including any material in respect to which the Author has a personal or pecuniary interest, unless the Author obtains the prior written consent of He Kupu.

The Paper is subject to editing and styling that complies with the standards of He Kupu.

The decision to publish the Paper is within the sole and absolute discretion of He Kupu.

Upon the Author's request, NZTC shall reasonably consider any exception, variation or waiver to these Conditions. The Author agrees that for any exception, variation or waiver to be valid, it must be in writing and signed by an editor of He Kupu.

Before you submit a paper for consideration, please read the following criteria:
Does the article acknowledge or speak to the following unique characteristics of NZTC?
  • NZTC values of Vision, Heart, Competence and Spirit learn more HERE
  • Teacher education, teaching excellence and practical application in early childhood settings
  • Flexible modes of blended learning opportunities in early childhood teacher education
  • Technology supported teaching and learning
Who can contribute papers?

Those working in higher education institutions, government agencies, private foundations or international agencies who can be regarded as legitimate researchers on higher education issues and/or activity connected with early childhood education.

Teachers working in early childhood education including current students and alumni of New Zealand Tertiary College. Teacher educators working in early childhood education or related settings.

Criteria: Submission of Papers
Special Edition:

Research can be of an empirical or theoretical nature employing any research methodology employing any paradigm relevant to early childhood education.

Identification of an opportunity or issue can be in a local and/or global context. The paper should propose an analysis and reflection on an issue offering an innovative response. The relevance and impact on considering challenges, improving existing systems, and satisfying community needs in the context of early childhood education could include:

  • Pedagogical approaches to teaching, learning and teacher education
  • How research, learning and engagement can be integrated and linked
  • The process of partnership and ways of working that empower all stakeholders in early childhood communities
  • The transformative impact of policy decisions on the institution or institutional management
  • The way of communicating between partners in the community
  • Knowledge produced through teaching and learning or the result of research projects
Practitioner Researcher:
  • The context and circumstance of topics selected for discussion are clearly relevant to early childhood education, teacher education, teaching and learning.
  • Articles and research reporting exemplifies a scholarly approach, including writing that is balanced, adequately referenced and reflective.
  • The research reporting is based on activity that has been implemented within the previous six years.

Papers submitted for peer review will be blind-reviewed by a minimum of two members of the Editorial Review Board. Commentaries, interviews, research and practice notes will not be reviewed. Once reviewed the author or principal author will be advised if there are amendments to the submission required.

Standard of Written Expression
  • The writing is in English.
  • The writing is of a standard in keeping with an international journal.
  • The referencing must be accurate and up to date.
  • The referencing is from academically reputable journals and texts in the last ten years unless regarded as seminal texts.
  • All formatting from any past publication has been removed.

We use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association ® (7th Edition) for referencing guidelines.

We ask that you follow the below formatting guidelines to help us with the editorial process:

  • Use 2.5 cm margins on pages.
  • Use Arial 12 pt font for the main text; put titles in Arial 12 pt bold and subheadings in Arial 12 pt italics.
  • Ensure there is double spacing between lines.
  • Number all pages.
  • Do not indent paragraphs.
  • Avoid using footnotes or endnotes.
  • Embed any tables and figures in the document (i.e. do not attach as a separate document), and provide titles along the top of the figure or table. Captions should be situated beneath in Arial 8 pt. Make sure tables do not exceed the 2.5 cm margins.
  • Use just one space between sentences.
  • Titles of publications and organisations in text should be italicised.
  • For emphasis, use italics (not quotation marks or capitals).
  • When using numbers, spell one through nine, including ages such as two-year-old, but use numerals for ‘Floor 8’ or ‘Level 1’. Write 10 and above in numerals, but spell out large, rounded numbers such as one hundred and one thousand. Use numerals for numbers like 1,200 or 101.
  • Avoid capitalisation unless referring to a specific person or organisation; however, capitalise ‘World Wide Web’, ‘Web’, and ‘Internet’.

Electronic copies (in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format) of authors' manuscripts should be sent to the editor on

Authors are required to also provide at the time of submission of their article:

  • Biographical outline of their background and research interests, their institution, and their full contact details, not exceeding 200 words
  • An abstract not exceeding 200 words

By submitting an article to this journal you agree to comply with the following Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement.