Announcement and Call for Papers

Research in Subject-matter Teaching and Learning (RISTAL)

Aims and Scope


  • Research in subject-matter Teaching and Learning (RISTAL) is an international journal that publishes original articles on research in subject-matter education ("Fachdidaktik"), that is, research on the teaching and learning of a particular subject or subject area. RISTAL is committed to an interdisciplinary perspective on subject-matter education, related to empirical, theoretical or methodological issues. Its aim is to foster comparative perspectives and a productive exchange of ideas among researchers in subject-matter education around the world.



  • The journal focuses on issues related to the teaching and learning of specific subjects in primary, secondary, or tertiary education. On the one hand, the journal specializes in comparative approaches and publishes articles, which describe and analyze differences and similarities among theories, methods and research findings. On the other hand, the journal publishes research reports, theoretical, and methodological treatises developed within one subject matter, if they are discussed in terms of their relevance to other subjects.



  • RISTAL accepts different research approaches focusing on subject matter topics and their conditions of teaching and learning. This includes quantitative as well as qualitative methods and discussions of theoretical issues. Specific to the journal are those approaches which apply to more than one subject-matter field, e.g. comparative approaches to subject-matter teaching and learning or common research frameworks.



  • In spite of the interest in comparative perspectives, RISTAL is devoted to the insight that learning is subject- or domain-specific. This is one of the main premises of subject-matter teaching and learning. Thus, although the focus of the journal is to explore broader themes and issues across different subjects and countries, the journal will address the subject-specificity of teaching and learning either from the perspective of a single subject, or from the perspective of two or more subjects. Research articles that focus on a single subject only should also discuss implications for other subjects.


RISTAL covers all subjects represented and taught in schools and at institutions of higher education. The articles will be published in English.

Editorial Board

The journal is sponsored by The Association for Fachdidaktik (GFD), a German umbrella organization which promotes cooperation between researchers in subject didactics, and by the University of Vienna.


Péter Bagoly-Simó, Geography Education, University of Berlin, Germany
Christoph Bräuer, German Education, University of Göttingen, Germany
Volker Frederking, German Education, University of Nuremberg/Erlangen, Germany (vice editor-in-chief)
Marcus Hammann, Biology Education, University of Münster, Germany
Michael Hemmer, Geography Education, University of Münster, Germany
Dietmar Höttecke, Physics Education, University of Hamburg, Germany
Jonathan Osborne, Science Education, Stanford University, USA
Ilka Parchmann, Chemistry Education, Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Kiel, Germany
Kristina Reiss, Mathematics Education, Technical University of Munich, Germany
Martin Rothgangel, Religious Education, University of Vienna, Austria (editor-in-chief)
Bernard Schneuwly, French Education, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Johannes Vollmer, Foreign Language Education, Osnabrück University, Germany

Editorial Advisory Board

Cok Bakker, Religious Education, University of Utrecht, Netherlands
Hilda Borko, Mathematics Education, Stanford University, USA
Luigi Cajani, History Education, La Sapienza University of  Rome, Italy
Alois Ecker, History, Social Studies and Civic Education, University of Vienna, Austria
Susan Goldman, Psychology and Education, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
Guershon Harel, Mathematics Education, University of California, San Diego, USA
Ute Harms, Biology Education, Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Kiel, Germany
Robert Jackson, Religious Education, University of Warwick, UK
Fou-Lai Lin, Mathematics Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan
John Loughran, Teacher Education, Monash University, Australia
Mary Schleppegrell, Language Education, University of Michigan, USA
Anat Yarden, Biology Education, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel


RISTAL is an open-access journal and available online at Its publication frequency is biannual. Manuscripts submitted to the journal will generally be published within six months of their first submission.

Peer Review

All research articles in this journal will be double-blind peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers. Submissions shall undergo an initial editorial pre-screening to determine whether or not the manuscript fits the interest of the journal´s readership.


The journal aims at an international readership interested in a broader view of research on teaching and learning of a particular subject matter. In particular, these are researchers in subject didactics, educators, curriculum planners, policy makers, supervisors of educational programs and high school teachers.

Call for Papers

Submission of manuscripts is encouraged. Manuscripts are expected to focus on research related to the teaching and learning of a particular subject or subject area and should include an interdisciplinary perspective in the field of subject-matter education.

Submitted manuscripts must be written in the English language. Detailed submission guidelines may be found at “Instructions for authors”.

Submissions are published directly after clearing the review process. All articles can be quoted immediately afterwards due to DOI. At the end of each year we compile a paginated volume consisting of all the articles published that year.

Prof. Dr. Martin Rothgangel (editor-in-chief)
University of Vienna
Institute for Religious Education
Schenkenstraße 8-10
A-1010 Wien, Austria
Tel.: +43-1-4277-329 04
Fax: +43-1-4277-9329
E-Mail: martin.rothgangel[at]

Vienna, November 2016