Welcome to Division G!
I am thrilled to continue my term as vice president of Division G: Social Context of Education. Now more than ever, the world needs research that sheds light on how social contexts matter in learning, teaching, student achievement, and in the development of equitable and just forms and systems of education. The demand for more and better research on social contexts is necessitated by a host of challenges and changes in our world, including the alarming growth in income disparity in the U.S.; persistent racial, ethnic, sexual, gender, linguistic, and social class inequalities across local, national and global contexts; differential access to information; demands for teachers to be accountable to prescribed practices and mandated curricula; and by calls to turn around—or overturn—the nature and structure of public education. These changes and their consequences need to be documented and analyzed in relation to questions of student learning, engagement, and access to opportunity.
At the same time, researchers interested in the role of social, cultural, and political contexts in education face enormous challenges in developing cutting-edge methods for studying the complexity and nuance of contexts while maintaining rigorous and systematic research practices that can shape policies. Division G members seek to address these challenges directly and from multiple perspectives. We come together to underscore the value of many different research designs and methods for studying social, cultural, and political contexts of education. We examine possibilities for maintaining systematic and rigorous scholarship even as we try to examine new and challenging contexts in innovative and powerful ways. We discuss how to improve the impact of the research on policies and practices that to support teachers’ abilities to teach, students’ opportunities to learn, and the broader social and cultural lives of children, youth, and families. Finally, we deliberate about how local and global changes in the contexts of learning shape the nature and conduct of research itself, producing new questions that demand our already divided attention.
Division G welcomes multiple perspectives and methods from education, anthropology, critical theory, economics, philosophy, political science, psychology (e.g., educational, social, cultural), sociolinguistics, and sociology, as well as from other disciplines that inform the viability and promote the utility of educational research. The Division is organized into five major sections:
Section 1: Local Contexts of Teaching and Learning
Section 2: Multicultural Contexts of Education within and across Subject Areas
Section 3: Social Contexts of Multiple Languages and Literacies
Section 4: Social Contexts of Educational Policy, Politics, and Praxis
Section 5: Social Context of Research in Schools and Communities
If you haven’t already joined, please do! More information is available on our blog (http://aeradivg.wordpress.com/), our Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/AERADivG), and on our Facebook page. If you are already a member, then please consider volunteering your time to serve as a reviewer or committee member.
I look forward to serving you and welcome your feedback on the Division and our mutual goals.
Elizabeth Birr Moje
University of Michigan
Vice President, Division G