2023 Awards

Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award

Recipient: James A. Banks (University of Washington)

Dr. James A. Banks is the recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award. Dr. Banks began the academic area of multicultural education and has continued his prodigious scholarship for over fifty years. His writing in theory, pedagogy, and curriculum remains central to the deepening understanding and importance of the concept of citizenship in complex societies. Persistent attention to social studies and to the development of teachers resulted in his receipt of virtually every prestigious award for scholarly and practical contributions to education. His significant contributions to leadership of key organizations have promoted reflections on how social justice can permeate the core of education in the United States and in countries around the world.

The Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award is the premier acknowledgment of outstanding achievement and success in education research. It is designed to publicize, motivate, encourage, and suggest models for education research at its best.


Distinguished Public Service Award

Recipient: Linda Darling-Hammond (Learning Policy Institute)

The recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Public Service Award is Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, president and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and one of the most influential education researchers of our time. Whether leading the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future or as a teacher and professor, she has been a tireless advocate for equity across all levels of our education system. As advisor to the Obama and Biden transition teams and President of the California Board of Education, she has directly shaped federal and state policy. Dr. Darling-Hammond’s unique ability to bridge the worlds of policy, practice, and research has led to more effective pathways for teachers, empowering classroom learning environments, and equitable educational policies around the world.

This award is granted annually in recognition of an individual who has worked to enact or implement policies that are well grounded in education research, or who has been at the forefront of efforts to increase recognition and support for education research.


Excellence in Media Reporting on Education Research Award

Recipient: Natalie Moore (WBEZ)

The 2023 Excellence in Media Reporting on Education Research Award goes to Natalie Y. Moore. Ms. Moore is an award-winning journalist, author, and playwright who uses her intellect, deep sense of justice, and the power of her pen to tackle issues of race, gender, housing, economic development, food injustice and violence. Natalie contributes her insightful voice to various news outlets including WBEZ, in Chicago – a national and local news, politics, and education radio station, and she has won numerous awards. An interdisciplinary thinker, Moore brings in history, sociology, and anthropology to her reporting to critique and offer many solutions to many issues in our society that are rife with inequality. She is well-deserving of this honor.

Established in 2016, this award recognizes a person who has made noteworthy contributions to reporting on findings, bodies of research, or scholarship in the field of education research in any medium of public communication. The award honors a media professional whose work exemplifies promoting a broader vision of the value of education research to society.



Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award

Recipient: Christopher T. Bennett (RTI International)
"Untested Admissions: Examining Changes in Application Behaviors and Student Demographics Under Test-Optional Policies"
American Educational Research Journal, Volume 59, Issue 1, February 2022.

The recipient of the 2023 Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award is Christopher T. Bennett, for the article, “Untested Admissions: Examining Changes in Application Behaviors and Student Demographics Under Test-Optional Policies,” in the February 2022 issue of the American Educational Research Journal. This outstanding article examines the effects of adopting test-optional undergraduate admissions policies on institutional outcomes. Overall, it finds that enacting test-optional admissions leads to increases in the representation of students who hold underrepresented racial identities, women, and Pell Grant recipients. This paper stands out methodologically for its sophisticated use of multiple quasi-experimental techniques, its selection of a comparable control group, and its careful consideration of the robustness of the model to various alternative specifications. Given the recent increases in colleges’ adoption of such policies, this rigorous study provides timely insights into an important issue and relevant implications for equity.

The Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award is presented annually in recognition of the most outstanding article published in an AERA journal. The elements of an outstanding article include: (1) significance of the contribution to advancing knowledge, (2) methodological sophistication and rigor, and (3) uniqueness in terms of problem specification or approach. Articles published in any one of the following AERA journals are eligible for consideration: AERA Open, American Educational Research Journal (AERJ), Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA), Educational Researcher (ER), or Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics (JEBS), except those articles that emanate from AERA public lectures. The selection committee considers all research articles published in the volume year immediately preceding the year in which the award is conferred. The award is granted based on substantial merit, as determined by the selection committee.

Review of Research Award

Recipients: Katherine M. Zinsser (University of Illinois, Chicago), H. Callie Silver (Stanford University), Elyse R. Shenberger (University of Illinois, Chicago), Velisha Jackson (University of Illinois, Chicago)
“A Systematic Review of Early Childhood Exclusionary Discipline”
Review of Educational Research, Volume 92, Issue 5, October 2022.

The 2023 Review of Research Award goes to Katherine M. Zinsser, H. Callie Silver, Elyse R. Shenberger, and Velisha Jackson, for their article, “A Systematic Review of Early Childhood Exclusionary Discipline,” in the October 2022 issue of Review of Educational Research. Their manuscript documents the accelerating pace of inquiry in expulsion and suspension and the prevention of such exclusion in early childhood settings, attending to multiple levels of the ecological system across diverse settings. The authors’ thoughtful and replicable systematic review comes at a crucial time when the national and state policy contexts are placing more emphasis on expansion of early childhood education opportunities. The committee appreciated that this review illuminated practitioner-based, preventative solutions that can benefit early childhood teachers and stressed the types of inquiry that are necessary for future early childhood education research.

This award is given in recognition of an outstanding review of research article appearing in the Review of Research in Education or the Review of Educational Research.

Outstanding Book Award

Recipient: Hava Rachel Gordon (University of Denver)
This Is Our School! Race and Community Resistance To School Reform

The 2023 Outstanding Book Award is presented to Hava Rachel Gordon for her book, This is Our School! Race and Community Resistance to School Reform. Dr. Gordon sets out to dispel the popular myth that the battles over school reform involve two warring factions, the neoliberal reformers versus teacher unions. With Denver as her backdrop, Gordon documents that the struggles over reforms in school policies and school practices can be localized and driven by diverse and invested community groups who share contrasting concerns and visions for their schools and their children. More importantly, Dr. Gordon shows that such grassroots resistance can be a powerful force in bringing about just and equitable educational change.

The Outstanding Book Award was established to acknowledge and honor the year’s best book-length publication in education research and development.


E.F. Lindquist Award

Recipient: James W. Pellegrino (University of Illinois, Chicago)

The recipient of the 2023 E. F. Lindquist Award, presented jointly by AERA and ACT, is Dr. James W. Pellegrino. Dr. Pellegrino has provided unique and profound contributions to assessment practices through his tireless research combining human learning and assessment techniques. Dr. Pellegrino’s work crosses a variety of fields, including cognitive science, assessment, educational technology, instructional practice, and educational policy. He has authored or co-authored over 300 books, chapters, journal articles, and reports. Through these publications and reports, Dr. Pellegrino has offered a plethora of scientifically based recommendations and has fostered greater understanding and improved use of tests and assessments.

This award is presented jointly by AERA and ACT in recognition of outstanding applied or theoretical research in the field of testing and measurement. The award is meant to acknowledge a body of research of an empirical, theoretical, or integrative nature rather than a single study.


Early Career Award

Recipient: Dominique Baker (University of Delaware)

Dr. Dominique J. Baker is awarded the 2023 Early Career Award. Her original, visionary, and creative research and publications on education policy describe the challenges and opportunities that colleges and universities experience when they take steps to increase educational equity for students from diverse racial and ethnic groups. Since receiving her Ph.D. in 2016, she has published influential articles in highly regarded journals such as Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, American Educational Research Journal, the ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the Journal of Higher Education. Her research, publications, and service activities are destined to have a major influence on education policy related to equity in higher education. 

Established to honor an individual in the early stages of their career no later than 10 years after receipt of the doctoral degree, this award is granted for study in any field of educational inquiry.



Social Justice in Education Award

Recipient: Marc Lamont Hill (Temple University)

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill is the recipient of the 2023 Social Justice in Education Award. His book, Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity, is a forerunner to an entire genre of Hip-Hop in education scholarship. In addition to working with the ACLU’s Drug Reform Project, Dr. Hill has served as a political commentator for Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. Dr. Hill has hosted several television shows, including Our World with Black Enterprise. His forthcoming book, Schooling Against the Prison: Abolitionist Education in the Age of Incarceration, discusses how schools contribute to America’s obsession with punishment, and offers concrete alternatives to help his readers reimagine schools as spaces that enable dreaming, organizing, teaching, learning, and hope. Indeed, the thread weaving all of the aforementioned activities, is social justice.

Established in 2004, the Social Justice in Education Award honors an individual who has advanced social justice through education research and exemplified the goal of linking education research to social justice.


Distinguished Contributions to Gender Equity in Education Research Award

Recipient: Jackie Blount (The Ohio State University)

The recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Contributions to Gender Equity in Education Research Award is Dr. Jackie M. Blount. A trailblazer in the field of educational research, Professor Blount's body of scholarship has paved the way for many scholars and practitioners interested in exploring how women navigate school leadership, gender, and sexuality. Her research has influenced critical conversations in gender and sexuality studies, philosophy, and education. As a historian of education, Dr. Blount's approaches to inquiry have simultaneously captured the multiple realities of educators and championed for acknowledging the lived experiences of those in the LGBTQI community across educational contexts.

Established in 2006, the Distinguished Contributions to Gender Equity in Education Research Award recognizes individuals within AERA for distinguished research, professional practice, and activities that advance public understanding of gender and/or sexuality at any level in the education community.


Exemplary Contributions to Practice-Engaged Research Award

Recipient: Christopher Emdin (University of Southern California)

The recipient of the 2023 Exemplary Contributions to Practice-Engaged Research Award is Dr. Christopher Emdin, for his longstanding commitment to center his work in community programs that offer culturally sustaining modes of science education. In addition to the reach of his best-selling practitioner-geared book, For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood, and his widely engaged #HipHopEd social media campaign, program participants’ testimonials about the impact of his work on their science learning offer compelling evidence of his wide and varied impact. For these reasons, Dr. Emdin offers the field an outstanding model of building a scholarly career out of practice-based research.

This award is presented to an education research scholar or scholars in recognition of collaborative project(s) between researchers and practitioners that have had sustained and observable effects on contexts of practice.

Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award

Recipient: Annette C. Anderson (Johns Hopkins University)

Dr. Annette C. Anderson is awarded the 2023 Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award for leadership in combating misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on schooling by founding multidisciplinary, applied research projects, including health professionals and educators, and curating research-informed messaging and tools for parents, schools, and the public. Dr. Anderson became a trusted source for national media, having over 3,000 media mentions and an estimated media audience of 12.5 million between October 2020 and October 2022. Dr. Anderson’s global reach has sustaining power, based on co-founding and leading the eSchool+ Initiative, which provided a unique set of tools for K-12 schools and tracked vaccine policies, recovery, and school reopening plans.

This award honors scholars exemplary in their capacity to communicate the importance of education research to the broad public, including education communities. It recognizes scholars who have excelled in conveying important findings and research to wide audiences and who have demonstrated the capacity to deepen understanding and appreciation of the value of education research in the public sphere.


Scholars of Color Distinguished Career Contribution Award

Recipient: William A. Smith (University of Utah)

Dr. William Smith is the recipient of the 2023 Scholars of Color in Education Distinguished Career Contribution Award. Dr. Smith’s work examines the ways that emotional and psychological stressors around race and racism play in the success or failure of minoritized students. In 2003, Dr. Smith coined the theoretical concept “racial battle fatigue.” Dr. Smith’s research influences numerous fields including higher education policy, engineering, sociology, social psychology, and mental health. Dr. Smith’s colleagues note his commitment to manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift, the cardinal principles of his beloved fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., where Dr. Smith is hailed as a leader, advocate, and mentor.

Presented to a senior-level scholar, usually 20 years or more after receipt of the doctoral degree, this award is intended to recognize (a) scholars who have made significant contributions to the understanding of issues that disproportionately affect minority populations, and (b) minority scholars who have made a significant contribution to education research and development.  


Scholars of Color Mid-Career Contribution Award

Recipient: Thandeka K. Chapman (University of California, San Diego)

Dr. Thandeka K. Chapman is the 2023 recipient of the Scholars of Color in Education Mid-Career Contribution Award. Dr. Chapman grounds her work in Critical Race Theory (CRT) and social justice and explores issues of equity and justice regarding choice and charter schools, student experiences in mixed-race schools, and social justice education. Dr. Chapman’s work has extended to international contexts including the UK, Indonesia, Copenhagen, Norway, and Singapore. This international reach is important as justice work has become a global issue with which scholars of color must engage.

Presented to a scholar in mid-career who is beyond the first level of professional appointment and for whom 10 or more years have passed since receipt of the doctoral degree, this award is intended to recognize (a) scholars who have made significant contributions to the understanding of issues that disproportionately affect minority populations, and (b) minority scholars who have made a significant contribution to education research and development.


Scholars of Color Early Career Contribution Award

Recipient: Mildred Boveda (Pennsylvania State University)

Dr. Mildred Boveda is the 2023 recipient of the Scholars of Color in Education Early Career Contribution Award. Dr. Boveda’s scholarship is interdisciplinary in nature as she attends to the complexities of teaching and learning across P-20+ general and special education contexts. She is committed to high-quality research centering Black feminist and intersectional frameworks. Dr. Boveda has published 19 peer-reviewed articles, 10 book chapters, and a co-edited book. Dr. Boveda continues to refine two tools she developed during her dissertation research: The Intersectional Competence Measure and the Intersectional Consciousness Collaboration Protocol. Dr. Boveda’s deep expertise and research using critical and anti-oppression frameworks is pushing forward the field of special education.

Presented to a scholar who is within the first decade of their career after receipt of a doctoral degree, this award is intended to recognize (a) scholars who have made significant contributions to the understanding of issues that disproportionately affect minority populations, and (b) minority scholars who have made a significant contribution to education research and development.