2015 AERA Fellows

Click the name to jump to each fellow's citation of accomplishment and introductory video.

Debra D. Bragg, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Debra D. Bragg is a leading scholar in the field of postsecondary education, with a particular emphasis on community colleges. For more than twenty-five years she has conducted innovative research on the role of two-year institutions that has informed state and federal policy. As Director of the Office of Community College Leadership and Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she has provided a much needed understanding of the evolving importance of community colleges, especially for their role as an entry point into four-year institutions. Dr. Bragg is one of only 14 leaders to have been designated a senior scholar by the National Council for the Study of Community Colleges. She is also known for her extensive public service and for her mentoring of colleagues and doctoral students.

Xinyin Chen, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Xinyin Chen is a leading scholar of child development in cross-cultural contexts, with an emphasis on peer relations and parenting. Beginning his career in China, a key theme of his innovative research is the influence of cultural context on socialization, with a focus on shy and reserved behavior. His research reflects how globalization is now a key factor in the development of children as it relates to their socioemotional progress. Dr. Chen’s prominence in this field is evidenced by his selection as a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar and his election as president of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development. He was also the lead editor of an important Cambridge University Press volume on peer relations in cultural context.

Cynthia E. Coburn, Northwestern University

Dr. Cynthia E. Coburn is held in the highest esteem by researchers of education policy, literacy and mathematics reform, and the social context of education. She studies the relationship between reading policy and teachers’ classroom practice, the scale-up of innovative mathematics curricula, and the relationship between research and practice for school improvement. Her work has rigorously shown how teachers’ social networks and cognitive frames shape their responses to external policy mandates. She has been a national leader in promoting new partnerships between researchers and practitioners to employ data to promote improved instruction. Dr. Coburn has received the AERA Early Career Award and the AERA Palmer O. Johnson Award. Her research has led to new understandings of the ways in which education research can positively shape classroom practice. 

Carol M. Connor, Arizona State University

Dr. Carol M. Connor has made substantial contributions in the field of early literacy development. Her research led her to create a methodology for observing classroom instruction and an online platform to recommend individualized instruction for reading growth, particularly for students living in poverty. Dr. Connor is also a Distinguished Research Associate at the Florida Center for Reading Research, where she focuses on examining the links between children’s language and cognitive and literacy development. She has been recognized widely for her pioneering work, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the Richard E. Snow Award from the American Psychological Association. Dr. Connor has helped transform thinking behind effective instruction, how it can be measured, and how it can be used to improve the lives of students.

Antonia Darder, Loyola Marymount University

Dr. Antonia Darder is a respected scholar whose research has illuminated important issues of democracy, social justice, and equity. She is one of the world’s most important scholars in social justice theory, critical pedagogy, feminist studies, and Latino Studies. Dr. Darder is also a committed mentor to students and colleagues. She has developed and taught more than forty widely-praised courses ranging from comparative education, indigenous perspectives, Latinos and political economy, and ethics and moral issues in education. She has received national and international recognition for her scholarship, including the AERA Outstanding Book award. Dr. Darder is also an activist and visual artist. She established the California Consortium of Critical Educators, an activist teachers’ organization committed to linking schooling with social justice, human rights, and economic democracy. 

Peggy A. Ertmer, Purdue University

Dr. Peggy A. Ertmer’s highly cited research has had a major impact on the fields of educational technology and problem-based learning. She is the founding editor of the groundbreaking Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, and serves as a contributing editor to the Educational Technology Magazine. Her research in more than 73 peer-reviewed publications includes examining the impact of student-centered instructional approaches and a problem-based learning approach to technology integration and STEM education. Dr Ertmer was named a Fulbright senior specialist and her research has been recognized through national awards from the Association for Educational Communications and Technology and the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education. Her work on student-centered instructional approaches and self-regulated learning is an important contribution to teachers as they adapt to new classroom technology.

Gustavo E. Fischman, Arizona State University

Dr. Gustavo E. Fischman is a prolific and prominent international scholar in the areas of higher educational policy, critical pedagogy, teacher education, and gender. His work critically examines what constitutes citizenship education, and how different models of education are consequential for both the individual and the nation. He is the Editor in Chief of Education Policy Analysis Archives, co-editor of Education Review, and edits other prominent journals in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. His recent work aims to improve the transfer of research-based knowledge from academic centers to a wider community of stakeholders, and to strengthen the quality, impact, and reach of open-access scholarly communications. Dr. Fischman’s work has made important contributions to circulating educational scholarship within and among nations, particularly in Latin America.

Ellice A. Forman, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Ellice A. Forman has pioneered discourse-oriented research of science and mathematics education and sociocultural theories of learning. Her transdisciplinary approach, drawing on a host of related fields in integrative ways, has helped redirect the field toward analysis of the discourse of learning, and has made systematic contributions to the development of dialogical pedagogy. Dr. Forman has been a reviewer for major foundations, including the National Science Foundation and Spencer Foundation. She has also served as an Associate Editor of the American Education Research Journal, as a member of the editorial boards of several national and international research journals, and co-editor of several special issues of international education research journals. Dr. Forman’s research contributions have illuminated teaching and learning activities in the STEM field.  

Rogers P. Hall, Vanderbilt University 

Dr. Rogers P. Hall has advanced educational scholarship with significant insights into how students think and learn in the classroom, the community, and in diverse physical spaces. His research has focused on developing, learning, and teaching STEM conceptual practices as school topics and as scientific and technical resources both in and out of the context of school. He is Editor in Chief of the research journal Cognition & Instruction, and has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavior Sciences at Stanford University, the U.C. Humanities Research Institute, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Dr. Hall continues to lead innovative projects to investigate how teaching and learning practices are organized, develop through time, and can be most effectively designed.  

Hilary Janks, Witwaterstrand University

Dr. Hilary Janks is a preeminent theorist and researcher in the field of critical literacy studies. She developed the “interdependent model,” which captures access, diversity, and design as layering dimensions affecting literacy. In her book Literacy and Power and more than fifty journal articles and book chapters, she has moved beyond deconstruction of power relationships and envisioned a reconstruction of pedagogy based on a more equitable system. Her teaching and research has received international recognition, including a Visiting Professorship at Rhodes University, election to the U.S. Reading Hall of Fame, and the Educational Association of South Africa Medal of Honour. Dr. Janks has recast multilingual education in her native South Africa as an asset rather than a barrier to a diverse and multi-ethnic society.

Adrianna Kezar, University of Southern California

Dr. Adrianna Kezar is a national expert on the critical issues of leadership, culture, and change in higher education. She has performed important qualitative research on the phenomena of shared governance in academia, collaboration, diversity, and civic engagement and service learning. Her empirical and conceptual work on organizational change, leadership, and contingent faculty has reshaped each of these respective fields. Dr. Kezar is highly prolific, with 93 published or forthcoming articles in refereed journals, and nine authored or edited books. She has served on the national boards of education associations and was editor of the Association for the Study of Higher Education’s Higher Education Report Series. Dr. Kezar’s body of work has advanced key issues related to the academic workplace and the mission of higher education institutions. 

Fred A.J. Korthagen, Utrecht University

Dr. Fred A.J. Korthagen is one of the world’s leading scholars in the field of professional development for teachers and teacher educators. His innovative work on “realistic teacher education” and “core reflection” focuses on practical teacher needs, and integrating a personal and performance-oriented approach to teaching. Among his prolific work on the topic, his groundbreaking book, Linking Practice and Theory: The Pedagogy of Realistic Teacher Education, has been translated into four languages and is considered a fundamental text within the field. He has also directed two teacher education programs in the Netherlands and was co-director of the teacher education program at the University of Amsterdam. Dr. Korthhagen’s influential scholarship and practical work on teacher training has developed new approaches to the field of teacher education worldwide.

Zeus Leonardo, University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Zeus Leonardo has made outstanding contributions to educational equity scholarship, particularly through the lens of racial diversity and difference. His interdisciplinary work has advanced theory and practice by providing new analytical frameworks to understand the relationship between schooling and contemporary issues of race, class, culture, and gender. He is one of the top scholars of his generation currently working on Critical Race Studies, Whiteness Studies, and Cultural Studies. His influential book, Race Framework: A Multidimensional Theory of Racism and Education, provides a sophisticated analysis and critique of four frameworks for understanding and studying race in education. Dr. Leonardo’s scholarship promises to help policy makers and practitioners promote the democratization of schools and improve achievement of students from diverse groups. 

Jeff MacSwan, University of Maryland

Dr. Jeff MacSwan is a major contributor to the field of bilingualism and bilingual education, with a focus on the role of language in school achievement. Just one year after completing his doctoral degree, his research on code switching was referenced in the MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Sciences, and he has continuously challenged the accepted orthodoxy in bilingual scholarship, policy, and practice. His groundbreaking articles on language acquisition and use among English Language Learners in U.S. schools are basic readings in introductory courses on bilingual education, and he has built successful programs integrating linguistics and education at the University of Maryland and Arizona State University. Dr. MacSwan’s most recent work on English education among immigrant populations shows his deep commitment to educational equality to address the needs of the most vulnerable students. 

Stephen A. May, Auckland University

Dr. Stephen A. May is a distinguished interdisciplinary scholar in the area of language and multicultural education. He brings together theoretical insights and empirical data from sociology, education, political science, applied linguistics, and law to engage the complex dynamics of nationalism, language, and identity. His groundbreaking volume, Language and Minority Rights, is a widely cited interdisciplinary contribution to the international study of language rights. His influence in the field is further evidenced through his work as founding editor of the international journal, Ethnicities, and as the Associate Editor of Language Policy. His research has regularly been applied to public policy work with organizations such as UNESCO, the European Commission, and the Migration Policy Index. Dr. May has been a major contributor to rethinking language education policy and practice for minority and indigenous peoples throughout the world.

Michele S. Moses, University of Colorado – Boulder

Dr. Michele S. Moses is an international expert on race-conscious education policy and democratic theory. A philosopher of education, she examines the moral-political controversies surrounding policies that aim to foster equal educational opportunity, integration, and democratic participation. Her books include Embracing Race: Why We Need Race-Conscious Education PolicyAffirmative Action Matters: Creating Opportunities for Students around the World, and Living with Moral Disagreement: The Enduring Controversy about Affirmative Action. She has edited or guest-edited American Educational Research JournalEducational ResearcherEducational Theory, and Journal of Philosophy of Education. Dr. Moses received the Fulbright New Century Scholar and AERA Early Career Award. Her scholarship on affirmative action has led to deeper understandings of the debates over race-conscious policies that profoundly affect meaningful opportunities for higher education. 

Walter C. Parker, University of Washington

Dr. Walter C. Parker is a leading scholar in the field of social studies and civic education. His decade of teaching high school social studies has enabled him to connect theoretical perspective with applied practice for teachers, while also developing student participation and principled deliberation. His scholarly career is devoted to understanding and improving the teaching of democratic education, and has embraced aims toward greater global citizenship in the classroom. His most widely cited publication, Teaching Democracy: Unity and Diversity in Public Life, was one of the first to integrate civic and multicultural education, and he has explored this theme across several national contexts. Dr. Parker’s recent interdisciplinary research on depth of learning in Advanced Placement Government courses has advanced the scholarly and public discourse about high-level coursework in U.S. high schools.

Robert A. Rhoads , University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Robert A. Rhodes is a top scholar in higher and comparative education, with a focus on equity and diversity, and the impact of globalization and corporatization of universities. His work has brought attention to often marginalized groups and how they form identities on college campuses, including gay and lesbian students, low-income students and faculty, students of color, and student activists. His award-winning book, Global Citizenship and the University, draws on case studies in the United States, China, Hungary, and Argentina to highlight the global challenges facing higher education. His international recognition is further evidenced by additional appointments at three universities in China. Dr. Rhodes’ groundbreaking scholarship on comparative education is deepening understanding of how to promote global citizenship in a cross-cultural context.

Anna Sfard, University of Haifa

Dr. Anna Sfard is a leading theoretical intellectual in mathematics education who is known for her development of theoretical concepts and her strong empirical analysis. She first received international recognition for developing the theory of reification in mathematics, which has since become commonplace in the field’s lexicon. She is also widely cited for her delineation between two approaches to understanding processes of cognitive learning and development, using an acquisition metaphor and a participation metaphor. She has served on the editorial and advisory board of more than 15 international journals related to cognition and learning, including Educational Research Review and Journal of Learning Sciences. Dr. Sfard’s influence was recognized by the prestigious Freudenthal Medal, awarded by the International Commission of Mathematics Instruction for outstanding achievement in mathematics education research. 

Charol Shakeshaft, Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Charol Shakeshaft is a pioneer in the study of gender equity in educational settings, as well as the issue of sexual abuse of students by trusted others. For four decades, she has investigated and documented gendered practice in the classroom and school administration. She has applied her work to school systems across the United States, Australia, China, Japan, Canada, and Europe, helping educators make schools more welcoming to women. She has also publicized the continuing disparity between male and female principals and superintendents, with her most influential book, Women in Educational Administration, cited more than 1,000 times. Dr. Shakeshaft served as the first female vice president of AERA’s Division A, and is the founder of Women Leading in Education, an international organization for people studying girls’ and women’s leadership. 

Richard K. Wagner, Florida State University

Dr. Richard K. Wagner is a distinguished literacy scholar with a focus on dyslexia and normal acquisition reading. His highly cited body of work has furthered the understanding of phonological processing in relation to learning to read and the development of reading disability. His public service in the field of literacy has included appointment as chair of the National Institute for the Literacy Advisory Board, member of the study section for reading and writing of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, and principal investigator of the Multidisciplinary Learning Disability Center. He has also shaped the literacy field through the development of popular assessments of phonological processing and early literacy. Dr. Wagner’s work has revolutionized the study of reading disorders, their diagnosis, and their treatment.

Geoffrey James Whitty, Institute of Education, University College London

Dr. Geoffrey Whitty is a world-renowned leader in the areas of school curriculum, education policy, and teacher education. His groundbreaking body of work on school choice and privatization of public education has influenced education researchers worldwide, and he is the only scholar whose work was identified twice as among the most influential pieces of education research in the United Kingdom within the past 40 years. A member of AERA for three decades, he has also served as the president of the British Educational Research Association, and the Director Emeritus of the Institute of Education at the University of London. Dr. Whitty has been honored for his scholarly contributions by universities in Great Britain, Hong Kong, China, and the United States, and has received a Commander of the British Empire honor for his services to teacher education.

Frank C. Worrell, University of California – Berkeley

Dr. Frank C. Worrell is a leading scholar and notable mentor who is recognized internationally for his work on educational and cross-cultural psychology, and the translation of those findings into school-based practice. His research focuses on the psychosocial development of adolescents in academically talented youth, African American youth, and at-risk youth, particularly in large urban schools. Dr. Worrell has been at the forefront of important policy debates about how best to measure achievement of diverse learners at both ends of the academic achievement continuum. He is editor of the Review of Educational Research, the top-ranked journal in the field. He is a fellow in five divisions of the American Psychological Association and has received the service award of its School Psychology division. He has also received the Presidential Award from the National Association of School Psychologists.