2017 AERA Fellows
2017 AERA Fellows

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

Randy E. Bennett, Educational Testing Service

Dr. Randy E. Bennett is one of the nation’s foremost scholars in education assessment, working at the intersection of cognitive psychology, psychometrics, digital technology, and educational testing policy. He conceived and directed the Cognitively Based Assessment of, for, and as Learning project, producing research and publications that are an invaluable resource for the development of technically sound classroom-based assessments grounded in psychological theory. Dr. Bennett has edited or coedited 7 books and has authored or coauthored over 30 book chapters, 70 journal articles, and 40 additional technical reports and other publications. He is president of the International Association for Educational Assessment, president-elect of the National Council on Measurement in Education, and holds the title of Norman O. Frederiksen Chair in Assessment Innovation at the Educational Testing Service. Dr. Bennett’s work has synthesized advances in measurement and cognitive psychology with those in technology to solve practical problems in assessment design and use.


Angela Calabrese Barton, Michigan State University

Dr. Angela Calabrese Barton is an influential scholar in equity, science, and teacher education. Her research has brought an equity lens to the field, with a particular emphasis on how children in poverty, girls, and students of color experience science. Over the course of her career, she has developed a robust research portfolio, with funding from several major donors including the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the William T. Grant Foundation. Her Invincibility Lab is an innovative space that encourages students to engage with science and engineering practices and most recently has focused on leveraging out-of-school contexts for science learning. Her recently published article in Teachers College Record provides one of the few available longitudinal studies of what it takes to support an interest in science and self-directed learning for minority youth. Dr. Calabrese Barton strives to present science as a tool for a socially just world and has made important contributions to the national discourse on science literacy and equity.


Jere Confrey, North Carolina State University

Dr. Jere Confrey is a pioneer in the field of learning trajectories in mathematics education. Early in her career, she demonstrated the usefulness of constructivist theory in mathematics education and of clinical interviews as a research methodology. Based originally on her research on exponential function, Dr. Confrey postulated an alternative explanation of the development of multiplicative concepts, which she called “splitting.” This construct continues to influence thinking in the field. In addition to publishing widely, she has been involved in several innovative curriculum projects and has inspired the development of two highly successful programs of teacher professional development, SummerMath and UTeach. These programs have accommodated new scholars, adapted to changing local resources, and proved transportable across diverse institutions and missions. Over three decades, Dr. Confrey has made significant contributions to the areas of learning theory, equity, assessment, and hand-held technology for instruction and assessment.


Stephen L. DesJardins, University of Michigan

Through his theoretically grounded and methodologically rigorous scholarship, Dr. Stephen L. DesJardins has made significant contributions to the field of higher education. A driving focus of his research is to identify effective policies and programs for improving students’ transitions into and through college, looking at the issues of student decision making, progress, and financial aid. He has applied experimental and quasi-experimental methods to bridge education and economics and to make economic principles and econometric methods more accessible to researchers and decision makers. His scholarship has appeared in prestigious education and economics journals, including Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, the Economics of Education Review, and the Journal of Higher Education. Connecting his research to policy and practice, Dr. DesJardins also served as special assistant in the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development in the U.S. Department of Education.


Pamela Grossman, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Pamela L. Grossman is widely recognized as one of the leading U.S. scholars in teacher education and contemporary education research. She was the founding director of Stanford University’s Center to Support Excellence in Teaching and established the Hollyhock Fellowship Program for early career teachers in underserved schools. The sources of her 19 research grants range from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation. Dr. Grossman’s tool for appraising the quality of English teaching, known as the Protocol for Language Arts Teaching Observation, or PLATO, is widely used for research and as a resource for improving instruction. In 2009, she was elected to the National Academy of Education, and in 2015, was appointed dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Through her prolific and influential writing, Dr. Grossman has helped expand the questions, methods, and scope of inquiry in the field of research on teacher education.


Shaun R. Harper, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Shaun R. Harper is a trailblazer in research pertaining to race, gender, and student success in higher education. At the University of Pennsylvania, he founded and serves as executive director of the Center for the Study of Race & Equity in Education. In his research, Dr. Harper uses an array of theoretical lenses, conceptual frameworks, and methodological approaches to better illuminate and understand trajectories of success and treatment of Black males and students of color in higher education, for which he has procured more than $12 million in research grants. He has made significant literary contributions to the field, with 12 books, over 100 peer-reviewed articles, and nearly 5,000 citations in published studies. Through his career, he has been recognized by a number of organizations and associations for his critical scholarship and teaching, such as the American College Personnel Association, the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators, and the Association for the Study of Higher Education, where he currently serves as president.


Carolyn J. Heinrich, Vanderbilt University

Dr. Carolyn J. Heinrich is a leading expert in the science and practice of education and public policy. Her research focuses on education, workforce development, social welfare policy, program evaluation, and performance management. In her education research, she partners with large urban school districts to evaluate and identify methods for improving educational interventions for academically and economically disadvantaged students, and to engage parents and community stakeholders. Particularly influential is her work on education accountability, in which she has focused on the interaction of the public and private sectors in the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. She has applied her work in an international context as a consultant for organizations including UNICEF, the World Bank, and the United Nations. Dr. Heinrich has been recognized through numerous academic appointments. In 2016, she was elected president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, considered the leading organization for public policy scholars.


Tyrone C. Howard, University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Tyrone C. Howard is a preeminent voice in the areas of multicultural education, the educational pipeline of African American males, and culturally relevant pedagogies. Roots of Dr. Howard’s work can be traced to his experience as a classroom teacher in Compton, California, working with teachers who did not understand their students. He leverages critical race theory to examine how race is implicated in pedagogies, practices, and systems of education, capturing the voices of youth themselves for valuable insights for creating new pedagogical practices. As director of Center X at UCLA, Dr. Howard worked with urban schools to engage in research, theory, policy, and practice aimed at transformation. There he worked directly with Los Angeles Unified School District board members, superintendents, and other high-level administrators to build and sustain a partnership. His book Why Race and Culture Matter in Schools: Closing the Achievement Gap in America’s Classrooms, is required reading in teacher education programs and teacher learning communities across the country.


R. Malatesha Joshi, Texas A & M University

Dr. R. Malatesha Joshi has made wide-ranging contributions to research on literacy development, instruction, and disabilities. His research focuses on second-language reading with attention to minority-language English learners who are at risk for reading and language impairment. Dr. Joshi’s longtime work with NATO Advanced Study Institutes resulted in numerous worldwide collaborations and programs of cross-cultural research that provided the foundation of our thinking and understanding of cross-linguistic research today. He brings an international perspective to literacy research, having initiated cross-cultural studies of literacy in China, New Zealand, Canada, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and several Spanish-speaking countries. For the past 25 years, he has served as the editor for the journal he also founded, Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, one of the top journals in the field of literacy. Dr. Joshi’s research has made seminal advances in the field of teacher knowledge, second-language reading acquisition, bilingualism, and biliteracy.


Jonathan A. Plucker, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Jonathan A. Plucker is a prolific scholar who examines giftedness and gifted education, creativity and intelligence, and educational policy. He has served as principal or co–principal investigator on over 100 grants, and his sustained research projects have major implications for research and policy in the field. His report on state policies for shrinking excellence gaps has been extremely influential for policy makers at the state and federal levels, informing the recent creation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. His book Excellence Gaps in Education: Expanding Opportunities for Talented Students has had a major impact on the field of gifted education and is part of a larger effort to help policy makers and educators think of the best ways to promote success and high achievement for all children. In addition to his influential scholarship and research portfolio, Dr. Plucker has served on the editorial boards of six journals. His research and leadership exemplify a distinguished career contributing to understanding some of the most pressing issues in education.


Linda Reddy, Rutgers University

Dr. Linda Reddy has made important contributions in the areas of assessment and interventions for children with ADHD-related disorders, as well as in the integration of school and teacher assessment, coaching, and technology. Her rigorous scholarship is informed by a systems perspective, measurement theory, and evidence-based practices. Dr. Reddy’s measurement development and validation work on instructional coaching and teacher formative assessment has addressed major gaps in the field of education. Her work on developing and validating online assessment and professional development tools to enhance practices in instructional coaching, classroom instruction, and behavior management are important resources for school personnel worldwide. Her significant record of research includes more than $48 million in public and private grant funding. Throughout her career, Dr. Reddy’s research, service, and practice have focused on increasing the capacity of school systems and families to maximize student learning and behavior.


Guillermo Solano-Flores, Stanford University

Dr. Guillermo Solano-Flores is a nationally recognized scholar in educational measurement, with a focus on assessment development in relation to cultural and linguistic minority groups. A psychometrician by training, he uses multidisciplinary approaches to address linguistic and cultural diversity in testing. He is the author of the theory of test translation error, which he applies across cultures and languages, and has investigated the use of generalizability theory for measurement error in the testing of English language learners. He is known for his substantial record of teaching and mentoring students, as well as for his highly cited and influential body of work—including the groundbreaking 2016 book Assessing English Language Learners—which has informed practitioners, assessment developers, policy makers, and researchers. Dr. Solano-Flores has made important contributions to developing more accurate and valid testing of English learners in large-scale assessments in the United States and international education surveys.


Sheila W. Valencia, University of Washington

Dr. Sheila W. Valencia is a leader in the field of literacy assessment, instruction, and professional learning. She codeveloped a groundbreaking, statewide reading assessment that applied cognitive research and large-scale assessment to define a model of learning for reading comprehension. This was one of the first successful efforts in what is now known as “authentic assessment.” It became a model for subsequent alternative reading assessments, including the 1992 National Assessment of Educational Progress, the International Literacy Study, and statewide assessments in California, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Wisconsin. She serves as both a model and a mentor to her students and has advanced the profession at the national, state, and local levels with projects focused on assessment development, evaluation, and professional development. Dr. Valencia’s work combines innovative empirical and theoretic research in the fields of literacy and teacher education to advance both practice and policy.


Suzanne M. Wilson, University of Connecticut

Dr. Suzanne M. Wilson is a highly regarded teacher–scholar with an analytic interest in understanding how individuals learn to teach and what methods they should be learning to best equip their practice. Her early work pioneered a range of innovative methods for assessing teacher knowledge, which has continued through her leadership of the Teacher Assessment Project and her research at the National Center for Research on Teacher Education and Teacher Learning. Dr. Wilson’s publications in this area remain among the key conceptual and analytic pieces on the role of subject matter knowledge in teaching. One of her most notable works is the book California Dreaming: Reforming Mathematics Education, in which she traced the previous 18 years of efforts to reform mathematics education in California. Dr. Wilson is currently examining alternative ways to measure teaching and teachers’ understanding, as well as jurisdictional conflicts over teacher education and licensure.