More Than 14,400 Attend Annual Meeting
More Than 14,400 Attend Annual Meeting
April 2014

Turnout for the 2014 AERA Annual Meeting, with over 14,400 in attendance, was one of the largest ever. Across divisions and SIGS, emerging scholars and veteran researchers all reported that Philadelphia was the place to be for an important exploration of “The Power of Education Research for Innovation in Practice and Policy.” Sessions, panels, roundtables, lectures, and receptions showcased innovative studies in a diverse array of areas, from early education through higher education, from digital learning to second language literacy.

Key Sessions

In this year’s Presidential Address, Barbara Schneider examined the nationwide college mismatching problem and outlined results from the College Ambition Program, an intervention designed to assist students in fulfilling their ambitions, with results that show potential for scale-up at a national level.

“Even more disconcerting than the 35,000 high-performing students who are mismatched,” Schneider said, “are the 150,000 low-income and minority on-time high school graduates each year who choose to enroll in postsecondary institutions that are less selective than their aspirations, grades, and test scores would predict.”

“All of this suggests we are losing 150,000 students every year,” said Schneider. “If things keep going as they are, we are likely to lose over 1.5 million mismatched students over a decade.”

In the Opening Plenary, UVa President Teresa A. Sullivan spoke about her vision of a “Pipeline of Innovation” and how education research at all levels is leading to innovative practices and policies.

“Education’s individual problems are all related and require an innovation pipeline to address them,” said Sullivan.

“We do a better job of tech transfer in biotechnology and engineering, mostly because we have been doing it for much longer in those fields,” Sullivan said. “In education, we are in the process of inventing the institutional supports that will enable the transfer of solutions. And we have come to realize that this requires intense focus and a specialized set of supports. Until we fully succeed in this effort, we are partially responsible for gaps in the innovation pipeline.”

“If all of us are committed to developing innovative programs and policies for education, we need to marshal all of our forces and deploy all methodologies that are available to us,” said Sullivan. “Every form of rigorous research is constructive; every bit of evidence helps; every incremental improvement at every level of education is a step in the right direction.”

Among other major meeting highlights:

  • In his Social Justice in Education Award (2014) Lecture, Michael A. Olivas (University of Houston Law Center) acknowledged the under-recognized dimensions of service and social justice in the higher education profession, highlighting his work on the Top Ten Percent Plan, state DREAM Acts, Section 529 college prepaid plans, and residency requirements for agricultural migrant workers.
  • In a packed Wallace Foundation Distinguished Lecture, Catherine E. Snow (Harvard University) discussed the dilemma between real-world decision making and rigorous scientific knowledge building.
  • In his AERA Distinguished Lecture, Anthony Bryk (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching) spoke on the Carnegie Foundation’s vision for research and development that joins the discipline of improvement science with the capabilities of networks to foster innovation and social learning.
  • Sixteen award winners in 11 Association-wide categories were honored for their outstanding scholarship and service at the second annual AERA Awards Luncheon, and 22 new fellows were inducted at the annual Fellows Breakfast. Watch the 2014 AERA Fellows videos.

Education Policy and the Philadelphia Landscape

Philadelphia—a “hot spot” in the urban education political debate—was the ideal backdrop for the meeting. In “Landscape of Education Reform in Philadelphia,” Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite spoke on the challenges of improving one of the largest urban school districts in the country.

Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell discussed emerging topics in—and the intersection between—education research and school, education, and science policy.

It was standing room only in “Rising to the Challenges of Quality and Equality”—presented by Helen Gym (Parents United for Public Education) and Diane Ravitch (New York University)—on the right of all students to high-quality education, with a special focus on Philadelphia children.

The Virtual Annual Meeting Experience

The #AERA14 hashtag hit trending status on April 5, with over 6,300 tweets that day and over 21,000 tweets overall during the meeting. Presenters encouraged attendees to tweet during their sessions, and several award winners gave a special shout-out in their acceptance speeches to Twitter users who promoted their research.

Research from the Annual Meeting has been making headlines throughout the month. View complete coverage on 2014 AERA Annual Meeting in the News.

Still to come, AERA will release videos of the 20 live-streamed sessions on the website, as well as the four live-streamed professional development courses held at the Annual Meeting, which will be available in the
Virtual Research Learning Center.

Bookmark the 2014 Annual Meeting page to stay up-to-date as articles, papers, videos, and photos are added.

Save the Date—2015 Annual Meeting

The 2015 Annual Meeting will be held in Chicago, Illinois, on April 16–20. The theme is “Toward Justice: Culture, Language, and Heritage in Education Research and Praxis.”

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