More than 14,000 Education Researchers Drawn to Toronto for AERA Annual Meeting
More than 14,000 Education Researchers Drawn to Toronto for AERA Annual Meeting

April 2019

Amos Key Jr. (Indigenous 

The 2019 AERA Annual Meeting brought more than 14,000 scholars, policy leaders, students, and practitioners to Toronto, Canada, for the largest education research conference in the world, offering five days of stimulating discussion, exchange, and professional development. This year marked the second time the Annual Meeting was held in Toronto, and the sixth time it has been held in Canada.

The attendees included scholars in education research and related disciplines and fields from all over the globe. Organized around the theme “Leveraging Education Research in a ‘Post-Truth’ Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence,” presidential sessions, panels, poster sessions, lectures, cross-cutting theme sessions, and more showcased the vital necessity of education research in a wide range of areas, including connecting research to policy on Capitol Hill, reducing child poverty, and fostering transparency in education research. 

Throughout the meeting, speakers acknowledged and paid respect to the historic and cultural significance of indigenous populations and their land situated in what now is Toronto and more broadly Ontario. This year, AERA was honored by the presence and participation of Indigenous Elders at the Annual Meeting.

The Opening Plenary kicked off with welcoming remarks from three Indigenous Elders: Amos Key Jr., Jacqui Lavalley, and Garry Sault. This greeting was followed by a performance by the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, a National Award–winning Inland Tlingit dance group based in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Committed to participating in cultural and revitalization events in Indigenous communities to support the reclamation of their own ceremonies and ways, the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers’ inherent art forms of singing, drumming, dancing, and storytelling conveyed a powerful message about reclaiming Indigenous languages and traditional values. 

The Dakhká Khwáan Dancers

“For you who are visiting Toronto for the first time this weekend, there are 133 First Nation communities in this province, 13 Indigenous languages, and three Indigenous civilizations,” said Key. “They are much more than cultures, they are civilizations. They have all of the intellect, institutions, traits, characteristics, virtues, and ethics of any civilization in the world.”

These same three Elders also led a closing ceremony at the AERA Open Business Meeting.

At the Awards Ceremony and Celebration, 23 award winners in 13 association-wide categories were honored for their outstanding scholarship and contributions to the field of education research. At the annual Fellows Breakfast, 10 new AERA Fellows were inducted.

AERA will soon release webcasts from the 2019 Annual Meeting, including this year’s Presidential Address and Opening Plenary, on the AERA website.

Bookmark the 2019 Annual Meeting microsite to stay up-to-date as articles, papers, videos, and photos are added—and save the date for the 2020 Annual Meeting in San Francisco: April 17–21.