2012 AERA Annual Meeting Theme and Highlights
2012 AERA Annual Meeting Theme and Highlights
Non Satis Scire: To Know Is Not Enough

March 2012

Cynthia Tyson Arnetha Ball
Cynthia Tyson Arnetha Ball

Vancouver, British Columbia! This inspiring backdrop for our 2012 Annual Meeting offers views of majestic mountains and temperate rainforests, and cosmopolitan cityscapes of skyscrapers, sidewalk cafés, and art galleries. Vancouver’s beauty and endless opportunities for outdoor activities, fine dining, and shopping, its museums, galleries, music, and theater, set the stage for an amazing conference!

The initial steps in preparation for this year’s meeting involved a close look at the mission of AERA: “to advance knowledge about education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.” Our mission is sound. As an organization, we have been vigilant in executing the first half of our mission: We hold each other to high standards, we review critically each other’s scholarship, and we invest significant time and energy in an effort to publish only the best education research. However, not all of our education constituencies know how we, as education researchers and as an organization, go about promoting “the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.”

In an effort to pursue our mission more fully—and to emphasize the use of education research—this 2012 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, will include a host of innovative sessions and special events designed to engage AERA members and other attendees in intense dialogue on the theme “Non Satis Scire: To Know Is Not Enough.”

While we as education researchers wholeheartedly agree that “to know” is critically important, we also recognize that the scholars who penned and ratified our organization’s mission statement were, indeed, visionaries. They realized that we would need to act effectively on what we know to remain relevant as an organization. In these times when far too many children and adults in our global society have suffered—and continue to suffer—marginalization, neglect, and lack of access, we must be vigilant in ensuring that our research is seen in the language of policy and legislation, as well as in the actions of teachers, administrators, school boards, parent groups, community organizers, foundations, and government officials.

We are challenged by our own mission statement with an imperative: to promote more effectively the use of research to improve education and, thereby, serve the public good. To that end, we must coalesce around what we know as a profession and act more effectively on that knowledge: Education must become the agent rather than the object of change as we expand our vigilance to ensure that our research is central to the enterprise of educating human beings in all circumstances, in all countries, and in all human conditions.

In her conclusion to The Flat World and Education, Linda Darling-Hammond included the following episode recounted by Martin Luther King in 1968:

I said to my children, “I am going to work and do everything that I can do to see that you get a good education. I don’t ever want you to forget that there are millions of God’s children who will not and cannot get a good education, and I don’t want you feeling that you are better than they are. For you will never be what you ought to be until they are what they ought to be.”

Dr. King’s statement serves to remind us that, as a profession, education research will never be what it ought to be until we promote more actively the use of our research to improve education so that it serves all learners well.

This year’s Annual Meeting theme was intended to encourage submissions that not only promote discussion on how our members are already operationalizing our full mission but that also suggest what actions should be taken by the education research community to ensure that research knowledge is used to improve education and actually serve the public good.

Knowing and Doing: The Presidential Session Highlights

For the 2012 Annual Meeting Presidential sessions, we invited a range of scholars, both junior and senior, and graduate students whose work would (a) illuminate the Annual Meeting theme using existing and expanding frameworks, (b) represent outstanding quality in education research, and (c) offer innovative approaches to education research and help the education community use research to improve education and thereby serve the public good.

Opening Plenary Session

The 2012 Annual Meeting planning process included consultation with our Indigenous scholars. We learned that British Columbia is home to 203 First Nations and approximately 30 tribal groupings. Because we respect that their relationship to the land carries with it both obligations and traditions, the Opening Plenary Session will begin with a traditional ceremony conducted by members of First Nations peoples of Vancouver, creating the context for our respectful request to hold our meeting on Indigenous land. Linda Twhuli Smith (Waikato University, New Zealand) will give the Opening Plenary Session talk, entitled “The Knowing Circle of Indigenous Education: It Is Not Enough Just to Know.”

This session and the reception to follow have been scheduled for Friday, April 13, 4:05 p.m.–6:05 p.m., at the Vancouver Convention Centre, First Level, West Ballroom C. All Annual Meeting attendees are invited!

Invited Presidential Sessions

The following invited Presidential sessions that reflect this year’s conference theme may be of particular interest to you:

  • Knowing and Doing: The Transformational Journey of Using Privilege to Weaken Privilege Systems. Peggy McIntosh (Wellesley College). Monday, April 16, 10:35 a.m.–12:05 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre, First Level, West Ballroom C.
  • What We Know About Stereotype Threat and What We Should Be Doing With That Knowledge. Claude Steele (Stanford University). Friday, April 13, 2:15 p.m.–3:45 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre, First Level, West Ballroom C.
  • Scholarship in Action for a New Generation. Nancy Cantor (Syracuse University). Monday, April 16, 4:05 p.m.–5:35 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre, First Level, West Ballroom C.
  • If You Make an Observation: Educational Researchers' Obligation to Improve Education and Serve the Public Good. M. K. Asante (Morgan State University). Sunday, April 15, 10:35 a.m.–12:05 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre, First Level, West Ballroom B.
  • Knowing Enough to Act: The Educational Implications of a Critical Social Justice Approach to Difference.Crain A. Soudien (University of Cape Town, South Africa); Sarada Balagopalan (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, India); Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti (University of Oulu, Finland). Monday, April 16, 8:15 a.m.–9:45 a.m. Vancouver Convention Centre, First Level, West Room 118–120.

In addition, a full slate of invited Presidential sessions are linked by four interconnected themes: “Theory to Practice”; “Diversity, Social Justice, and Equity”; “Policy”; and “Praxis at Community, National, and International Levels.” Presidential sessions under these themes include the following:

Theory to Practice:

  • How “Non Satis Scire” Has Guided Educational Innovation and Social Change for 40 Years: Insights From Hampshire College and the Five College Consortium
  • Pedagogical Imagination: Using Knowledge to Inform, to Change, and to Improve Teaching and Learning
  • Practitioner Researchers: Hybrid Roles in the Generation and Use of Research Knowledge
  • To Know Is Not Enough: Putting Theory to Work in Qualitative Research
  • What Can a Culturally Focused Ecological Framework for Examining Human Learning and Development Tell Us? What We Know and Need to Know to Achieve Equity in Opportunity to Learn
  • Bringing Research to Critical Practices and Policies: Using Research on Culturally Responsive Pedagogy to Strengthen Teacher Evaluation and Student Achievement

Diversity, Social Justice, and Equity:

  • Acting on What We Know: Exemplary Models of Educational Research and Practice in Indigenous Schools and Communities
  • Taking Risks on an Island: Queer Kids Going to Camp
  • Knowing and Doing: Teaching Urban Students and Other Frequently Marginalized Populations
  • To Know Is Not Enough: Networking on Behalf of Quality Teachers for Students Who Are Culturally and/or Linguistically Diverse
  • What Derrick Bell Knew: The Legacy of Critical Race Theory on Education Scholarship
  • Whither Opportunity? The American Dream, Then and Now: Examining the Relationship Between Increasing Economic Inequality, Schools, and Children’s Life Chances


  • A Framework for Change: A Broader and Bolder Approach to School Reform
  • A Public Hearing on the Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment in Education
  • An Effective Educator in Every Classroom: Connecting Research and State Policy to Support Implementation of a Teacher Performance Assessment for Credential Candidates
  • Possibilities for Education: Progress in Prevention Research
  • “To Know That We Know What We Know, and to Know That We Do Not Know What We Do Not Know, That Is True Knowledge”*: How Countries Formulate Education Policies in Response to International Test-Score Comparisons (*Compliments of Copernicus)
  • The Politics of Expanding Knowledge: Lessons From Knowing in the Known World

Praxis at Community, National, and International Levels:

  • Moving From Knowing to Doing: Students of Color Engaging in Participatory Action Research in a Social Justice, College Access Program
  • The Build-Your-Own School Project: Urban Youth as Researchers of School Quality
  • Combining Community Voice and Research-Based Evidence to Promote Equity in Educational Policy and Practice
  • Knowing Is Never Enough: The Courts, Schooling, and the Law
  • Changing Policies and Practices in Education Around the World: What Can We Learn?
  • Innovative Programs for District-Level Evaluation: Education Research for the Public Good
  • To Acknowledge Growing Economic Inequality Is Not Enough: Implications of the Occupy Wall Street Movement for Educational Research and Practice
  • In Consciousness and With Responsibility: Marshaling African/Black Heritage Knowledges, Identities, and Practices for the Global Good

Presidential Roundtables

This year we created a special opportunity for early career scholars and graduate students to share their research! We are pleased to support these members of AERA with this new initiative, providing an expanded venue to share their work, receive feedback, and build community.

Sessions With Commissioned Essay Writers

Our preconference planning included an effort to generate critical discussion, which took the form of commissioned essays by leading scholars in the field, and we encouraged responses to those essays. We asked the essay writers to (a) discuss and/or demonstrate the assertion that what we know as a research community is not enough, and (b) suggest what actions should be taken by the education research community to ensure that research knowledge is used to improve education and actually serve the public good. We asked the essay writers to identify key findings on which there is considerable consensus within the education research community, show that what we know from research has had an impact on practice and policy, and recommend what the education research community should do with this knowledge to fulfill our mission as stated by AERA.

We received very strong and impactful essays on the theme. They provoked thinking and took a stand on what we know and on the obligation we have to use what we know to improve education and serve the public good. The essays were posted on the AERA website and are still available for your reading.

Please join any of three Continental breakfast sessions with the essay writers, entitled “To Know Is Not Enough: Commissioned Essay Writers.” The sessions are scheduled for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings, April 14, 15, and 16, 8:15 a.m.–9:45 a.m., Vancouver Convention Centre, First Level, West Rooms 109 and 110. Everyone is invited to meet the essay writers and join in the discussions that began when the essays were posted online.

Presidential Keynote Address and Distinguished Lectures

We would like to extend a special invitation to all Annual Meeting attendees to this year’s Presidential keynote addresses. We also extend to you a special invitation to attend the following distinguished lectures:

  • AERA Distinguished Lecture. Hands Back, Hands Forward: Transforming Indigenous Education. Jo-ann Archibald (University of British Columbia). Saturday, April 14, 10:35 a.m.–12:05 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre, First Level, West Ballroom C.
  • 2012 Wallace Foundation Distinguished Lecture. William Trent (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). Saturday, April 14, 2:15 p.m.–3:45 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre, First Level, West Ballroom C.

Arnetha Ball’s Presidential Address will be delivered at 4:05 on Sunday afternoon and promises to be intellectually stimulating and forward thinking!

Non Satis Scire: reARTiculations!—An Arts Session in a New Format

The innovative Presidential session “Non Satis Scire: reARTiculations!” is the collaborative product of members of the Vancouver arts community, local scholars, and AERA. It brings together cutting-edge visual and performing artists in dance and theater improv, slam poetry, music, and comic book art.

A stage and gallery in the foyer of the Convention and Exhibition Centre will serve as showcase for three “Non Satis Scire: reARTiculations,” as well as for some of the artists’ more established work. The performances will take place on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
It is hoped that the reARTiculations will add interesting new dimensions to our conversations over the course of the conference.

Knowing and Doing: Go Green

One of Arnetha Ball's aspirations as AERA president is to lead the Association’s effort to “Go Green.” As global citizens, AERA members have a responsibility to be stewards of the environment. The 2012 Annual Meeting in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, is an opportune time to introduce green initiatives for this and future meetings.

The Vancouver Convention Centre will serve as the anchor where all the Presidential sessions and the majority of AERA-, division-, and SIG-sponsored sessions will be held. With its green West building, a model of environmental sustainability, this convention center is the first in the world to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum certification. It will provide the backdrop for AERA’s “Go Green” effort.

We encourage all AERA members and Annual Meeting attendees to engage in the “Go Green” effort. To lead the initiative, AERA is pleased to offer several alternatives to the traditional print program, described below. All of them feature information on the meeting’s more than 2,400 sessions and events.

Annual Meeting Program Mobile App

The program mobile application, designed to be used with smart devices such as Blackberry, Android, iPhone, and iPad, provides comprehensive information on the meeting, including session and presentation titles, times, and locations; presenter names and affiliations; and an exhibitors list and Exhibit Hall map. The program mobile app will be available for download at the beginning of April. All attendees residing outside Canada are strongly encouraged to download the app before entering Canada.

Annual Meeting Online Searchable Program and Personal Calendar

The online program is searchable by individual presenter/participant name or affiliation; session title, unit, or descriptors; or paper title. Attendees can define a search by clicking the people, sessions, or papers tab and entering search criteria in the fields. The “Browse the Online Calendar” search option allows attendees to view the events calendar, browse the conference by day and time, and select sessions to add to a “My Schedule” personal calendar. Within the “My Schedule” feature, attendees can download their personal calendar in “icalendar” format.

Complimentary Wireless Internet Access

To facilitate attendees’ ability to search the online program on their laptops and download updates for the program app on their smartphones and PDAs while in Vancouver, AERA will provide complimentary wireless Internet access at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Internet Café and Electronic Kiosks

Laptops will be provided by AERA at the Internet Café located in the Exhibit Hall, and electronic kiosks will be available throughout the convention center. Attendees can search the online program at these kiosks free of charge.

Streamlined Print Program

To lead the effort to save trees and reduce printing needs, we are working on reducing the size of the print program in 2012. This is a mark of AERA’s wider commitment to be environmentally friendly as we continue the process of reducing our paper use.

Knowing and Doing: In Closing

Margaret Thatcher once said: “What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough . . . you have got to have hard work and acertain sense of purpose.”

As we move closer to the 2012 Annual Meeting, we look forward to its many opportunities for intellectual exchange and networking. We anticipate a dynamic conference that will bring us together for our “certain sense of purpose”: fulfilling our mission to use education research to improve education and serve the public good—as we affirm that to know is not enough!

Cynthia A. Tyson
2012 Program Chair

Arnetha F. Ball
AERA President

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