WERA Celebrates 10th Anniversary at World Congress in Tokyo
WERA Celebrates 10th Anniversary at World Congress in Tokyo

AERA Executive Director and WERA Past
President Felice Levine (right),
WERA President Ingrid Gogolin
(seated), and others take part in the 10th
Anniversary of WERA Signing Ceremony

August 2019

The World Education Research Association convened its Annual Focal Meeting in Tokyo, Japan, August 5–8. Held at the University of Tokyo and Gakushuin University in conjunction with the Japanese Educational Research Association (JERA) Conference, the 2019 Focal Meeting attracted well over 1,300 education researchers from 65 countries.

AERA Past President (2013-14) and AERA
representative to WERA Barbara Schneider
takes  part in the 10th Anniversary of WERA 
Signing Ceremony

This year marked WERA’s 10th anniversary. The milestone was celebrated in a special ceremony during the Focal Meeting, which featured reflections on WERA’s first decade from AERA Past President Eva Baker (University of California, Los Angeles); AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine; WERA President Ingrid Gogolin (University of Hamburg); and Manabu Sato (Gakushuin University and University of Tokyo), longstanding JERA representative to WERA. 

Baker and Levine are both past presidents of WERA and played leadership roles in the collaboration among education research associations that led to the founding of WERA in 2009. As part of the 10th anniversary celebration, WERA Council members, including AERA Past President Barbara Schneider (Michigan State University), who serves as AERA representative to WERA, took part in a commemorative signing ceremony.

This year’s Focal Meeting program was organized around the theme “Future of Democracy and Education: Realizing Equity and Social Justice Worldwide.” In her welcome message to attendees, Gogolin noted that the 2019 theme would stimulate “discussion of educational research at the highest level, driven by an interest in discovery and insight, [and] also by concern for the common good of future generations.”

Left to right: Appointed Liaison to WERA
Yuto Kitamura, 
WERA Secretary General Liesel
Ebersöhn, Past AERA President Eva Baker
(2006-07), AERA Executive Director Felice
Levine, WERA President Ingrid Gogolin, and 
JERA Represntative to WERA Manabu Sato 

In nearly 200 paper and symposium sessions and 101 poster presentations, the theme and WERA’s broader aim of promoting critical, cross-cultural engagement in a diverse global research community were well-reflected.

Four keynote addresses by distinguished scholars from around the world—including those delivered by Gogolin and Andy Hargreaves (Boston College; former member of AERA’s International Relations Committee)—explored the links between education and democracy (past, present, and future) and their implications for global justice and equity.

Meeting participants had the opportunity to take part in pre-conference workshops. These capacity-building and training workshops focused on a range of topics, including global perspectives on academic publishing, led by Patricia Alexander (University of Maryland) and Levine; lesson study and learning communities, led by Kiyomi Akita (University of Tokyo) and Sato; and designing and implementing education interventions, led by Schneider and Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

Left to right: Eva Baker
(AERA Past President, 2006-07),
Barbara Schneider
(AERA Past President, 2013-14),
Vanessa Siddle Walker
(AERA President, 2019-2020),
Carol Lee
(AERA Past President, 2009-2010),
Executive Director Felice Levine,
and Kris Gutiérrez
(AERA Past President, 2010-2011)

AERA members and leaders were engaged at the WERA Focal Meeting across the full range of sessions and activities. In a special invitational symposium chaired by Levine, AERA President Vanessa Siddle Walker (Emory University), and AERA past presidents Baker, Schneider, Carol Lee (Northwestern University), and Kris Gutiérrez (University of California, Berkeley) discussed the importance of research that transcends national borders and boundaries.

Carolyn Herrington (Florida State University), co-editor of Educational Researcher, served as a presenter in a session on the worldwide use of administrative and other forms of big data for evidence-based policy. AERA Graduate Student Council Chair Desa Karye Daniel (University of New Mexico) participated in a series of activities for WERA’s Doctoral and Early Career Network. The WERA award committee for most innovative poster presentation at the Focal Meeting included AERA Associate Executive Director Lori Diane Hill and Levine, who served as chair.

Left to right: AERA Exeucitve Director Felice
Levine, WERA Secretary General Liesel
Ebersöhn, Patricia Alexander,
WERA President Ingrid Gogolin,
and WERA Vice President
Joanna Madalińska-Michalak

WERA is an association of national, regional, international, and specialty research associations dedicated to advancing education research as a scientific and scholarly field. WERA’s initiatives are global in nature and aim to transcend what any single association can accomplish in its own country, region, or area of specialization. AERA is of one of 27 member associations that founded the World Education Research Association. JERA, which hosted the 2019 Focal Meeting, is also a founding member of WERA.

WERA will hold its next Focal Meeting in July 2020 in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Submissions for the 2020 Focal Meeting open September 1, 2019, and close December 1.