High-Profile Presidential Sessions Slated for Annual Meeting
High-Profile Presidential Sessions Slated for Annual Meeting

January 2019

A conversation with Edmund Gordon on assessment in the service of teaching and learning, the promise and peril of social media in a “post-truth” era, and the role of public education in fostering civic debate and civic reasoning are among the compelling topics in this year’s rich and engaging lineup of Annual Meeting presidential sessions. 

AERA President Amy Stuart Wells and 2019 Annual Meeting Co-Chairs Jennifer Jellison Holme and Janelle T. Scott have developed 28 sessions that align with the 2019 theme, “Leveraging Education Research in a ‘Post-Truth’ Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence.”

Seven highlighted sessions are briefly summarized below. Complete descriptions of each are posted on the Annual Meeting microsite. These sessions provide a sense of the important content that will engage Annual Meeting attendees. Additional presidential sessions will be spotlighted in AERA Highlights, AERA19 Insider, and on the microsite as the meeting approaches.

Highlighted Presidential Sessions

  • A Conversation between Edmund W. Gordon and Friends: Assessment in the Service of Teaching and Learning

Assessment for learning is a new, but old, approach to Pedagogy in which assessment, teaching, and learning are dynamically interrelated such that these three processes are dialectically and reciprocally employed each in the service of the other. Aspects of such an approach can be identified in such traditional strategies as Socratic dialogues and Formative assessment. As with these well-known approaches to the facilitation of learning, we argue that assessment information and processes can be diagnostic of learners’ characteristics and needs.

Moderator: Ezekiel Dixon-Román (University of Pennsylvania); Participants: Edmund W. Gordon (Gordon Commission/Emeritus at Yale University and Teachers College) (organizer), Robert Mislevy (Educational Testing Service), Linda Darling Hammond (Learning Policy Institute/Stanford University), James Pellegrino (University of Illinois-Chicago), John Behrens (Pearson Center for Digital Transformation), Randolph Bennett (Educational Testing Service), Joanna Gorin (Educational Testing Service).

  • The Promise and Peril of Social Media in a Post-Truth Era

In many ways, social media can be seen as imperiling democratic life. However, for all the times that Twitter and other social media outlets contribute to a more polarized society, these tools can also serve as a powerful way to connect those from divergent backgrounds and perspectives. Social media connects policy and news organizations with researchers and the public, and its potential as a tool for connection serves as an important counterpoint to its negative effects.

Chair: Emily Hodge (Montclair State University); Participants: Jonathan Supovitz (University of Pennsylvania), Sonya Douglass Horsford (Teachers College, Columbia University), Vivian Tseng (William T. Grant Foundation), Leigh Hall (University of Wyoming).

  • Interdisciplinary Contributions to Civic Debate and Civic Reasoning: Post-Truth Complexities

​Among the most important goals of public education is to prepare young people to engage in informed civic action predicated on a disposition to wrestle with the complexities of policy making in a diverse society. The political, economic, and moral dilemmas that are central to accusations of “fake news” actually entail complex issues that often involve competing interests and warrants. As a consequence, weighing alternatives in order to decide a policy question (i.e., deliberation) isn’t only a matter of weighing evidence and judging the credibility of sources.

Participants: Joseph Kahne (University of California-Riverside), Benjamin Bowyer (University of California-Riverside), Carol Lee (Northwestern University) (organizer), Na’ilah Suad Nasir (Spencer Foundation), Megan Bang (Spencer Foundation/University of Washington), Judith Torney-Purta (University of Maryland), James A. Banks (University of Washington), Sarah Warshauer Freedman (University of California-Berkeley); Discussant: Diana Hess (University of Wisconsin-Madison).

  • Indigenous Truths in Other People’s Democracies: Education Research in the Contested Spaces of the Pacific​

​Prior to colonial contact, Pacific nations peoples enjoyed stewardship of our traditional territories. The arrival of newcomers, however, brought a new world order. At the heart of this new world order lay an oppression that was multifaceted and far reaching. This oppression involved the stripping away of the fundamental markers of Indigenous identities—sovereignty, ancestral lands, language, and cultural knowledge. As these markers were stripped away, so too were the well-being and connectedness of our Indigenous peoples. 

Chair: Margaret Maaka (University of Hawa’i-Manoa) (organizer); Participants: Kahele Dukelow, (University of Hawai’i-Maui), Robert Jahnke (Massey University), Daryle Rigney (Flinders University), Tanya Samu (University of Auckland); Facilitators: Kerry Laiana Wong (University of Hawai’i-Manoa), Katrina Ann Kapā Oliveira (University of Hawai’i-Manoa).

  • Learning Sciences, School Reform, and Teacher Preparation: Juxtaposing Knowledge and Methods for Equity and Social Justice​

Educational policy and practice are often grounded in ideologies, rather than in knowledge about how people learn and develop, and this ideological framing has only strengthened in the current “post-fact” era. Yet, even as the political world has increasingly conflated fact and fantasy, the empirical basis for productive education has been strengthened with recent syntheses of knowledge from the sciences of learning and development (SoLD).

Participants: Kris Gutierrez (University of California-Berkeley), Carol Lee (Northwestern University), Jal Mehta (Harvard University), Sarah Fine (Harvard University), Linda Darling-Hammond (Learning Policy Institute/Stanford University), Jeannie Oakes (Learning Policy Institute/University of California-Los Angeles) (organizer).

  • Leveraging Research-Policy-Practice Networks for Knowledge Co-Construction, Mobilization, and Adaptation in a Post-Truth Era​

For over a decade, the Ontario Ministry of Education has developed a Research and Evaluation Strategy fostering research collaboration through networking and partnerships between policy makers, practitioners, and researchers to address priority education needs. One major initiative has been the establishment of the Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research (KNAER) to mobilize research and knowledge in order to improve educational practices and student outcomes.

Chair: Carol Campbell (University of Toronto) (organizer); Participants: Don Buchanan (Hamilton Wentworth District School Board), Jade Huguenin (Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres), Ruth Kane (University of Ottawa), Donna Kotsopoulos (Huron University College), Katina Pollock, (University of Western Ontario), Erica van Roosmalen, (Ontario Ministry of Education); Discussant: Cynthia Coburn (Northwestern University).

  • A Presidential Circle: Sage Up: A Dialogical and Healing Space for Reimagining Education

What does it mean to truly reimagine education? What does it mean to Reimagine Research?  To answer these questions, this AERA Presidential Circle brings together scholars from different disciplinary areas of education to explore multimodal ways (e.g., through poetry, song, community dialogue, visuals, etc.) for understanding how the research can apply and inform practice. This Presidential Circle centers on the work of scholars who have designed and developed the Reimagining Education Summer Institute at Teachers College.

Session Organizers:  Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz (Teachers College) (and chair), Detra Price-Dennis (Teachers College) (and chair), Phillip A. Smith (Teachers College) (and chair), Sandra Overo (Teachers College), Dianne G. Delima (Teachers College); Participants: Gloria Ladson-Billings (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Jamila Lyiscott (University of Massachusetts-Amherst), Sonia Nieto (University of Massachusetts-Amherst), Django Paris (University of Washington), Vanessa Siddle Walker (Emory University), Angela Valenzuela (University of Texas-Austin).