Additional High-Profile Presidential Sessions Featured at the Annual Meeting
Additional High-Profile Presidential Sessions Featured at the Annual Meeting

March 2019

From democratizing evidence in education to redefining media literacy to reconsidering historical narratives in the classroom, this year’s Presidential sessions cover a diverse array of critical issues in education and education research that will inform and engage attendees. 

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.”

This final grouping of 13 sessions joins 15 others that were featured in the last two issues of Highlights (here and here). Complete descriptions of all 28 are posted on the Annual Meeting microsite. 

Highlighted Presidential Sessions

  • Forging a New Digital Commons: Youth Re-Imagining and Re-Claiming Public Life

    Formal democratic institutions often marginalize or outright ignore youth voices. But today young people are increasingly creating their own digital commons, where they raise and disseminate their perspectives in a time of polarized politics and continued systemic societal inequities. This symposium will consider how young people are responding to these forces and ask provocative questions about what the public “commons” can and should look like.

    Chairs: Youth participating virtually from New Tech High School; Participants: Kris D. Gutiérrez (University of California, Berkeley), Ernest D. Morrell (University of Notre Dame), Nicole Mirra (Rutgers University), Antero Garcia (Stanford University), Clifford H. Lee (St. Mary’s College of California), Elisabeth M. Soep (Youth Radio), Janelle Quintans Bence (North Dallas High School)
  • What Can Researchers, Philanthropies, and Practitioner-Educators Do to Democratize Evidence in Education?

    An enduring challenge for education research is for research itself to become democratic—to foster goals of inclusion, dialogue, and deliberation through the activities of research. Research-practice partnerships, community-based research, participatory action research, research alliances, and other efforts show promise toward realizing this ideal. This session will foster a dialogue about how to further democratize evidence and explore its importance to the research community. 

    Chairs: Caitlin Farrell (National Center for Research in Policy & Practice, University of Colorado,  Boulder), William R. Penuel (National Center for Research in Policy & Practice, University of Colorado, Boulder), Jim Kohlmoos (EDGE Consulting); Moderator: Vivian Tseng (William T. Grant Foundation); Participants: Megan Bang (Spencer Foundation), John B. Diamond (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Ruth López Turley (Rice University, Houston Education Research Consortium), Douglas Adam Watkins (Denver Public Schools), Esther Quintero (Albert Shanker Institute)
  • Skeptical and Affective Literacies: Redefining Critical Media Pedagogies in a “Post-Truth” Era

    Media education traditionally emphasizes cognitive skills: decoding, dissecting, analyzing. Yet this approach overlooks the affective dimension of our reasoning, emotional investments in particular ideologies, and the dynamics of trust in particular authorities. Rather than decoding static texts, media education demands skeptical self-reflexivity regarding our knowledge-seeking behaviors and awareness of how the social networks we belong to shape the information we consume and trust.

    Chair: Megan Boler, University of Toronto; Participants: Donna E. Alvermann (University of Georgia, Athens), April D. Baker-Bell (Michigan State University), Megan Boler (University of Toronto), Jeremy D. Stoddard (University of Wisconsin, Madison); Discussants: Joseph E. Kahne (University of California-Riverside), Jennifer Wemigwans (University of Toronto)
  • Bending Toward — or Away From — Racial Justice? An Interactive Case Study in Educational Ethics

    For generations, American students have been taught historical narratives about the United States that privilege European-American viewpoints and obscure narratives of cultural imperialism, racial oppression, and gender-based domination at the expense of Indigenous, African American, and female perspectives. The institutionalization of such historical narratives in textbooks and school curricula carries with it important signals about which facts and whose truths matter. 

    Chairs: Meira Levinson (Harvard University), Tatiana Geron (Harvard University), Jacob Fay (Bowdoin University); Participants: Meira Levinson (Harvard University), Tatiana Geron (Harvard University), Jacob Fay (Bowdoin College), Deborah Loewenberg Ball (University of Michigan), Darrius D. Robinson (University of Michigan), Winston Charles Thompson (The Ohio State University), Janine de Novais (University of Delaware), Margot Ford (University of Newcastle, Australia), Daniella J. Forster (University of Newcastle, Australia), Kevin Lowe (Macquarie University, Australia), Teresa Rodriguez (Boston Collegiate Charter School), Clinton W. Smith (Harvard University)
  • Non-Linear Perspectives on Teacher Learning and Practice Across the Professional Continuum

    Although dominant perspectives in education tend to perpetuate reductionist and linear narratives of how teachers learn and “transfer” that learning into practice, many scholars argue that this work is situated, relational, and highly mediated. These countering complex, non-linear theories provide an affirmative perspective to mediate harmful divisions of difference by religion, ethnicity, culture, language, gender/sexuality, and other identifiers.

    Chair and Discussant: Kathryn Jill Strom (California State University, East Bay); Participants: Kara Mitchell Viesca (University of Nebraska, Lincoln), Tammy Mills (University of Maine), Mariama Gray (California State University, East Bay), Brandon Sherman (Indiana University, Purdue University), Linda Whalen Abrams (Knowles Teacher Initiative)
  • Strategic Communications for the Public Good: Multimodal Paths Toward an Asset-Based Understanding of Public Schools

    Research reveals that as nations become more racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse, support for public institutions declines as long-time residents are less likely to support robust social services for “others.” As the “public” of public education changes and becomes more racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse in the U.S., support for the public good will only flourish when people appreciate the knowledge and wisdom grounded in all cultures.

    Chair: Amy Stuart Wells (Teachers College, Columbia University); Participants: Abbey Keener (Teachers College, Columbia University), Diana Cordova-Cobo (Teachers College; New York University), Dianne G. Delima (Teachers College, Columbia University), Siettah Parks (Teachers College, Columbia University), Stanley Nelson (Firelight Media), Lisa Binns (Firelight Media)
  • The Opt-Out Movement: Promoting Democratic Schooling Through the Voice of Teachers, Parents, and Students

    Over several decades, students in New York have been subject to a growing number of tests ostensibly intended to hold students, teachers, and schools accountable. This has given rise to resistance from parents, teachers, and students who question the focus on collecting so-called objective data and the subsequent narrowing of the curriculum, and who have collaboratively pushed back against high-stakes testing through local, regional, and statewide groups.

    Chair: David W. Hursh (University of Rochester, Rochester Coalition for Public Education); Participants: Zhe Chen (University of Rochester), Sarah Kathleen McGinnis (University of Rochester), Jeanette Deutermann (Long Island Opt Out), Lisa Rudley (New York State Allies for Public Education), Katie Zahedi (Linden Avenue Middle School; Red Hook CSD SUNY), Jamaal Bowman (Cornerstone Academy for Social Action), Nicholas Tampio (Fordham University), Oren Pizmony-Levy (Teachers College, Columbia University), Nancy Green Saraisky (Teachers College, Columbia University), Robert L. Lingard (University of Queensland); Discussant: Camille A. Martina (University of Rochester)
  • The Resurgence of Zero Tolerance? Combating the School-to-Prison Pipeline in a Post-Truth Era

    Over the past 15 years, the movement to combat the school-to-prison pipeline has made important gains in shifting public discourse away from zero tolerance, winning changes in school discipline policy, and advancing positive and restorative alternatives. But the movement now faces a major challenge as the federal administration pushes for zero tolerance policies and arming school staff and weakens civil rights enforcement — without evidence or research to support its efforts. 

    Chair: Mark R. Warren (University of Massachusetts, Boston); Participants: Russell J. Skiba (Indiana University, Bloomington), Daniel Losen (UCLA Civil Rights Project), Judith Browne-Dianis (Advancement Project), Jonathan Stith (Alliance for Educational Justice), Zakiya Sankara-Jabar (Dignity in Schools Campaign); Discussant: Linda Darling Hammond (Learning Policy Institute, Stanford University)

  • “Critical Bifocality” in a “Post-Truth” Era: The Increasing Necessity of Exploring Structure and Agency Through Multimodal Methodologies to Address the Role of Education in Deepening Inequalities

    “Critical bifocality” offers a way to think about epistemology, design, and the politics of education research in light of new forms of macro-level structural dynamics associated with the refractive implications of globalization and neoliberalism, in this case, in the U.S., a nation that is arguably, in terms of income inequality, the most unequal society in the world. This enables us to consider how researchers might account empirically for global, national, and local societal transformations. 

    Chair: Lois Weis (University at Buffalo, SUNY); Participants: James D. Anderson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Michelle Fine (The Graduate Center, CUNY), Adam Gamoran (William T. Grant Foundation), Joyce King (Georgia State University), Rubén G. Rumbaut (University of California, Irvine), Lois Weis (University at Buffalo, SUNY), Terrenda Corisa White (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  • Educational Goods: Values-Driven and Evidence-Informed Decision Making

    Good educational decision making requires good evidence. However, for social scientists to provide relevant evidence, they must know what values are pertinent to the kinds of choices available to decision makers. Social scientists need a moral compass in order to discern the evidence relevant to decisions. Decision makers themselves, of course, need a moral compass. Good decisions require relevant evidence and judgment guided by good values.

    Chair: Helen F. Ladd (Duke University); Participants: Helen F. Ladd (Duke University), Susanna Loeb (Brown University), Harry Brighouse (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
  • Rethinking the Resource Discourse

    School finance discussions have largely been shaped by litigation dating back to 1989 and the so-called Third Wave of finance litigation. Plaintiffs set aside equality and equal-protection arguments and embraced adequacy arguments, alleging that states failed to provide a minimally adequate education as required by education clauses in their respective state constitutions. While this approach has met with some success in courts, it is also self-limiting. 

    Chair: Sarah Elizabeth LaCour (University of Colorado, Boulder), Participants: Kevin G. Welner (University of Colorado, Boulder), Robert Kim (Rutgers University), Jennifer King Rice (University of Maryland), John Jackson (Schott Foundation)
  • Digital Equity and Computer Science for All: Research Addressing the Normative, Political, Technical, and Pedagogical Dimensions of School Reform

    State and national support for computer science education has been sweeping and visible as political and educational leaders push policies to make computer science coursework count toward graduation in secondary schools. Yet, while participation numbers have almost doubled in recent years, the rates of students of color and girls participating in advanced coursework remains small and lower than in any other subject area. 

    Chair: Joanna Goode (University of Oregon); Participants: Zoë B. Corwin (University of Southern California), Janice Cuny (National Science Foundation), Frieda McAlear (Kapor Center for Social Impact), Jean J. Ryoo (University of California, Los Angeles), Abril Vela (Chicago Public Schools), Brenda Wilkerson (Anita Borg Institute), Brenda Wilkerson (Anita Borg Institute)
  • Some of Your “Faves” Are Problematic: Disrupting Common Yet Problematic Narratives, Theories, and Practice in Education

    This session addresses harmful yet often popular theories, narratives, and practices in the field of education. It incorporates diverse perspectives from scholars and leaders with an array of knowledge, and highlights critical tensions, conflicts, and nuances. The audience in the room, as well as those not present physically, will be able to engage in the conversation using Twitter hashtag #AERAproblematicFaves. 

    Chair: Constance Iloh (University of California, Irvine); Moderator: H. Samy Alim (University of California, Los Angeles); Participants: Ann M. Ishimaru (University of Washington), Nelson Flores (University of Pennsylvania
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