High-Profile Annual Meeting Sessions Will Engage Attendees and Catalyze the Field

March 2021

The AERA 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting features a rich array of high-profile sessions curated to engage attendees on many of the most pressing and timely topics that face education researchers on regional, national, and global levels.

Shaun Harper

Thirty-two Presidential Sessions to be offered at the Annual Meeting will tie into this year’s conference theme, “Accepting Educational Responsibility.” These sessions were developed by AERA President Shaun Harper; 2021 Annual Meeting Program Co-Chairs Lori Patton Davis, Toby S. Jenkins, and Daniel Soodjinda; and the AERA 2021 Presidential Program Committee.

Sung Yeon Choimorrow

Among these important sessions is “Reckoning with Anti-Asian Violence: Racial Grief, Visionary Organizing, and Educational Responsibility,” featuring panelists Sung Yeon Choimorrow (National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum), Manjusha Kulkarni (Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council), Leigh Patel (University of Pittsburgh), and Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales (San Francisco State University).

Other compelling topics addressed in these sessions are inequities experienced by marginalized students, the racial politics of education governance, the school-to-prison pipeline, a critical conversation on mental wellness, and much more. Ten of the Presidential Sessions make up a special “Cinematic Intersections Series,” relating to the award-winning film “Get Out” and the ground-breaking HBO series “Lovecraft Country.”

Mark Schneider

The Research and Science Policy Forum, now in its 18th year, offers attendees opportunities to hear from representatives of federal research agencies, learn about emerging issues in education research policy, and engage in AERA initiatives that bring scientific knowledge and methods to bear. Among the high-profile series speakers are Mark Schneider, director of the Institute of Education Sciences, and Karen Marrongelle, head of the National Science Foundation’s Education and Human Resources Directorate.

Karen Marrongelle

Other series highlights include a planned special session on the impact of COVID-19 on the research community and enterprise, including new results from the AERA-Spencer Foundation COVID-19 Impact Survey, and a scheduled symposium on the forthcoming report from OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) looking at how a “growth mindset” is linked to student performance. In addition, the series will highlight four recent publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine:

  • Understanding the Well-Being of LGBTQI+ Populations
  • Mental Health, Substance Use, and Wellbeing in Higher Education: Supporting the Whole Student
  • Cultivating Interest and Competencies in Computing: Authentic Experiences and Design Factor
  • The Science of Effective Mentoring in STEMM

A special component of the Annual Meeting this year is a series of sessions that focus on research issues related to “Power and Possibilities.” This series is developed by AERA 2019–2020 President Vanessa Siddle Walker and the 2020 Annual Meeting co-chairs Sheryl Jones Croft and Michelle A. Purdy, who transformed what would have been the 2020 Presidential Sessions into this special series for the 2021 Annual Meeting. The series includes 26 of the original Presidential Sessions and a special opening session that will launch the series and frame its focus.

Beyond these special series, the 2021 meeting offers more than 2,000 sessions and papers touching on the biggest issues in education, including those related to COVID-19, systemic racism, and much more, for attendees to choose among. Visit the 2021 Annual Meeting program to browse sessions by day and time, keyword, presenter names, or division or SIG, and plan your schedule for all five days.