Americas Education Research Network Convenes at 2018 AERA Annual Meeting

May 2018 

Top from Left to Right: Anna Rappoport, Daniela
Véliz-Calderón, Alessandra Pio Silva, Sylvia
Maureen Henry, Joaquim José Soares Neto,
Katherine Rosich, Armando Alcántara, Patricia
Ames Ramello, Angélica Buendía, Geovana
Mendonça Lunardi Mendes. Bottom from Left
to Right: Megan Bennett, Lori Hill, Vivian
Gadsen, Felice Levine, Pedro Flores-Crespo

The Americas Education Research Network (AERN) convened a third meeting at the 2018 AERA Annual Meeting in New York City on April 17. Representatives from associations and related research organizations met in New York to share information about substantive cross-cutting issues in education research across the Americas and to specify an agenda of activities to strengthen collaboration among scholars, including early career scholars.  Cosponsored by AERA and the World Education Research Association (WERA), the AERN meeting built on the momentum of an initiative begun in September 2016 at a first meeting held in Washington, DC.  As with prior major meetings, this event was simultaneously translated into English, Spanish, and Portuguese. 

This meeting of the network followed a strand of nine AERN symposia held as an integral part of the AERA Annual Meeting Program. All of these sessions included scholars from more than one Americas country to stimulate consideration of both shared and unique issues. Symposia topics addressed such issues as curriculum policies, popular education, research networks and scientific production in education, and citizenship education. A session on empowering teachers and learners included scholars from Nigeria, South Africa, and Barbados; a symposium on critical appraisal of research methods in education featured the perspectives of scholars from Peru, Mexico, and Brazil.

One of the AERN symposia also focused on America’s perspectives on Paulo Freire and his work. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which was featured in several other events at the AERA Annual Meeting, including a Presidential session.

From Left to Right: Armando Alcántara,
Pedro Flores-Crespo

AERA Executive Director and WERA President Felice Levine chaired the April 17 meeting. She noted that this New York meeting actually came after a number of important AERN sessions and gatherings at other Americas conferences. She highlighted very productive AERN sessions and meetings at the Red de Investigadores en Educación Chilena (RIECh) in Santiago, Chile, in August 2017, and at the Associação Nacional de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa em Educação (ANPED) meeting in Brazil in October 2017. She also noted that an AERN symposium was held on “Research Educative in Latin America: Perspectivas and Posibilites for the Regional area" in November 2017 at the biennial Congress of the Consejo Mexicano de Investigación Educativa (COMIE). Daniela Veliz, Geovana Lunardi, and Angélica Buendía, respectively, elaborated on each of these meetings.

Participants at the New York meeting reaffirmed the importance of continuing to hold symposia at other AERN conferences. This was a commitment dating back to the AERN meeting in May 2017. They identified a number of meetings taking place over the next several months including at the Brazilian Association for Educational Evaluation (ABAVE) for a Congress of Item Response Theory (August 29–31) in Minas Gerais, Brazil; the Brazilian Association of Black Researchers (ABPN) Congress (October 12–17) in Uberlanger, Minas Gerais; University of West Indies, Barbados celebrating 70 years of existence of the university (October 28–31); and the Peruvian Society of Educational Research in Cusco, Peru (November 8–10). Levine also encouraged attendees to consider participating at the WERA World Congress that is being held in Cape Town, South Africa on August 3–5, 2018.

Representatives of associations emphasized that AERN is especially valuable for graduate students and early career scholars, and encouraged AERN to set this goal as a priority. Participants reported that early career scholars appreciated the opportunity to present at a conference such as

From Left to Right: Daniela Véliz-Calderón,
Felice J. Levine, Vivian Gadsden

the AERA Annual Meeting through the AERN network. They also thought that professional development courses and other resources, such as a website for posting jobs and other professional opportunities, would be welcomed by early career scholars.

Participants also focused attention on expanding the network to include other education research-related associations, networks, and research organizations across the Americas, and developed plans to actively seek and contact these organizations. Levine noted that the 2019 Annual meeting will be held in Toronto, Canada, thus potentially adding to North American participation in AERN activities.

At the conclusion of the AERN meeting, participants unanimously adopted the following resolution: to continue to collaborate and identify activities across associations and organizations, to expand formal opportunities at meetings that are cross-cutting and address important education issues, and to affirm that the next generation is a high priority for this network now and in the coming decades.


Armando Alcántara
National Autonomous University of Mexico
Sociedad Mexicana de Educación Comparada (SOMEC)

Patricia Ames Ramello
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru/Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP)
Sociedad de Investigación Educativa Peruana (SIEP) /WERA Representative

Angélica Buendía
Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Xochimilco /WERA Representative
Consejo Mexicano de Investigación Educativa (COMIE)

Vivian L. Gadsden
University of Pennsylvania
American Educational Research Association
United States of America

Pedro Flores-Crespo
Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro (UAQ)
Red de Estudios Teóricos y Epistemológicos en Política Educativa (RELEPE)

Sylvia Maureen Henry
University of the West Indies, Barbados
AERA Caribbean and African Studies in Education SIG Co-Chair

Lori Diane Hill
AERA Staff Liasion to International Relations Committee/WERA
United States of America

Felice J. Levine
AERA – Executive Director /WERA – President
United States of America

Geovana Mendonça Lunardi Mendes
State University of Santa Catarina
Associação Nacional de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa em Educação (ANPED) /WERA Representative

Joaquim José Soares Neto
University of Brasília
Associação Brasileira de Avaliação Educacional (ABAVE)

Alessandra Pio Silva
Associação Brasileira de Pesquisadores/as Negros/as (ABPN )

Katherine Rosich
United States of America

Daniela Véliz-Calderón
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Red de Investigadores en Educación Chilena (RIECh)/ WERA Representative