AERA and UCEA Convene to Chart Course for Research on Educational Leadership Preparation
AERA and UCEA Convene to Chart Course for Research on Educational Leadership Preparation

November 2019

On November 11­–13, AERA and the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) held a research conference, “Advancing Knowledge About University Contributions to Professional Learning in Educational Leadership,” in Washington, D.C. More than 30 leading scholars from across the United States met at the new AERA Convening Center at the association’s headquarters to engage in intensive consideration of the current state of research on educational leadership preparation programs and the framework for a research agenda.

Felice J. Levine (AERA) and Michelle Young (University of Virginia)

This collaboration between AERA and UCEA reflects the organizations’ shared commitment to fostering conceptual and methodological innovation that can expand and enhance the research knowledge base on assessment and evaluation of leadership preparation programs. The conference was organized by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine, UCEA Executive Director Emerita Michelle Young (University of Virginia), AERA Associate Executive Director for Programs and Policy Lori Diane Hill, Aliza Husain (University at Buffalo, SUNY), and Andrea Rorrer (University of Utah).

The aims of the conference were to create a conceptual map of research on leadership preparation assessment and evaluation; develop measurement principles and methodological guidelines for future research; identify specific lines of inquiry for preparation program research; specify priority data and data infrastructure needs; extend research to include use of longitudinal data systems; and chart an agenda and process for future research, dissemination, and mobilization to expand the knowledge base and advance policy development. To achieve these goals, AERA and UCEA brought together researchers with a broad range of relevant expertise across disciplines and career stages.

“We were fortunate to have a terrific group of scholars who are experts in their domains come together to work across boundaries to identify research and database needs,” Levine said. “This meeting laid the foundation for expanding knowledge of school leadership preparation programs. It can also contribute more broadly to research in other higher education domains.”

“The conference was very successful in meeting our aim of charting a course for a research agenda on educational leadership programs,” said Young. “I was pleased with the engaging discussions on these programs and the participants’ insights into the current state of knowledge and future directions for expanding it.”

Rather than traditional panel presentations followed by discussion, the meeting structure leveraged plenary sessions driven by brief “catalytic” remarks from selected participants to spark discussion, and a series of focused, small breakout teamwork sessions to achieve main conference aims. Background briefing memos from participants informed the work of the conference and were important points of reference. Sessions addressed topics such as how to think about data, data systems, and data linkages; which measures and indicators are fundamental; and building a next-generation logic model.

The group concluded with a discussion of next steps for continuing collaboration, including a symposium at the AERA Annual Meeting and the future publication of a research report.

The AERA-UCEA conference attendees included:

Erin Anderson
University of Denver
      Kathryn Chval
University of Missouri
Brendan Bartanen
Texas A&M University
      Thomas Cook
George Washington University
Courtney Bell
Educational Testing Service
      Shelby Cosner
University of Illinois at Chicago 
Bronwyn Bevan
Wallace Foundation
      Kathleen Cunningham
University of South Carolina
George Bohrnstedt
American Institutes for Research
      Robert Floden
Michigan State University 
Alex Bowers
Teachers College, Columbia University
      Ed Fuller
Pennsylvania State University 
Mónica Byrne-Jiménez
University Council for Educational Administration
      Susan Gates
RAND Corporation 
Jason Grissom
Vanderbilt University
      Andrew Pendola
Auburn University
Richard Halverson
University of Wisconsin-Madison
      Frank Perrone
University of New Mexico 
Lori Diane Hill
American Educational Research Association
      Daniel Reyes-Guerra
Florida Atlantic University 
Aliza Husain
University at Buffalo
      Andrea Rorrer
University of Utah 
Felice J. Levine
American Educational Research Association
      Brian Rowan
University of Michigan 
Gerardo López
Michigan State University
      Akisha Osei Sarfo
Guilford County Schools 
Yongmei Ni
University of Utah
      Matthew Shirrell
George Washington University 
Corrie Stone-Johnson
University at Buffalo
      David Woo
Vanderbilt University 
Bryan VanGronigen
University of Delaware
      Michelle Young
University of Virginia
Sheneka Williams
University of Georgia
      Peter Youngs
University of Virginia


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