December ER Releases Key New Studies: Higher Education Diversity, Common Core Advocacy, Improving Professional Development, Continuing Relevance of Textbooks
December ER Releases Key New Studies: Higher Education Diversity, Common Core Advocacy, Improving Professional Development, Continuing Relevance of Textbooks
 
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For Immediate Release
December 20, 2013

Contact:
Tony Pals, tpals@aera.net
office: (202) 238-3235
cell: (202) 288-9333
Bridget Jameson, bjameson@aera.net
office: (202) 238-3233 

December ER Releases Key New Studies: Higher Education Diversity, Common Core Advocacy, Improving Professional Development, Continuing Relevance of Textbooks

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 20, 2013 ─ The December 2013 issue of Educational Researcher (ER), a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), is now available on the association’s website. The December issue of ER includes four feature articles.

This month’s articles include the following: 

  • “Diversity ≠ Inclusion: Promoting Integration in Higher Education” by Marta Tienda 

    In this essay, Tienda argues that enrollment of a diverse student body is only the first step toward realizing the broader goal of inclusion. She calls on university leaders to embrace deliberate strategies and practices that promote meaningful social and academic interactions among students who differ in their experiences, views, and traits. Failing to do so, Tienda argues, harms students by not fully realizing the educational benefits that diversity offers, and does a disservice to American democracy. In addition to discussing the benefits of diverse campuses and outlining the challenges to achieving meaningful integration, Tienda suggests an agenda for higher education leaders to capitalize on diversity. Tienda is a professor at Princeton University: tienda@princeton.edu, (609) 258-5808. 
  • “Organized Interests and the Common Core” by Lorraine M. McDonnell and M. Stephen Weatherford

    McDonnell and Weatherford draw on interviews with major participants in the push for – and against – Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to assess the effectiveness of strategies for mobilizing support for – and opposition to – the standards.  They find that proponents have been more involved than is typical for interest groups in rethinking an idea that had failed in the recent past and securing its adoption in diverse state political environments. The ability of Common Core leaders to maintain a visible distance from the federal government during development of the standards, and the unprecedented level of support from foundations, was critical to their early success.  However, emerging opposition groups, fiscal constraints facing states and districts, and the potential erosion support for CCSS among some groups as test use becomes a larger issue, will challenge the success of proponents as they push forward with implementation, and may require them to adjust their tactics. McDonnell is a professor at the University of California-Santa Barbara: mcdonnell@polsci.ucsb.edu, (805) 893-7128. Weatherford is a professor at the University of California-Santa Barbara: weatherford@polsci.ucsb.edu, (805) 893-5811. 
  • “Professional Development Research: Consensus, Crossroads, and Challenges” by Heather C. Hill, Mary Beisiegel, and Robin Jacob

    Hill, Beisiegel , and Jacob write that common approaches to evaluating professional development have not enhanced the education field’s knowledge of effective program characteristics, leaving practitioners and policymakers without guidance on best practices.  Yet because professional development is often a primary vehicle for districts when implementing new policy initiatives – such as data-driven instruction and the Common Core State Standards – professional development must be locally designed and frequently redesigned to meet teachers’ needs. Therefore, an emphasis on research that identifies best practices, rather than a list of “programs that work,” is critical. The authors propose a multi-stage alternative to the current professional development research cycle used by the Institute of Education Sciences. Hill is a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education: heather_hill@gse.harvard.edu, (617) 495-1898. Beisiegel is an assistant professor at Oregon State University: beisiegm@math.oregonstate.edu, (541) 737-8397. Jacob is a research assistant professor at the University of Michigan: rjacob@umich.edu, (734) 647-4194. 
  • “The Past and Likely Future of an Educational Form: A Textbook Case” by Norm Friesen 

    Friesen analyzes the textbook, including its e-textbook and open textbook variants, as a teaching and learning tool. Some have claimed that the textbook is obsolete in a digital age, but Friesen, focusing on the textual and visual content of the textbook as well as the discussion it drives, finds that the textbook provides an indispensable means of prompting inductive reasoning, ordering knowledge, and invigorating learning.  Friesen is an associate professor at Boise State University: normfriesen@boisestate.edu, (208) 426-2186. 

About AERA

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national professional organization devoted to the scientific study of education. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on Facebook and Twitter.

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