Trending Research Topics
Trending Research Topics

The AERA Trending Research Topics page highlights published research from AERA's peer-reviewed journals on major education topics currently making headlines. Articles are provided here at no cost to help inform and enhance public discussion, media coverage, and policy development.

Articles are organized by issue into "Trending Topic Research Files," which are listed below alphabetically. The articles are listed by publication date as well as by author. Links to full articles, author webpages, and author email addresses are included. To suggest a new topic file, email   

Trending Topic Research Files

Achievement Gaps
Achievement gaps demonstrating differences in academic performance between students of different genders, races, and income levels are prevalent in school districts across the country. 

Affirmative Action
Despite two Supreme Court rulings on the issue since 2013, the future of affirmative action in college admissions is still being debated, and it remains one of the most contentious issues in American higher education.

Bullying Prevention and School Safety
Bullying presents one of the greatest health risks to children, youth, and young adults in U.S. society today. School safety, including the prevention is bullying, is a top national priority and a key area of academic research.

Common Core State Standards
The Common Core State Standards, released in 2010 for English language arts and mathematics, have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia. 

Coronavirus, Education Research, and Education
 At all levels of education, instructors, institution leaders, and policy makers are facing an unprecedented challenge that are caused by the coronavirus pandemic, trying to ensure that high quality and equitable teaching and learning continues under rapidly changing and unpredictable conditions. 

Early Education
Early education, including preschool, prekindergarten, and programs such as Head Start, is a robust area of education research.

Financial Aid
Research supports the notion that financial aid can influence students’ postsecondary opportunities, decisions, and outcomes, but questions remain about the impact and optimal design of financial aid programs and policies.

Recent legal, social, and policy shifts in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LBGTQ) people are causing educators and education researchers to address LGBTQ issues with a new sense of legitimacy and urgency.

Non-Cognitive Outcomes
School leaders are increasingly focused on students' non-cognitive skills and outcomes - such as interpersonal and communication skills, perseverance, and self-discipline - as a way to enhance their overall academic performance.

School Choice
Programs that offer students and their parents options to local public schools – including vouchers, charter schools, magnet schools, and open enrollment – are increasingly common and hotly debated.

Value Added Models
Over the past decade, the use of value‐added models (VAM) in teacher and administrator evaluation has grown nationally, while becoming one of education’s most controversial issues. 

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