NOTE: Our SIG membership voted in 2013 to create an Outstanding Student Paper Award. The Award awaits approval by AERA SIG Executive Committee. However, the description, previous award winners, and call are listed below. Please check back for updates.

Award Description
The members of the Special Interest Group (SIG), Teachers’ work/Teachers Unions, aim to recognize doctoral-level or master-level research that focuses on teachers’ work and/or teachers unions in historical or contemporary context. Areas of interest include teachers’ labor processes, teacher unions, organised teacher activism, labor relations in schools and universities, teachers’ professional learning, particularly where linked to teacher union initiatives. (This list is intended to be indicative but not prescriptive.) It should also be reiterated that the SIG’s interests cover all phases of education (pre-school through to higher and adult education).

The winner is awarded $200, which may be applied toward the cost of attending the AERA conference; a mentor drawn from the SIG membership to support publication in an appropriate journal; and, an AERA Certificate of Award presented at the SIG Annual Business Meeting. The award winner is encouraged to submit a paper based on the work to the SIG program the year following the award.

Rationale for Establishing the Award

Established in 2013, the rationale for the award was to encourage and recognize emerging scholars in the field of teachers’ work or teachers’ unions; bring exemplary new research to the attention of the global network of Teachers’ Work/Teachers Unions members; and, to encourage emerging scholars’ participation in the SIG.

2013 Award Winner: Fiona King, St. Patrick’s College, Dublin (current/2016), Doctoral Dissertation (EdD), University of Lincoln: Developing and sustaining teachers’ professional learning: A case study of collaborative professional development

2014 Award Winner:  Jeff Roy Garsed, Australian Education Union (AEU, current/2016), Doctoral Dissertation (PhD), University of Tasmania: Teachers’ work in a time of major curriculum change.

2015 Award Winner: Heidi K. Pitzer, St. Lawrence University (current/2016), Doctoral Dissertation  (PhD), Syracuse University: Deficit Discourse, Urban Teachers' Work, and the Blame Game

Eligibility Requirements

  • Nominees must have successfully defended their dissertation or thesis the year prior to the award year
  • Recipient may choose to serve on the Award Committee the year following the award

Submission Requirements

  • A completed nomination form (see below). Candidates are strongly encouraged to include a supporting statement (500 words max) provided by someone with good knowledge of the work. This is likely to be the proposer, supervisor, or examiner. (Self-nominations are acceptable.)
  • Confirmation from dissertation or thesis supervisor or from degree-granting university that indicates the completion date of the dissertation or thesis
  • Curriculum vitae
  • A one-page dissertation or thesis abstract (double spaced, .pdf format)
  • The dissertation or thesis (double spaced, .pdf format)
  • The applicant must remove all identifiable references to individuals, institutions and, places in the one-page abstract and synopsis for blind review
  • Finalists may be required to submit their full dissertation or thesis after the first round of adjudication

Selection Criteria

  • Definition of the problem or question is clearly articulated
  • Rationale for the study is persuasive
  • Research approach is appropriate for the problem and rationale
  • Findings are well established and articulated
  • Conclusion(s) or interpretation(s) are grounded in the data
  • Contribution to the field of Teachers’ Work and/or Teachers Unions

Nomination-to-award Timeline

  • Deadline for Submissions: December of year prior to award
  • Winner Notification/Confirmation: February prior to award / conference
  • Decision announced to members via Teachers’ work / Teachers Unions’ email listserv, posted to the SIG Facebook page, and through AERA award notification SIG Annual Business Meeting within 48 hours of winner confirmation.