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Ed Research Angst: An AERA Challenger?

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Researchers spend a lot of time at AERA bemoaning the heterogeneous quality of the work presented. After a few glasses of wine, someone will suggest that the dissatisfied band together and start an organization to compete with AERA. Few realize that this has already happened, albeit quietly, with the founding of the Society for Research in Educational Effectiveness with support from the Institute of Educational Sciences. Here's more detail:

The Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) was formed to provide an organizational infrastructure that supports and promotes research focused on cause-and-effect relations important for education. The field of education research has always worked to construct a foundation of knowledge upon which educational practices may be reliably based. For nearly a century now, the American Educational Research Association has been the main professional organization that has supported and disseminated the work of education researchers. While recognizing the great contribution that AERA has made and will continue to make to education, many in the field of education have expressed the need for a more narrowly focused research organization.

The advisory board is stacked with heavy hitters, and folks have big aspirations for turning its flagship journal, the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, into the educational equivalent of the Journal of the American Medical Association. To be sure, educational research should not be limited to the study of the causal effects of interventions. But AERA has not exercised the quality control that it should and, quite frankly, I'm frustrated. For the disenchanted, SREE now offers a promising complement - or alternative - to AERA.

One more session, and I'm done for this year. Stay tuned for summaries of the Dropout Factories session, the Russ Whitehurst talk, a session on K-2 literacy coaches, yesterday morning's vice-presidential session on families and neighborhoods, and this afternoon's session on charters and choice.
2 Comments

Some SREE members are uncomfortable describing SREE as "competing" with AERA. A complement, or alternative, sure. And I'm with you on the lack of adequate quality control in AERA. But since there's a lot of important research in education that would never make it onto the SREE conference program or into the SREE journal, it's critical that there be venues for presenting and disseminating that research widely.

Thanks for posting that note, skoolboy. The distinction is important.

By the way, has anyone made a list of the new educational policy and research organizations that have come into existence since 2000? I'm speaking of organizations that probably would not have existed had US tax dollars not funded them. Do these organizations have anything in common?

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  • Kathy McKean: Thanks for posting that note, skoolboy. The distinction is important. read more
  • skoolboy: Some SREE members are uncomfortable describing SREE as "competing" with read more

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