In what is perhaps a sign of the growing maturity of the field of school research, scholars from around the world yesterday announced plans to form the first World Education Research Association.
The 25 groups that make up the organization represent more 60,000 researchers from six continents. The member groups come from, among other nations, Australia, the U.K., Mexico, Pakistan, Japan, Singapore, Peru, Turkey, Germany, and, of course, the United States, which has the largest and possibly the oldest education research group in the world. And, unlike some other international scholarly groups, this one will include both specialty groups, such as the Spanish Society of Pedagogy, and groups like the Nordic Education Research Association, which represent regions of the world.
Felice J. Levine, AERA's executive director, is the interim secretary general for the
group and Ingrid Gogolin, an education professor from the University of Hamburg in
Germany, will be the interim president.
There are no plans now for publishing any academic journals or holding any world congresses on education research. (If you think AERA meetings are overwhelming, can you imagine what would it be like at a convention for this group?)
What the association does plan to do, however, is spark the formation of international working groups on particular topics, collaborate on issues of common interest, and synthesize findings from around the world, among other activities. A Web site is already up and running and the group's first meeting of organizational leaders is scheduled to take place next week in Vienna.
Levine says the collaboration was the idea of Eva L. Baker, who was AERA's president in 2006-07, and its development was two years in the making. The group's headquarters will be wherever the secretary general is, which, for now, is in Washington.
Photo of Felice J. Levine courtesy of WERA.