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A Little Background Reading Before AERA 2015


Nearly 15,000 education research addicts are en route to Chicago this week for the annual American Educational Research Association conference.


The theme this year is "Toward Justice: Culture, Language, and Heritage in Education Research and Praxis," with lectures digging into everything from the education fallout from last year's fatal police shooting in Ferguson, Mo. to the challenges of providing college courses in prison

For those sitting at the airport or putting off tackling the mammoth conference program, here's a little light reading: Education Week features on a few of the research sessions being highlighted this week:

  • Education research lost a pioneer in site-based studies when John I. Goodlad passed away last fall. AERA will hold a symposium on his work and legacy on Friday morning.
  • The American Psychological Association has released the final report of a task force on the use of value-added measures in teacher training programs. Frank C. Worrell, the director of school psychology at the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Education and chairman of the task force, talked about its findings in a recent essay, and my colleague Steve Sawchuck at Teacher Beat analyzed how the report compared with other recent analyses. Get familiar with it before the AERA discussion of its implications on Saturday.
  • For a look at a practical approach to turning middle-of-the-road students into school leaders and tutors, check out the Peer Enabled Restructured Classroom program in New York City. Researchers evaluating the initiative will be on hand to discuss it at an AERA symposium on Friday.

For those befuddled by the at-times obtuse titles and descriptions of the conference's research sessions, check out my colleague Ben Herold's plain-English guide to AERA (written, at great pain, at a 5th-grade reading level.)

See you in Chicago!

Want more research news? Follow @SarahDSparks on Twitter for the latest studies, and join the conversation.

Photo: With weather expected in the high 50s to low 70s, this weekend, perhaps a few hardy AERA conference attendees will follow the lead of this paddle boarder coasting along the surface of Lake Michigan with the skyline of downtown Chicago in the background last summer.--Kiichiro Sato/AP-File

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