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AERA in Denver: The Fun Begins

As you may have gathered my blog entry yesterday, the American Educational Research Association's annual research fest has begun in Denver.

More than 12,000 researchers—including 1,500 scholars from foreign countries—are flocking to the Mile High City for the five-day research extravaganza. Heck, even Vice President Joe Biden is rumored to be in town, though not for AERA. And, yes, I'm here, too. And were it not for the snow flurries and the frigid temperatures, it could have been a nice junket for all of us.

Every year snarky bloggers have a field day making fun of the conference's thick program book with more than 1,000 presentations that run from the researchy to the radical, all of them described in words too big to fit in a Twitter message. (See Rick Hess' take earlier this week on the program offerings this year.)

I know I can't wait to attend the session on "Analysis of Unidimensionality Testing Procedures in Item-Response Data Via Principal Component Analysis of Residuals from the Rasch Model." Or I could choose the one promising to give an "ideological perspective of faculty activity and inactivity in season one of `Buffy the Vampire Slayer.' "
There are sessions, too, on the Cheetah girls, a video-ethnography on Hawaii Creole, and more than one title that incorporates Maori language. But the big international focus this year is China, that other superpower. Chinese and U.S. education leaders are scheduled to take part in several cross-cultural discussions on Sunday.

Wherever I end up, I'll keep you posted. Look for my blog posts through the weekend.

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