AERA Honors James Spillane for Outstanding Research, Elects Barbara Schneider (PhD79) President

AERA Honors James Spillane for Outstanding Research, Elects Barbara Schneider (PhD79) President

Jim Spillane

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) recently named SESP professor James Spillane an AERA Fellow. He is one of 36 scholars to become AERA Fellows in recognition of their exceptional scholarly contributions to education research.

Through the Fellows Program, launched in 2008, AERA emphasizes the importance of excellent research contributions in the field of education. AERA executive director Felice J. Levine applauded the new Fellows for their substantive and sustained scholarship. “The Class of 2012 Fellows continues this Association’s strong commitment to sound and rigorous research on education and learning that advances knowledge and thereby serves the public good,” she said. AERA is the national interdisciplinary research association for approximately 25,000 scholars who undertake research in education.

The 2012 Fellows will be inducted on April 14 during AERA’s 93rd Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Fellows designation is a high honor of the Association, awarded after fellows are nominated by peers, selected by a program committee and approved by the governing council. SESP professors Larry Hedges, Carol Lee and Penelope Peterson and professor emeritus Allan Collins are current AERA Fellows.

Also at the annual meeting, SESP postdoctoral fellow Megan Hopkins, who works with Spillane, will receive a research award. Hopkins was selected as the second place winner of the AERA Bilingual SIG Dissertation Award. Her research was recognized for having implications for the field of bilingual education. Hopkins’s research focuses on the preparation of teachers of English learners and the implementation of federal and state policies for racial and linguistic minority students.

The new president-elect of AERA is SESP alumna Barbara Schneider (PhD79), the John A. Hannah Chair and University Distinguished Professor in the College of Education and Department of Sociology at Michigan State University. Her term as president starts at the conclusion of the 2013 annual meeting, after one year of service as president-elect.

Spillane, who is the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change, is at the forefront of education research. His work explores the policy implementation process at the state, school district, school and classroom levels. He has worked to develop a cognitive perspective on the implementation process, exploring how local policy-makers, both administrators and teachers, come to understand state and national reforms. Spillane is also interested in organizational leadership and change; his work conceptualizes organizational leadership as a distributed practice involving formal and informal leaders, followers and a variety of organizational tools and artifacts. He is the author of Distributed Leadership and co-author of Distributed Leadership in Practice.

Schneider too is widely recognized for her education research. Her work focuses on family, social context of schooling, and sociology of knowledge. Her teaching and research examine social contexts of schools and families and the influence they exert on academic and social well-being of adolescents as they move into adulthood. Schneider places a particular emphasis on improving educational opportunities for students with limited economic and social resources. She is the co-author of 15 books, including The Ambitious Generation, Becoming Adult and Trust in Schools.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 7/27/17