Carol Lee Leads SESP Scholars at AERA

Carol Lee Leads SESP Scholars at AERA

Carol LeeProfessor emeritus Carol Lee has been called "a pillar of the SESP family."

School of Education and Social Policy professor emeritus Carol Lee and more than two dozen faculty members, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars will present their latest research on a wide range of education issues at the 2021 virtual American Education Research Association annual meeting held April 8 through 12.

This year’s theme for the world’s largest gathering of education researchers, Accepting Educational Responsibility, invites members to acknowledge the roles they play in tackling social and educational inequities in schools and the larger context of where children learn.

“Education researchers are not merely scholars; we are also citizens of the places in which our scholarship is produced, disseminated, and implemented,” wrote AERA president Shaun R. Harper and his program co-chairs.  “Attendees will be empowered to accept greater responsibility for social problems that plague places around the world. Our identities as citizens and as scholars will be embraced.”

The meeting includes synchronous and asynchronous sessions, interactive paper presentations, workshop and professional development courses, and networking and meet-up opportunities. Most sessions will be offered in real time (plus on-demand viewing later). An exhibit area provides meeting times with publishers and others.


  • SESP graduate students lead the way: Learning Sciences graduate students Nikki McDaid-Morgan and Addie Shrodes helped kick things off Thursday with pre-conference sessions. McDaid-Morgan chaired the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Pre-Conference. Shrodes presented her work underscoring the ethical responsibilities educators and researchers have to “support young people in the everyday work of dreaming and enacting desired futures that refuse dominant forms of normativity.” Shrodes and faculty member Eva Lam, associate professor of learning sciences, recently won the Literacy Research Association Area Chair Award for conference papers.
  • Don’t Miss: Learning Sciences professor Shirin Vossoughi, the 2019 Jan Hawkins winner, will reflect on the brilliance of children and the lived imagination of educational freedom dreams at 11:20 a.m. Friday April 9 during her talk Elsewhere Worlds, Poetics and the Science of Human Learning.
  •  Support for Transgender People: AERA Council members unanimously voted to host no events in states that pass anti-trans laws. “This was the final and most important policy action of my presidency,” said AERA 2020-21 President Shaun R. Harper.
  • Where’s Carol? Everywhere! Professor emeritus Carol D. Lee, who was recently elected president of the National Academy of Education, will be participating in three presidential sessions as well as several research panels, including Bridging Research and Practice for Transformative Education Amid Pandemics: Dialoguing With School District Leaders and Light in the Darkness: Race (11:20 a.m. Friday, April 10) and the COVID-19 Pandemic — Lessons for Humanity (1:50 p.m. Monday, April 12). Lee, a legendary figure at AERA conferences, is best known in academia for her five decades of work helping underrepresented students excel in an environment of low expectations, poverty, negative stereotypes and other barriers. 

Participating SESP faculty and graduate students are listed below. All times are Central Daylight Time.

Thursday April 8

  • Utilizing Automated Analysis of Narrative Feedback in a Competency-Based Curriculum to Assess a Student's Readiness to Progress: Celia O’Brien
  • Virtual-Reality Job Interview Training in Pre-Employment Transition Services: A Dose Effect Analysis: Neil Jordan
  • Ending Indigenous Suicide: Understanding Food and Land Systems as Fundamental to Indigenous Livelihoods: Megan Bang
  • Experienced Weavers' Engagement With Mathematics: Naomi Thompson
  • "You're in This Whole New World": Digital Artifacts Mediating Desired Futures for Trans Teens: Addie Shrodes

Friday April 9, 2021

All times listed are Central Daylight Time.

  • Characterizing the Nature of Student Theory Building in the Context of Computational Modeling Activities: Hillary Lucille Swanson (PhD20), Utah State University, Kit Martin, Maryam Hedayati, Bruce Sherin, Uri Wilensky.
  • Sorting Our Children: The Impact of School Choice Policies on the Segregation of Chicago's Public Schools: Ashley Elizabeth Uphoff.
  • Honoring Our Ancestry: Nikki McDaid Morgan.
  • What District Conditions Matter for Productive Partnering? Jennifer R Cowhy; Riley Ceperich.
  • The Life and Legacy of S. Jay Samuels: Seminal World Contributions to the Study of Reading: David Rapp, Panelist.
  • Bridging Research and Practice for Transformative Education Amid Pandemics: Dialoguing With School District Leaders: Carol Lee.
  • A Vision for the Future of STEM Education at the National Science Foundation – A Conversation with Karen Marrongelle: Megan Bang.
  • Materiality in STEAM Education: An Exploration of Basic Circuitry Concepts and Circuitry Layout Design Principles: Naomi Thompson.
  • Where, When, and How Does Mentoring Take Place? Mentors' Perspectives on the Practice of Mentoring: Kavita Matsko.
  • NAEd Civic Reasoning and Discourse Report: Carol Lee.
  • The Influence of Lesson Planning as Evidenced in Social Media on Elementary Mathematics Teachers' Instruction: Sihua Hu.

Saturday, April 10

  • How Do Ants Know What to Do? Kit Martin, Uri Wilensky.
  • Research at the Junctures: Investigating How Routines Shape Research Use in District Leader Decision Making: Xiao Bohannon, Cynthia Coburn, James Spillane, Riley Ceperich.
  • Motivated for Societal Change: Critical Perspectives on Race, Class, and Opportunity in Motivation Research Panelists: Mesmin Destin.
  • Beliefs and Achievement – The role of growth mindset in 21st century education: Larry Hedges, Chair.
  • Incidental Vocabulary Learning From Educational Media: Explicit Scaffolds on Screen Support Preschool-Aged Dual Language Learners: Rachel Flynn.
  • Exploring the Association Between Student-College Match and Student Outcomes Over Time: Amanda Cook.
  • Connecting the "Chemistry Triplet" Through Co-Designing Computational Models With Teachers: A Case Study on Calorimetry: Umit Aslan, Sally Wu, Michael Horn, Uri Wilensky.
  • Overcoming Misinformation by Supportive Use of Internet Searches: Practices and Evidence: David Rapp, Amalia Donovan, Michael Spikes, Nikita Salovich.
  • Weaving Together: Exploring How Pluralistic Mathematical Practices Emerge Through Weaving: Naomi Thompson.
  • Instructional Coaching and Educational Infrastructure for Elementary Mathematics: Abigail Stein, 1:30 to 3 p.m.
  • Navigating Educational Landscapes for Indigenous Youth and Communities: Nikki McDaid Morgan-Chair.
  • School Leaders' Sense-Making About Teacher Recruitment and Retention: A Cross-Case Analysis of Five School Systems: Naomi Blaushild.
  • What Are Good Jobs and Who Gets Them?: James Rosenbaum, Gorana Ilic, Ashley Elizabeth Uphoff.
  • Breaking the Climate of No Alternatives: Power of Utopian Methodology, Shirin Vossoughi, 3:10 to 4:40 p.m.
  • How Do We Know If New Teachers Are Prepared? Considering Different Predictors of Instructional Readiness: Kavita Matsko.
  • Addressing and Advancing the Role of Culture in Educational Research, Carol Lee.

Sunday  April 11

  • Reform/Abolition Tensions in School-Based Restorative Justice: Eleanor Anderson (PhD17), University of Pittsburgh.
  • Supporting Teacher Noticing of Student Mathematical Thinking Through the Use of Online Tools: Sarah Larison, Jen Richards, Miriam Sherin.
  • What Teachers Notice About Students' Interactional Dynamics During Collaborative Mathematics and Their Connections to Practice: Jen Munson.
  • Early Career Research Fellowship and Funding Opportunities: Leah Bricker.
  • Exploring Kindergarteners' Emerging Mathematics Identitiess: Mari Altshuler.
  • National Patterns of Career and Technical Education Course Offerings in Comprehensive Public High Schools: Lynn Meissner.
  •  Losing the "Privilege of Patience": Education Grantmaking and Equity Movements in 2020: Heather McCambly, Krystal Villanosa, Clare Mackevicius.
  • Creating Expansive and Equitable Learning Environments: Elaborating the RISE Learning Principles: Carol D. Lee. Breakout: Megan Bang Reed Stevens, Sepehr Vakil.
  • Sense-Making, Ethnic Racial Identity, and Racial Diversity in Schools: Sebastian Castrechini.
  • New Uses and Settings for Mixed- and Multimethod Research, Kit Martin Chair.
  • Cinematic Intersection Series: The “Green Book” Personified: AERA Past Presidents Reflect on Guiding Scholars of Color Through the Academy: Carol Lee.

Monday, April 12

  • Virtual Community Conversations With Youth-Serving Organizations to Understand Service, Support, and Resiliency During a Pandemic: Nichole Pinkard, 8:30 to 10 a.m.
  • "It's Where My Heart Is": Exploring Fast-Track Urban Teachers' Career Decisions and Perceptions of Teaching: Naomi Blaushild, 8:30 to 10 a.m.
  • Experiences of Forced School Choice for Families of Students With Dis/abilities: Jen Cowhy, 8:30 to 10 a.m.
  • "I Want to Be Part of the Solution": Exploring Teacher Commitment in Urban Schools: Naomi Blaushild, 10:10 to 11:40 a.m.
  • Humor, Learning, and Multimodal Choreographies of Political Possibility on YouTube: Addie Shrodes, 10:10 to 11:40 a.m.
  • "You Don't Get Treated as a Student": Negotiating Life and Learning in a Carceral Figured World: Julissa Ortiz Muñiz, 10:10 to 11:40 a.m.
  • Love, Study, Struggle, Resistance: Centering the Possibilities of Scholar-Activism in Pursuits for Social Justice & Liberation: Stephanie Taylor Jones, 10:10 to 11:40 a.m.
  • A Technology-Mediated Co-Design Approach for Integrating Computational Thinking in a Science Classroom: Sugat Dabholkar, Michael Horn, Uri Wilensky, 10:10 to 11:40 a.m.
  • What Happens When Indigenous Women Scholars Become Activists: Possibilities and Perils: Megan Bang, 1:30 to 3 p.m.
  • Designing Computational Models as Emergent Systems Microworlds for Learning Biomaking Digitally: Sugat Dabholkar, 1:50 to 3:20 p.m.
  • Light in the Darkness: Race and the COVID-19 Pandemic — Lessons for Humanity: Carol Lee, 1:50 to 3:20 p.m.
  • Educators Take Action on Climate Change and Sustainability: Megan Bang, 1:50 to 3:20 p.m.
  • Rural Districts' Priorities and Decision Making Around Curriculum and Instruction Before and During COVID-19: Alisa Reith, 3:30 to 5 p.m.
  • Fostering Youth-Adult Partnerships Through Out-of-School Time: Nichole Pinkard, 3:30 to 5 p.m.


By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 4/22/21