Scholars at AERA Explore Equitable Education

Scholars at AERA Explore Equitable Education

Carol Lee laughingHow and what should schools teach? Professor emerita Carol Lee tackles thorny ed issues at AERA.Northwestern University’s Carol Lee will address one of the most hotly debated and contentious issues in education–how schools should teach–during the American Educational Research Association’s 2022 annual meeting from April 21 to 26 in San Diego.

Lee, professor emerita of education at the School of Education and Social Policy, delivers the Distinguished Lecture at 3:15 p.m. (CDT) April 24 in Ballroom 6F in the San Diego Convention Center.  

The current disputes over how schools should teach US history, which and whether books should be banned, controversy over race and gender, and potential violence towards teachers and school board members, threatens how public education prepares young people for navigating democracy, says Lee, president of the National Academy of Education.

“Our ability to develop equitable systems to support robust learning and development must wrestle with these conundrums, ideally informed by comprehensive understandings of human learning and development, and rooted in historical context,” she says.

This year’s annual meeting, the largest annual gathering of education research scholars, features both in person and livestreamed lectures. Organized around the theme “Cultivating Equitable Education Systems for the 21st Century,” the meeting showcases groundbreaking, innovative work in wide variety of subject areas and features more than 100 SESP faculty, graduate students, and alumni.

Lee, an important role model for younger scholars and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, received AERA’s 2021 Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award. She delivered the Presidential Address in 2010 when she was President of AERA and the Wallace Distinguished Lecture at AERA in 2008.

AERA Highlights:

  • Megan Bang, professor of learning sciences and psychology and vice president of the Spencer Foundation, received the Scholars of Color Mid-Career Contribution Award, which recognizes researchers working on issues that disproportionately impact minority populations. A member of the National Academy of Education, she is the second School of Education and Social Policy faculty member to receive the award; Lee was the first in 2008.
  • Graduate student Ayah Kamel and professor Cynthia Coburn won the Outstanding Publication Award from the Districts in Research and Reform Special Interest Group of AERA. Lok-Sze Wong, former Northwestern University postdoc and current assistant professor at the University of North Texas is first author, with Coburn and Kamel contributing. The award-winning article is “How central office leaders influence school leaders’ decision making: Unpacking power dynamics in two school-based decision-making systems.”
  • Human Development and Social Policy alumna Heather McCambly (PhD21), assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, won AERA’s Dissertation Award for Division J: Postsecondary Education. Her dissertation is titled “Change Agents or Same Agents? Grantmakers and Racial Inequity in U.S. Higher Education.” McCambly’s chair was Jeannette Colyvas with Jon Guryan, Jim Spillane, and Shirin Vossoughi rounding out her committee.
  • SESP alumni presenting or coauthoring work at the conference include: Megan Bang (PhD09), Northwestern; Allena Berry (PhD21) University School of Nashville; Erica Halverson (PhD05) University of Wisconsin-Madison; Cassandra Hart (PhD11) University of California-Davis; Daniel Rees Lewis (PhD18), Northwestern; Constance Lindsay (PhD10), University of North Carolina; Kit Martin (PhD21), Penn State University; Meixi (BS11), University of Minnesota; Kalonji Nzinga (PhD18), University of Colorado-Boulder; Nichole Pinkard, (PhD98), Northwestern; Kay Ramey (PhD17), University of Iowa; Aireale Joi Rodgers (BS11, MA18) University of Southern California; Carrie Tzou (PhD08), University of Washington-Bothell; Elizabeth van Es (PhD04), University of California, Irvine.

View a roundup of all SESP presenters and participants.

Presidential Sessions featuring SESP researchers, graduate students and alumni:

Thursday, April 21, 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. CDT
Building and Sustaining Community Partnerships for Justice-Centered Computing Education
Authors: Sepehr Vakil, Alisa Reith, Natalie Araujo Melo, Christopher Spence

Friday, April 22, 1:30 to 3 p.m. CDT
Authors: Allena Berry (PhD21) University School of Nashville, Kalonji Nzinga (PhD18), University of Colorado-Boulder; Sepehr Vakil, Shirin Vossoughi

Friday, April 22, 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Round Table: Reimagining the Education Research Commons: Toward Epistemic Justice
Presenter: Shirin Vossoughi
Commons Vision 2
Author: Megan Bang

Friday, April 22, 4:30 to 6 p.m. CDT
Community Within: Activism and Community-Based Research as a Way of Life
Presenter: Nikki McDaid

Friday, April 22, 4:30 to 6 p.m. CDT
Invited Speaker Session: How Can the Science of Human Learning and Development Inform Preparing Students to Engage in Civic Reasoning?
Chair: Carol Lee
Introduction to the Problem
Author: Carol Lee
Conceptual and Pedagogical Challenges of Teaching Civic Reasoning Across the Curriculum
Author: Carol Lee

Saturday, April 23, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Invited Speaker Session: Reimagining Methodological Approaches for Disrupting Anti-Blackness in STEM Education
Discussant: Leslie Russell

Saturday, April 23, 4:30 to 6 p.m. CTD
The 25th Conversations With Senior Scholars on Advancing Research and Professional Development Related to Black Education
Addressing and Advancing the Role of Culture in Educational Research
Author: Carol Lee

Sunday, April 24, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Measuring Equity: How Do We Measure Equity in Schools at Scale?
Panelist: Constance Lindsay (PhD10)

Sunday, April 24, 4:30 to 6 p.m.
COVID-19 in California Community Colleges: College Responses, College Resources, and Student Outcomes
Author: Cassandra Hart (PhD11)

Monday, April 25, 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.
Education's Role in Cultivating Indigenous Futures
Moderator: Megan Bang

Technology for Learning: Advancing Equity or Maintaining the Status Quo?
Tuesday, April 26, 1:30 to 3 p.m. CDT
Chair: Sepehr Vakil
Panelist: Nichole Pinkard

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 4/18/22