Curry Faculty and Students Head to AERA


This week the American Educational Research Association (AERA) hosts its annual meeting that addresses “the power of education research for innovation in practice and policy.” Faculty and graduate students from the Curry School of Education will embark on Philadelphia, PA, for five days of discussion and presentations.

With over 130 presentations total from the University of Virginia, researchers are addressing all aspects of education from practice, to policy, to research. For example, Stephanie van Hover, associate professor of social studies education, will lead a team of colleagues in a presentation called, “Sure, Sources, but Then What? Historical ‘Practices’ and the Development of the Protocol for Assessing the Teaching of History.”

Jennifer ChiuJennifer Chiu, assistant professor of science, technology, engineering, and math education, will present “Physical and Virtual Manipulatives in Mechanical Engineering Education” with Edward Pan, research associate, Karen K. Inkelas, associate professor and director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and others colleagues from the University of Virginia.

Chiu will also present “Young Children Doing Science: The Use of Scientific Practices in Kindergarten and First-Grade Classrooms” with Eileen G. Merritt, Curry assistant professor, as well as “The Effects of Mixed-Reality Laboratories on High School Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Gas Laws” with Curry research associates Jie Chao and Edward Pan and doctoral student Crystal J. DeJaegher .

Faculty and students from our other centers will have a strong presence at the conference, as well. Jim Wyckoff, Director of EdPolicyWorks, is leading an invited session entitled “Educational Policy Makers and Researchers Schooling Each Other: Building Research Partnerships Between Researchers and School Districts” that focuses on mutual collaborations between school districts and researchers. This session will be moderated by John Q. Easton, the Director of the Institute of Educational Sciences, who also gave the keynote at the most recent CASTL Meeting about measurement.

Ben Castleman, an assistant professor and researcher at EdPolicyWorks, is presenting during a Presidential featured session that examines “Innovations in Access to and Success in College.” Castleman will be discussing topics such as college financing and affordability, challenges students face in the transition from high school to college, and the academic needs of students once they arrive on their college campus.

Chris HullemanChris Hulleman, associate research professor at the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), is an invited panelist for a session focused on relationship building as a means of promoting research in schools and classrooms. The symposium titled “Maximizing the Benefit of Teacher/Researcher Partnerships in the Classroom-Based Development and Implementation Projects” will draw from the experiences of teachers and researchers who have collaborated on instructional interventions.

A session led by Curry School of Education Dean Robert Pianta, CASTL researcher Erik Ruzek will discuss ways research can inform teacher practice and support growth. Panelists will present original research using data from the cutting-edge Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project, developed “to investigate how a set of measures could identify effective teaching fairly and reliably.”

Several Curry graduate students are also taking the lead in conference discussions. Carol Paxton, a CASTL graduate student and Virginia Education Science Training (VEST) fellow, is leading an invited session and fireside chat, in which panelists including Patricia Jennings, associate professor, and Jason Downer, research associate professor and director of CASTL, will discuss best strategies in the education research grant-writing process. Another CASTL graduate student and VEST fellow, Amy Roberts, will present her research on professional development for teacher quality and motivation during a roundtable session.

Carol PaxtonThe AERA opening plenary Session will be given by Teresa A. Sullivan, President of the University of Virginia entitled “A Pipeline of Innovation: Education Research from K-12 to College.” Sullivan will speak about education research that is leading to innovative practices and policies at every level of education, from kindergarten through higher education, making the case for a continuum of innovation. This session will be live streamed.

Additional Curry School professors who will be presenting at AERA include Allison Atteberry, Daphna Bassok, Catherine Brighton, Carolyn Callahan, Dewey Cornell, Sarah Dexter, Bridget Hamre, Marcia Invernizzi, Amanda Kibler, Tim Konold, Jennifer LoCasale-Crouch, Tonya Moon, Natalia Palacios, Sara Rimm-Kaufman, Josipa Roksa, Ji Hoon Ryoo, Robert Tai, Stanley Trent, Heather Wathington, Joanna Lee Williams, Amanda Williford, Ellie Wilson, Michelle Young, and Peter Youngs.

The AERA Annual Meeting is the largest gathering of scholars in the field of education research. It is a showcase for ground-breaking, innovative studies in a diverse array of areas – from early education through higher education, from digital learning to second language literacy.

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EdPolicyWorks is a joint collaboration between the Curry School of Education and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. EdPolicyWorks brings together researchers from across the University of Virginia and the State to focus on important questions of educational policy and implications for the workforce.