COE scholars out in force at massive AERA meeting

NEW ORLEANS — At a time when education is under scrutiny on both federal and local agendas, more than 80 University of Florida College of Education faculty and graduate students were among the 13,000 scholars gathering here April 8-12 for the 92nd annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) to examine critical issues of education research and public policy.

AERA’s complete online meeting program lists some 2,000 peer-reviewed sessions. The UF contingent included some 46 faculty researchers and 36 graduate students in education. The conference theme —“Inciting the Social Imagination: Education Research for the Public Good”— was intended to stimulate a new dialogue about the contributions that innovative education research can make toward public policy and the public good.

“Research can enable us to see through the political and polemical tangles and can move us past the current policy impasse toward a new democratic vision of schooling,” said AERA President Kris Gutierrez. “This will require nothing less than a renewed, creative social imagination.”

A complete PDF listing of AERA paper presentations, poster sessions and round tables involving UF education faculty and graduate students is available online on the COE Publications website.

The massive AERA gathering is always a hotbed of new and exciting, research-based ideas about teaching, and this year’s session was no exception. UF presentations include hot education topics such as:

— Using the Gulf oil spill to engage students in science and citizenship

— The status of African American girls as science learners

— Influencing students’ use of technology in K-12 classrooms

— Developing meaningful university-public school partnerships

— How teachers’ knowledge of reading fluency impacts student performance

— How counselors and teacher educators are preparing teachers to work with diverse student populations

— Developing math word problem-solving in students with autism

— Research-based practices in pre-school teaching

— Preparing teacher leaders in an on-the-job graduate degree program

Mirka Koro-Ljungberg

Walter Leite and Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, COE faculty members in research and evaluation methods, were especially busy, participating in 11 sessions between them. Their REM colleague, James Algina, was involved in another four sessions. Buffy Bondy (director of the School of Teaching and Learning) and counselor education professor Cerecie West-Olatunji also were linked to four presentations each. Faculty with three sessions to their credit included Ester de Jong, Patricia Snyder, Nancy Dana, Albert Ritzhaupt and Dorene Ross.

Among UF doctoral students in education attending, Deborah Alvarez Caron reported on three studies in teacher education, Ana Useche made one presentation and participated in two AERA-related activities, and Jessica Clawson participated in four sessions, including one as chair of AERA’s Graduate Student Council.

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the national interdisciplinary research association for approximately 25,000 scholars who conduct research to improve education and serve the public good.

Writer: Larry Lansford, COE News & Communications,352-273-4137;