Category Archives: AERA

AERA Award

At the American Education Research Association annual meeting in April, Clive Beck, Clare Kosnik and members of their research team received an award from the AERA Constructivist SIG for a submission based on their longitudinal study of 40 teachers. This study, which began in 2004, has been funded by four successive SSHRC grants and will continue for at least two more years; it is one of the most extensive longitudinal studies of teachers ever conducted. Also in April, a chapter on longitudinal research written by Clive, Clare and Elizabeth Rosales was published in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia, Education.


Thoughts on being a student of teaching

As I (Yiola) prepare for the upcoming AERA conference by finalizing and editing my papers I am drawn to a few key ideas on teacher development that I have come across in the literature.

The International Handbook of Teacher Education  volumes 1 and 2 (Loughran and Hamilton Eds., 2016) include a number of chapters on topics in teacher education. Our own team leaders Clare Kosnik and Clive Beck along with close colleague Lin Goodwin (Teachers College, Columbia University) share a chapter on Reform Efforts in Teacher Education. 


The volumes are filled with interesting chapters.  What has caught my attention at this time is a chapter on teacher led professional development. Bullough and Smith write on Being a student of teaching: Practitioner research and study groups.  The chapter describes the idea of being a student of teaching (as a current practitioner) from two dimensions: the personal and the contextual. Exploring reflective practice (the personal dimension) and opportunities and support for teacher learning (the contextual dimension), the authors share insights from Dewey (1933) to Avalos (2004, 2011) and Livingston (2011).  The chapter also explores ways of being a student of teaching: through practitioner research and study groups and the varied ways one can learn. An in-depth and detailed review and analysis of teacher led professional development.

This work fits beautifully with my paper titled: Examining the Professional Life of an Elementary School Teacher: Literacy Education in the Making where I have taken one participant from our 13 year longitudinal study of 40 elementary schools teachers from Canada and the USA and shared her literacy teaching trajectory (mainly from the contextual dimension). I am looking forward to sharing this paper and work at the upcoming AERA conference in late April.

Photo Journal of my Experience @ AERA

Here are some snapshots and highlights of my experience at AERA this year. If I (yiola) could name the experience I would call it:  Goosebumps and Inspirations… it was just that good.

  1.  I attended a Round Table session (this is where presenters gather at a “round table” and share their research). The Round table is a great opportunity to not only share your work but hear from others in a less formal manner.  This round table was hosted by the  Writing and Literacies special interest group (SIG) and the focus of the round table was critical literacy.  Dr. Barbara Comber from the University of South Australia presented on critical literacy pedagogy in the early years. Her work and my work are closely aligned.

2.I attended a presidential talk that was a tribute to the life and work of Dr. Phil Jackson. The focus of the talk was on the question of education.  I really like what this panel did: each panel member selected a passage from a text written by Dr. Jackson and talked about its significance to them. A paragraph was read from The Practice of Teaching and the idea of transformative teaching… such an important and central idea in progressive education. A piece was read from Handbook of Research on Curriculum: Conceptions of Curriculum and the the idea that school is systematically harming children… and how can we work against that?  Linda Darling-Hammond read a passage from his famous book Life in Classrooms and spoke of the “multi-dimensionality and simultaneously nature of teaching” and the essential relationships associated with teaching. And, one panel member shared from Dr. Jackson’s last book published in 2012, What is Education and spoke of education as pure and simple; something we must rededicate ourselves too over time.


3. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to the presidential lecture  for Division K hosted by Dr. Lin Goodwin, Teachers College Columbia University.  A remarkable speaker who not only inspires with her words but truly challenged me to think about what quality teacher education requires. What I like most about Dr. Goodwin is her genuine nature. A distinguished academic and also a beautiful human being. Here are some pictures from her talk including slides from her presentation.



4. Yet another interesting Presidential session with Wayne Au, Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Kevin Kumashiro (and others) that explored policy and standards in Teacher Education. Laden with some controversial findings for the testing systems for new teachers and teacher education programs, the presentations were provocative and interesting:


5. The last session I would like to share is one where we presented at the Constructivist SIG. A lovely group of people from across North America, we exchanged ideas of what it means to teach in constructivist ways. Our team leader Dr. Clare Kosnik presented work from the Literacy Teacher Education research and presented on a group of literacy teacher educators who had strong constructivist pedagogies.

Finally, AERA is held at such interesting places. One has to take some time to enjoy the beauty of the district and take in some of the sights.

Preparing for AERA

I (yiola) along with the research team and many other colleagues are preparing for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference that will be held in Washington DC this year. The conference begins on Thursday April 7th until Tuesday April 12th.

An enormous conference that attracts thousands of educational researchers from around the world and across disciplines and methodologies in the area of education. Each year the conference has a theme. This year the theme is Public scholarship to educate diverse democracies.  Here is a link to the site and more information about the conference:

The team and our close colleagues will be presenting at AERA.  We will be sure to post pictures and updates from the various sessions we attend. We hope to see you there. If you are not attending this year be sure to check out out blog for highlights next week.


AERA Elections

Hi Folks,
If you are a member of AERA you will have received an email asking you to vote for the new slate of officersLin Goodwin. Often I am not interested in these because I never know anyone who is running. And think that my vote will not make a difference. But this time is different. In many of our blogs we have talked about the work of Lin Goodwin who is amazing researcher. She has been nominated for President of AERA. What an honour. So be sure to vote!!!!!!!!

Division K Newsletter

Hi Folks,

The new AERA Division K newsletter is chock-a-block full of great information.

It includes information on:

  • invited sessions
  • Division K award nomintations
  • Program co-chairs update
  • Division K highlighted sessions
  • Travel award deadlines
  • Graduate student seminar deadline
  • New faculty seminar deadline

Here is the entire newsletter: DivisionKFall 2015 Newslettter1

I (Clare) know that many of you will be going to AERA in Washington.


Teacher Educators’ Perspectives

At AERA this past year, Division K dramatically changed their Business Meeting. Rather than do “administrivia” they used the time to get feedback from teacher educators. In the Division K Summer Newsletter they reported on the feedback. I have copied and pasted some of the report below and included one chart on the most warranted criticisms of teacher educators. Here is the link to the newsletter so that you can read the entire report which provides good feedback for teacher educators. DivKSummer2015-1 Thanks Lin Goodwin our Division K Vice President for moving the discussion forward.

Teacher Educators Talk By: Roxanne Greitz Miller

Division K Program Co-Chair

Chapman University

At our Division K business meeting, we took things to the next level on last year’s theme – Not Business As Usual – and embarked on some original research with the members in

attendance as well additional ones who responded after the meeting electronically. Prior to the meeting, the following questions were posed by our Vice President, Lin Goodwin, as points to consider:

 Of the many criticisms leveled against university-based teacher education/teacher

educators, which do you feel is most warranted?

 Of the many criticisms leveled against university-based teacher education/teacher

educators, which do you feel is least warranted?

 What is one thing you think we should do to address the negative perceptions of university-based teacher education/teacher educators?

During our meeting, attended by 269 people (thank you!), members considered these questions and were able to enter their open ended responses via electronic polling, using either URL or QR code. After the meeting, the URL was distributed to the entire Division K membership for additional participation, and it was posted to our social media links as well. Polls were left open for a week after AERA, and, once closed, the open-ended responses were categorized into common themes and tabulated.

Most warranted criticisms of TE, poll results