Looking Back: Division A GSC 2015 Events
Connect Series Co-Chair Ramon Griffin moderated our first AERA Division A Connect in September of 2015, “The Racial Opportunity Costs of New Orleans Education Reforms.” We faced several technical difficulties and thus were unable to hold our session on YouTube. Still, our esteemed panel offered key, essential lessons for education leadership policy, practice, and leadership. The panel included Dr. Terah Venzant-Chambers, Dr. Raynard Sanders, Dr. Jane Lincove, and Karran Herper Royal.
After we held more mock sessions and thoroughly investigated how to broadcast our Connect Series, we held our second session in November 2015. Connect Series Co-Chair Carrie Gentner moderated this session, “Reframing School Culture in Large Districts.” It featured Dr. Darryl Williams from Houston, Texas Independent Schools and Superintendent Jeff Eakins of Hillsborough County in Tampa, Florida. This event was widely attended and generated a lively Twitter conversation among students via the Twitter hashtag #DivisionAConnect! This dialogue addressed serious educational concerns, including how culture is intentionally created in a district and whose culture matters in a diverse district. These are exactly the kinds of scholarly conversations we hoped to provide for Division A graduate students!
Many Committee members flew in for the 2015 UCEA Convention in San Diego, California. Our own committee met informally over meals and at receptions, and we attended sessions together. Linsay DiMartino worked with Division L to host the “Taking the Fear Out of Publishing” breakfast session. This event was filled with invigorating discussions on the topic of publishing, which is often a scary concept for young graduate students. The panel of early and advanced scholars “doused the flames”, so to speak, for attendees and created a safe environment for students to reveal their deepest insecurities about writing for publication. Dr. Michael Dumas reminded students that passion and anger is the start of a great publication. From these emotions flow great work and work that you will commit to conveying to larger audiences. Reassuringly the panel reminded students that rejections, with constructive feedback, are a gift that should be cherished as we commit to this publication journey.
Thanks to Dialogic Forum Chair Lolita Tabron, the Division A Dialogic Forum received over 50 applicants, far more than the just 12 applicants in academic year 2014-2015. The Dialogic Forum is a pre-session event at the AERA Annual Meeting for students to share their research and receive feedback from scholars and peers. Lolita created an eye-catching flyer inviting graduate students to submit research proposals around the theme of “Public Scholarship to Educate Diverse Democracies.” Proposals are currently under review and decisions will be emailed out on January 16, 2016. We are looking forward to an enlightening forum this year!
Thanks to Foster-Polite chair LaTanya Dixon, four outstanding Division A graduate students will receive $500 in travel support to present their original research at AERA 2016. This funding opportunity is important for many ramen-eating grad students, and LaTanya got the word out well in advance in order to reach as many as possible. Her efforts resulted in tripling the pool of applicants from last year. The applications are currently under review, and decisions will be sent out on February 9, 2016. We are so honored to support our peer researchers in their scholarly journeys!
A special thanks to the GSC’s review team, who coordinates the reviews for proposals and applications: Craig De Voto, Lee Flood, and Maryann Krikorian. Their work is especially vital this year with such increase in the number of applicants for our research and funding opportunities!
The 2016 AERA Annual Meeting is just around the corner. Opportunities abound for our Division A graduate students at this at this year’s meeting! We will also host the AERA 2016 Fireside Chat, the Dialogic Forum, the Division A Graduate Student Business Meeting and the Division A/L Joint Reception. We want to see every one of you in Washington, D.C.! The theme of this year’s meeting is “Public Scholarship to Promote Diverse Democracies.”
The 2016 conference pays well deserved homage to one of our great forefathers of education, John Dewey. Marking the 100-year anniversary of Democracy and Education, we are reminded of the importance of democratic institutions, as well as, social and educational progress. The trends of public scholarship have shifted drastically over the years from the public lectures of highly regarded researchers to the more accessible blogosphere and collaborative action research. Public scholarship no longer has a singular definition; it encompasses a wide-range of approaches and styles. Our commitment to school leadership causes us to inquire about what public scholarship and diverse democracies mean for those who identify as “Commander and Chief.” When asked to comment on the importance of this year’s AERA meeting theme, our Division A Junior Representative Emma Bullock reflected, “I think that school leadership will continue to become more distributed (among teacher leaders and parental demands) as the complexities of reaching the needs of diverse populations becomes more understood. Also, as schools become more digitized and more options become available, school leadership will need to respond to more individualized student learning plans. I think brick and mortar schools will need to adapt to an ever moving, ever more connected population. I also think our schools will become increasingly integrated globally, so that a student living in California could possibly attend a high school in Japan, for example. As such, public scholarship will become ever more global and open access.”
The future of diverse democracies hinges on the ability of leadership to adapt and innovate their practice. As researchers and scholars, the Division A Graduate Student Committee is committed to engaging in the various modes of public scholarship to aid in this transition. We can do this together! Please join us at AERA 2016 in Washington, so we can build a strong, networked community with the strength to innovate.
Division A Graduate Student Committee 2016-2017
We want you! If you are a Division A graduate student seeking to get involved and make a difference, consider applying for the 2016-2017 Division A Graduate Student Committee! An official call for members will be circulated in February. Please apply! In the meantime, please contact representatives Priya La Londe (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Emma Bullock (email@example.com) with questions.