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UCLA at AERA 2022 – A Preview

By John McDonald
UCLA at AERA Flyer

UCLA SEIS will participate in more than 150 sessions exploring the AERA Conference theme, “Cultivating Equitable Education Systems for the 21st Century.”

Led by 2022-23 American Education Research Association President-Elect Tyrone C. Howard, dozens of students, faculty and staff from the UCLA School of Education and Information (SEIS) will take part in the annual American Education Research Conference April 21-26, 2022 in San Diego.

In events ranging from presentations in Presidential Lectures and symposiums, to roundtables and poster sessions, SEIS scholars will share their research, papers and books, projects and ideas with researchers from across the nation and globe.

Reflecting the school’s focus on issues of race, equity, access, quality and the implications for K-12 and higher education, scholars from UCLA SEIS will participate in more than 150  sessions exploring the AERA Conference theme, “Cultivating Equitable Education Systems for the 21st Century.”  

“Our outstanding faculty, students, staff, and alumni are engaged in transformative work in education,” said Christina Christie, Wasserman Dean of the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies. “Our scholarship is grounded in an ethic of care and focused on creating educational opportunity for all students. This is such an important opportunity for our team to engage the AERA community and to share our intellectual work with the so many others with an interest in advancing excellent and equity in education.” 

Among the many UCLA highlights at the AERA Meeting, Professor Howard will lead the conference’s opening plenary session. Professor Danny Solórzano, a newly elected AERA Council member-at-large, discusses his work on racial microaggressions and using critical race theory to respond to everyday racism.  UCLA Education Department leaders Megan Franke and Cecilia Rios Aguilar will present key sessions, as will CRESST director Li Cai and SEIS faculty members  Ananda Marin, Louis M. Gomez, Lucrecia Santibanez, Lorena Guillen, and many others. Associate Professor Eddie R. Cole will be honored as the recipient of the AERA Division J Outstanding Publication Award, and Jean Ryoo, a research director at UCLA Center X, will be honored as the winner of the 2021 AERA Jan Hawkins Early Career Award.  In her remarks, Ryoo will preview her groundbreaking new graphic novel on computer science education, “Power On!” with produced with UCLA’s Jane Margolis, senior researcher at Center X.  And graduate students Demontea Thompson, Jaleel Howard, Marcus Vann and Ung Sang Lee join more than UCLA students in presenting and discussing new research and projects. And don’t miss the UCLA AERA Reception Friday night!  

A partial preview highlighting some of what UCLA is doing at AERA follows. (A complete listing of UCLA’s participation in AERA is available here.  A big SEIS thanks to Carmen Erdenetsogt for an amazing job in putting the online listing together. 

Thursday, April 21

Magali Campos, Lorena Camargo Gonzalez, Cindy Raquel Escobedo, Yadira Valencia, and  Brenda Lopez start things off for UCLA with a Thursday morning symposium,  Women of Color Reclaiming Voice: Engaging Transformative Methodologies to Honor Women of Color Experiences. The session explores narratives of how women of color scholar-activists have been historically been silenced and misinterpreted, and how the feminism of women of color and critical race frameworks can challenge that silence in in education research ….. In a paper session, Project-Based, Problem-Based, and Justice-Based Pedagogies Supporting Science Teaching and LearningHeather F. Clark, Darlene Tieu and William Sandoval discuss their research, Teacher and Student Engagement in Politicizing Climate Science and Scientizing Everyday Climate Experiences. The study explores an activity structure designed to support teachers and students in merging the sociopolitical and scientific systems of climate change….. Later that morning, Amanda Carrasco, Sylvia Hurtado and Bernard Reyes lead a roundtable session exploring The Scholarship on Department and Graduate Program Racial Climates in STEMM Fields, discussing the transformation of STEM systems toward equity, synthesizing the scholarship on departmental and graduate program climates to understand how scholars define and measure departmental racial climate for STEMM graduate programs ….. UCLA Education Department Chair Megan Franke is the presenting author in Equity Topics in Mathematics Education, discussing a paper, Students' Ideas as Resources for Collective Engagement in Whole-Class Math Discussions. The research suggests that, rather than challenges in communication that must be overcome, students’ vague, unfinished, and ambiguous ideas present productive contributions that can be leveraged to support collective mathematical work ..... Kai Monet Matthews chairs a roundtable discussion, A Wicked Problem: Diversifying California's Teacher Workforce, exploring the challenges confronting the state’s educator pipeline and possible solutions for increasing diversity. And don’t forget the Opening Plenary Session Thursday evening, chaired by Tyrone C. Howard. 

Friday, April 22

Lorena Guillen starts  off Friday morning chairing a symposium, Ethnic Studies Access, Impacts and Empowerment in a Time of Political Opposition and Erasure. She will be joined by Lucrecia Santibanez who will discuss her research Can Ethnic Studies Reduce Inequality in Schools? Examining Ethnic Studies in a Southern California District. The study seeks to understand whether Ethnic Studies might mitigate persistent inequality in student academic and non-academic outcomes that are important for school success ….. A little later, Marjorie Faulstich Orellana is the discussant in Teaching Ethnography Remotely: Centering the Social, a symposium exploring the teaching of ethnographic research to prepare new doctoral researchers who can widen the understanding of complex social practices of and participation within families, schools, and communities. In the afternoon, Center for the Transformation of Schools Research Director Angela James chairs, Stakeholder Examination of Equity Concerns, Student Learning, Safety and School Policing, a symposium exploring issues in school policing with researchers Eleanor Maoz, Miguel Casar, Kahlila Willams and Abbie Cohen ..… Lizzette Rojas presents her paper, Attrition Risk Among College Students on Academic Probation, in the event, Examining Factors that Impact Student Outcomes. Professor Linda J. Sax is the discussant..... UCLA Center X Director Annamarie Francois discusses the use of improvement science strategies for teacher preparation in the symposium, Investigating the Promise of Network Improvement Communities to Improve Teacher Preparation Research and Practice.  And don’t miss the UCLA AERA Reception Friday night – with a toast to UCLA alumna, 2021-2022 AERA President Na’ilah Suad Nasir.


Saturday, April 23

UCLA’s team gets an early start on a big day as education professor Kimberly Gomez leads a morning session discussing efforts to move beyond anti-blackness in PK-20 STEM education in the session, Reimagining Methodological Approaches for Disrupting Anti-Blackness in STEM Education ….. With both the UC and CSU systems dropping the SAT/ACT as a requirement for admissions, CRESST Director Li Cai joins in a discussion of what happened during the 2022 admission cycle and steps that can be taken to ensure a more equitable future in What Happened to Diversity and Equity When Admissions Tests Became Optional….. The AERA Presidential Session, The 25th Conversations With Senior Scholars on Advancing Research and Professional Development Related to Black Education also takes place Saturday, Professors Walter Allen and Tyrone C. Howard are presenting..… In Centering Equity and Practice Considerations in Improvement Scholarship, Professor Louis Gomez joins in a discussion of research by doctoral students Mary Louise-Leger and Olivia Obesoexploring the conditions that influence the development of educational leaders’ improvement science fluency .…. In, Literacy Learning for Students With Characteristics of Dyslexia or Other Reading DisabilitiesRebecca Gotlieb shares research authored with Laura Rhinehart and  Maryanne WolfIdentifying Distinct Reading Profiles and Dyslexia Risk in Kindergarten Students….. In the event, "Why Do They Hate Us?" Education and Racist Rhetoric in the Trump Era and Beyond, Professor Danny Solórzano discusses research examining how racist rhetoric has shaped political, economic and social landscapes with negative effects on People of Color …. Professor Rashmita Mistry chairs From COVID-19 to Peer Relationships and Beyond: Disruptions to the Academic Rhythm and Student Engagement with Jeffrey Yo presenting research authored with Mistry and UCLA’s Anna Markowitz, Elementary School-Age Children's Residential Mobility and Academic Outcomes, exploring the relationship between the frequency and timing of residential mobility during the elementary school years and students’ fifth grade academic outcomes …. In Institutional Strategies to Positively Influence Student Outcomes, Professor Robert Teranishi presents research aiming to better understand the educational experiences and outcomes of both AAPI and non-AAPI students resulting from participation in the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) grant-funded programs….. And don’t miss Jean Ryoo’s Jan Hawkins Award Lecture where she will be previewing her latest project, the graphic novel “Power On!”

Sunday, April 24  

UCLA SEIS Assistant Professor Ananda Maria Marin leads off Sunday morning with a virtual symposium session, Whose Science? Interrogating the Foundations of "Nature of Science," Uncovering Epistemic Injustices in Science Education. The session explores  assumptions of the “Nature of Science” (NOS), and discuss whether and how NOS scholarship systematically included and/or excluded some students and the impact on furthering injustices in science classrooms ….. In what is sure to be a bright spot at AERA, doctoral researchers Earl J. Edwards, Jaleel Rashaad Howard, TrVel Lyons and Demontea Thompson join Tyrone C. Howard participate in the symposium, Examining the Bright Spots: Successful Strategies for Promoting Black Student Success in K–12 Schools. Countering deficit-based accounts of Black youth, the presenters build on a previous study, “Beyond the Schoolhouse,” to highlights the bright spots where Black youth performed better than County and State level outcomes, the characteristics which explain these performances,  and the potential for replication ..… Also Sunday afternoon, Professor Alison Baily is the discussant in the symposium, Computational Thinking, Languages, and Literacies, exploring a growing body of research on the relationship between computational thinking  and literacy and the roles they play in developing students' computation thinking skills. ..… Distinguished Research Professor Douglas Kellner presents in the symposium Bio-Informational Philosophy and Postdigital Knowledge Ecologies, exploring which new knowledge ecologies are now emerging and  which philosophies and research approaches do they require….. Later Sunday, graduate student Siyue Wang leads a roundtable in The Educational Experiences of Immigrant Youth, drawing on her research seeking to better understand the ways race and immigration shape the lives of  undocumented young adults.

Monday April 25

 The UCLA team begins Monday with Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Cecilia Rios-Aguilar taking part in the invited speaker session, Strengthening California Community Colleges: Research and Leadership Frontiers at a Time of Recovery. The symposium features a conversation between researchers and leaders about the current challenges and opportunities for strengthening community colleges to meet the needs of the communities and students they serve. Rios- Aguilar also joins Davis Vo later Monday to present research on Community Colleges and English Learners..... Also that morning, CRESST researchers Jia Wang and Deborah M. La Torre discuss the findings of a new research paper examining teaching and learning at 23 magnet schools during the COVID-19 pandemic in the roundtable event COVID-19 and Alternative Learning Environments .…In the session,  Equity-Related Insights From Studies of School Community, Climate, and Culture, Elianny C. Edwards, Earl J. Edwards and Terry Allen examine the growth of police presence in schools despite inconclusive evidence that police make schools safer, and ample evidence that school policing is associated with negative outcomes for Black students. The  case study analyzes qualitative and quantitative data for one of the largest school police districts in the U.S….. A little later, CRESST Founding Director and distinguished research professor Eva Baker examines a potential paradigm shift from current assessment practices emphasizing accountability to those tuned to the affirmative development of individual learners across their lifespans in Recasting Assessment to Support Diverse Learning and the Affirmative Development of Learners ….. Center for the Transformation of Schools Director Joseph Bishop chairs the symposium, Rethinking Policies for Justice and Equitable Education Systems.  He is joined by Earl J. Edwards, Ron Avi Astor and Tyrone C. Howard in a discussion highlighting insights from a new work in which scholars explore how interrelated policies including neighborhood conditions, public health, community resources, housing, air quality, school safety, transportation, and segregation profoundly impact schools and learning ….. At 2.30, UCLA Education Department Chair Megan L. Franke discusses the findings of Science and Engineering in Preschool Through Elementary Grades: The Brilliance of Children and the Strengths of Educators – A Report of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine ….. A little later Jamelia Nicole Harris and Brianna Marche Harvey lead a roundtable discussion Broadening the Story and Defying the Odds: The Experiences of Black Girls in Educational Settings exploring the educational journeys of four Black girls as they simultaneously navigate two systems that perpetuate violence against Black girls: the public school and the child welfare systems, as these students embrace education as a pathway toward a brighter future.

Tuesday, April 26

UCLA begins the last day of AERA with a poster session presented by Miguel N. Abad,  Action Research: Engaging Across Diverse Interests and Fundamentals showcasing action researchers engaging in systematic and intentional inquiry to bring about  change in practice, improve outcomes, and empower participants in action research.…. And in one of the final events, Keys to the City: Nipsey Hussle, Marathon Education, and the Celebration of South Central, UCLA recognizes the memory of Nipsey Hussle, just 33 years old at the time of his passing – for his embodiment of the type of learning and civic engagement we aspire to teach towards. This symposium illuminates the Black brilliance, excellence, culture and joy of the Marathon District of Los Angeles and offers insights for how educators can more effectively serve the needs students of color.