Research News

Vanderbilt Peabody researchers featured at AERA April 16-20

The latest research on key education issues will be presented by researchers from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development at the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting, in Chicago, April 16-20, 2015.

The theme of this year’s AERA conference is “Toward Justice: Culture, Language and Heritage in Education, Research and Praxis.”

Peabody faculty and graduate students will present on the topics of value-added, teacher effectiveness, minorities in STEM, connected learning, disabilities, kindergarten instructional practices, education policy, gifted students, poverty and inclusion, scaling up, connected learning, English language learners, and more.

To see abstracts from all Vanderbilt faculty and graduate students presenting at AERA, go to and search the conference program for “Vanderbilt.” The schedule is subject to change and all times are CDT. Refer to the printed program provided at the conference.

View a full list of Vanderbilt education experts and summaries of their expertise.

A few highlights from the AERA conference include:

Thursday, April 16

After the Fire Alarm: How Value-Added Analyses of Teacher Preparation Programs May Contribute to Program Improvement Gary Henry
2:15—3:45 p.m., Marriott, Sixth Level, Michigan/Michigan State
The panel will focus on three case examples that show how researchers, policymakers and practitioners have collaborated to improve the usefulness of Value Added data.

Roundtable Session 6: Peer Effects in Postsecondary Remedial Education: Evidence From the Merger of Remedial and College-Level Math Courses – Angela Boatman
2:15—3:45 p.m., Hyatt, West Tower – Green Level, Crystal B
Boatman will examine the peer effects that result from combining remedial and college-level students into the existing college-level course, and put forth results that suggest mainstreaming remedial and college-level math courses may affect students differently depending on their incoming level of academic skill.

Friday, April 17

Recovery High Schools: Effect of Schools Supporting Recovery From Substance AbuseAndrew Finch, Emily Tanner-Smith
2:15—3:45 p.m., Sheraton, Fourth Level, Chicago VI&VII
Panelists will present preliminary data from the first three years of a five-year study funded by NIH on Recovery High Schools.

Saturday, April 18

Team/Design Professional Development School: Critical Common Commitments for Teacher Development – Emily Pendergrass, Heather Jo Johnson, Barbara S. Stengel
8:15—9:45 a.m., Sheraton, Second Level, Huron
Educators from university-based teacher preparation programs will discuss what it means to integrate more in-depth clinical experience.

Sunday, April 19

Diversity, Poverty and Inclusion: Meeting the Educational Needs of Students With DisabilitiesDonna Y. Ford
8:15—9:45 a.m., Sheraton, Second Level, Missouri
The focus will be on the largest two groups of “culturally different” students—Hispanic and Black—and solutions for poor educational and social outcomes as evidenced by the achievement gap and special education over-representation.

Contesting STEM Cultures: Scientific Desires: Ebony Omotola McGee, Lydia Bentley
8:15—10:15 a.m., Marriott, Fourth Level, Clark
Study results will be discussed which show the majority of Black and Latino high-achieving college STEM students are strategically planning long-term career goals that include a sense of responsibility to help their communities.

Diversifying Engineering: Insights and Lessons From Students, Faculty and Staff – Ebony Omotola McGee
10:35 a.m.—12:05 p.m., Swissotel, Event Centre Second Level, Montreux 3
This session examines why African Americans remain one of the most underrepresented racial groups in engineering faculty positions.

Outcomes of Acceleration: Identifying Profound Human Capital Expressly and Reliably During Early Adolescence: A 25-Year Longitudinal StudyDavid Lubinski, Camilla P. Benbow
10:35 a.m.—12:05 p.m., Sheraton, Second Level, Colorado
Researchers will discuss their landmark longitudinal study in which the accomplishments of precocious youth have been tracked for more than 40 years.

Do Higher Ed Accountability Proposals Narrow Opportunity for Minority Students and Minority-Serving Institutions? – Stella M. Flores
12:25—1:55 p.m., Hyatt, West Tower – Gold Level, Acapulco
This session will examine federal policy issues that may have contributed to negative consequences for students of color and historically Black and Hispanic colleges and universities.

Diverse Approaches to Teacher Evaluation: Policy, Implementation, and Impacts – Mollie Rubin, Christine M. Neumerski, Ellen Goldring, Marisa A. Cannata, Jason A. Grissom, Timothy Drake, Patrick Schuermann
12:25—1:55 p.m., Swissotel, Event Centre First Level, Zurich AB
Panelists will discuss a study showing that teacher effectiveness data, collected as part of new teacher evaluation policies, have the potential to provide information that school leaders can leverage to target professional development.

System Learning in an Urban School District: A Case Study of Interdistrict Learning From the National Center on Scaling Up Effective SchoolsChristopher Redding, Jason Miller, Marisa A. Cannata
2:15—3:45 p.m., Sheraton, Fourth Level, Chicago VI&VII
The panel will discuss the collaboration of a district design team and three school teams in a large urban district and how they developed a shared innovation design that could be scaled up throughout the district.

Kindergarten in Transition: Purpose, Entry Age, Curriculum, and Student Outcomes – Mimi Engel
2:15—3:45 p.m., Swissotel, Event Centre Second Level, St. Gallen 2
Five papers will explore today’s kindergarten experience, including policy changes and the effects of instructional practices and content coverage on a wide range of student outcomes.

Learning Sciences: Processes of Learning and Interaction in Context: The Civic Geographies of Connected Learning: Fostering Civic Engagement Across Time, Space, and Scale – Ty Hollett
4:05—6:05 p.m., Marriott, Fourth Level, Addison
Hollett will discuss theoretical and pedagogical reinterpretations of connected learning, which advocates robust participation in peer-supported and interest-driven learning that promotes academic, economic and civic engagement.

Monday, April 20

Confident and Competent Black Males Doing STEMEbony Omotola McGee
8:15–9:45 a.m., Swissotel, Event Centre Second Level, St. Gallen 1
A roundtable will discuss ways race and gender identity influence the development of Black male interest, engagement and achievement in the STEM fields.

Feedback and Coaching to Promote Professional Reflection and Learning of School Leaders – Ellen Goldring
10:35 a.m.–12:05 p.m., Swissotel, Event Centre First Level, Zurich AB
Continuous professional development for school leaders will be discussed, including the interplay between feedback and coaching.

Moral Reasoning as a Compass: School Leadership for Caring and Inclusive Schools – Joseph F. Murphy
10:35 a.m.–12:05 p.m., Swissotel, Lucerne Level, Alpine I
Murphy looks at the role of leadership in the development of schools that foster care, encouragement and support.