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Education scholars showcased at 2018 AERA Meeting

by the College of Education at Illinois / May 1, 2018

Scholar Robb Lindgren presents to a packed house at 2018 AERA Meeting

Scholar Robb Lindgren presents to a packed house at 2018 AERA Meeting

“The Dreams, Possibilities, and Necessity of Public Education” was the theme of this year’s meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) held in New York City April 13-17.

William Trent, Hua-Hua Chang, and Robb Lindgren were among the most distinguished speakers and awardees chosen to address educational researchers from across the country.

William TrentTrent delivered the AERA Distinguished Lecture this year titled “Interrogating Segregation, its Complexities and Consequences for Public Education.” The talk reviewed key legal cases and the background of school desegregation in the U.S., relating data, legislative actions, and policy efforts over fifty years.

According to Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, a professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, Trent’s talk illustrated the progress, stalemates, and opportunities for historically underserved, racially “minoritized” students in PK-12 education and postsecondary contexts.    

“It was a profound moment for all us to have heard him, and particularly prideful for our Illinois family that has the privilege of having a giant in the field among our ranks,” said Zamani-Gallaher, who added that Trent’s talk garnered a standing ovation.

Chang and Lindgren, who were announced as awardees at last year’s meeting, gave talks in conjunction with that recognition this year. Professor Chang of EPOL received the 2017 E.F. Lindquist Award for his contributions to the field of educational testing and measurement.

Hua-Hua ChangChang's lecture, “From Adaptive Testing to Adaptive Learning,” began with a historical view of theoretical developments of computerized adaptive testing. It covered how to build affordable, reliable tools that demonstrate students’ cognitive skills needed to succeed. During the talk, Chang presented a number of experiments that revealed the potential of computerized adaptive testing for diagnostic and summative purposes.   

Lindgren earned the 2017 Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions for Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies, AERA Division C. He said the AERA Meeting is an ideal place to share one’s work broadly.

“It was a lot of fun to share my research with a diverse audience and to honor the work of Jan Hawkins, who was the namesake for my awards talk,” said Lindgren, an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction. “And it was great to see so many Illinois faculty, students, and alumni presenting.”

AERA photo with Dean Jim Anderson and College of Education friends Dean James D. Anderson and faculty connected with alumni and friends at the college’s annual reception at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Lisa Denson-Rives, assistant dean for advancement, said the event was well attended and lively.

“The group shared some great conversations about the conference and everyone caught up with old friends,” Denson-Rives said. “The night was made complete with a great photo with Dean Anderson surrounded by many of his students, longtime colleagues, and friends.”

The American Educational Research Association is known for encouraging academic inquiry and research for the betterment of society. The organization’s yearly meeting draws distinguished faculty, students, and alumni from all over the country who deliver more than 2,500 presentations that include paper sessions, symposia, roundtables, poster sessions, and lectures.

The theme of the April 5-9, 2019, AERA Meeting in Toronto is “Leveraging Education Research in a “Post-Truth” Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence.”

Numerous College of Education scholars gave presentations throughout the annual event. View the full itinerary.