2016 AERA Annual Meeting
"Public Scholarship to Educate Diverse Democracies"
In AERA's Centennial Year, the Annual Meeting will celebrate and reinvigorate the progressive aspirations that gave rise to our professional community in 1916: hope and determination that research can strengthen public education, society’s most democratic institution. To mark this remarkable moment, the 2016 Meeting will illuminate and enhance the role of education researchers as public scholars who contribute to public understanding, political debate, and professional practice in increasingly diverse democracies in the US and around the globe.
Today’s world presents challenges that bear an uncanny resemblance to those of the US in 1916. Then, a newly industrialized and urbanized economy brought staggering changes to workplaces, homes, and society. Waves of new immigrants sparked fears that revolutionary radicalism would undermine the so-called American way of life. Post-Reconstruction Jim Crow laws in the South legalized racial segregation and disenfranchisement, and did nothing to curb targeted racial violence. Southern Blacks and Southwestern Latinos migrated north in search of jobs and found themselves in neighborhoods of racial isolation and urban poverty. Staggering income and wealth inequality exacerbated racial and ethnic divides. Global conflict—fueled by political, territorial, ethnic, and ideological disputes—beckoned United States’ engagement. All echo today, both in the U.S. and around the world, as unprecedented global migration and demographic shifts confront nations everywhere with the challenge of being both democratic and diverse.