Experience for Innovation

The American Educational Research Association’s (AERA’s) annual conference offers a close-up on the research that drives teaching and learning innovations and shapes the curricula, policies, and practices of schools everywhere.

The conference — the largest gathering of education researchers anywhere, with nearly 11,000 presenters and around 15,200 attendees — offers a platform for researchers and education leaders to present new findings and perspectives on topics ranging from innovations in mathematics education to bias in classrooms to teacher training to computer languages.

This year’s conference, in San Antonio, Texas, centered on the theme “Knowledge to Action: Achieving the Promise of Equal Educational Opportunity.” We traveled to Texas to learn about what’s new in education research — and to help make those findings accessible and meaningful to practitioners and policymakers at all levels. Here’s a sampling of what we heard and saw.

Special education: Several of the sessions we attended focused on issues in special education, and how to support students with disabilities.

Supporting students: We also heard research about how to protect other students with specific needs, such as English language learners and transgender students.