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APRIL 2016

Greetings SIG Members:

It's AERA 20016 Annual Meeting time, and our tribe is headed to Washington, D.C. to share what we know as researchers and practitioners with policy makers in our nation's capitol, as well as with each other. This year's AERA Annual meeting is its Centennial Meeting, and is scheduled to take place between April 8 - 12, 2016. The centennial year meeting theme is: Public Scholarship to Educate Diverse Democracies. 

This year's Annual Meeting is designed to celebrate and reinvigorate the progressive aspirations that gave rise to the AERA professional community back in 1916: A 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.

SIG members should make sure to attend the Action Research SIG Business Meeting scheduled for Saturday, April 9th, 6:15pm - 7:45pm, at the Marriott Marquis, Level Four, Liberty Salon N. This meeting provides members with an opportunity to learn about our SIG, to network with other SIG members, and to share information about emerging research and best practices in the field, while socializing with good company, and eating some really good food.

The Action Research SIG has some interesting and enlightening paper sessions planned for this year. The schedule for our 2016 sessions has been posted. 

Dr. Donna Johnson
SIG Chair

March 2015

The SIG officers are eager to see all of you at AERA and at our business meeting.  You are welcome and we will have refreshments...


May 5, 2015


The Action Research SIG needs Reviewers and Papers!!!

*SERVE AS A PAPER REVIEWER: The Deadline to volunteer is May 11, at 5pm (Only a few days from now). Go online and register to serve as a reviewer today!! The Action Research SIG will need as many reviewers as possible this year, as we expect to receive a greater number of papers. Reviewers play a critical role in helping us put together our conference each year. Please go to the AERA site and volunteer today! Use the link below. (

    Critical Dates for Review Process
March 24, 2015 Official opening to sign up as a volunteer peer reviewer

May 11:       Deadline to sign up as a volunteer peer reviewer

June 1:       Invitations for those selected to review panel will be sent

June 8:       Deadline to accept or decline invitation to review

August 10-31: Submission review period

*SUBMIT RESEARCH PAPERS TO OUR SIG: These should address the intersections between your work as action researchers and the 2016 conference theme: "Public Scholarship to Educate Diverse Democracies". (More detailed information is provided about the theme in the "Background" section below. Please read before submitting paper proposals). Presenters will have a lot more presentation options/formats this year, and are encouraged to think outside of the norms set for past meetings. We don't have actual dates, but be prepared to submit proposals for 2016 session papers between early June and the third week in July. Papers will be due in early spring 2016.

Papers that clearly report on the ways that action research has been effective in meaningfully transforming practices and policies on the ground and/or within
organizations/institutions and/or persons, will be given priority. Here, the presentation must answer the question of how the research helped to fuel policies and practices that addressed the needs of all or a sub-set of the diverse democracies that exist within most education settings/contexts. Also, papers whose research embodies Dewey's principles (outlined by the AERA president in her call for papers -- outlined below), and that introduce new frames, methodologies and ways to strengthen research validity and reliability, will be given the strongest consideration. There is also an emphasis being placed upon papers and presentations that are jointly written and presented by both practitioners (i.e., teachers, other school personnel, community and youth workers, youth, etc.)and scholars, as well as those that speak to issues outlined above. 


Dr. Donna Johnson, AERA Action Research SIG Chair

                                               2016 AERA ANNUAL MEETING THEME BACKGROUND
                                             Please read before submitting paper proposals
In AERA's Centennial Year, the Annual 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.

AERA’s 2016 Centennial Annual Meeting will highlight the interplay of research, politics, and social analysis. We as a community are uniquely positioned to engage in these debates and inform them with rigorous, scholarly inquiry. John Dewey’s ideas about schooling, scientific inquiry, and social progress provide intellectual grounding for this year's theme. Dewey maintained that scholars must engage democratically with “publics” in ways that raise awareness of social problems (in education and beyond)and foster a democratic and public solving of those problems. In Democracy and Education, the Centennial of which is also 2016, Dewey reminds us that education must embody both the means and ends of democracy. Moreover, Dewey argued that science could contribute best to social progress (including educational progress) through a process of sustained public inquiry, rather than by being asserted, or trickling down, from professionalized and technical
fields of study embedded within sanctioned institutions.

Today, researchers have access to powerful strategies, technologies, and skillsets to support their engagement as public scholars—should they choose to use them. Public scholarship was once largely confined to making presentations to practitioners or giving speeches at public meetings. Now, new forms of engagement exist in a wide variety of public spaces, including writing for lay audiences, media commenting, blogging and posting, contributing to public websites, testifying at government hearings or in litigation, conducting collaborative research with communities and educators, and other activities that position research to inform civic participation, engagement and organized action.

Consistent with AERA’s mission to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good, the 2016 Annual Meeting will feature and advance public scholarship at its best, bringing to light engaged research and researchers in the US and around the globe. We encourage all researchers, divisions, and SIGS to propose innovative, thoughtful papers and sessions that focus on and deliberate about public scholarship as a necessary and reflexive component of education research. We also invite papers and sessions that offer concepts and examples of how researchers across the broad range of AERA’s interests are creating knowledge that engages policymakers and publics to meet the challenges of education in increasingly diverse democracies. In addition, we especially welcome proposals that incorporate compelling new strategies, media, and formats that combine academic rigor with the broader-audience demands of public scholarship.

April 6, 2015

We have added a new section to the SIG: What is Action Research.  We hop you will visit and add your comments.  We will be presenting this collectively constructed definition at the Action Research Community Business Meeting on Friday, April 17th and invite all of you to join with us as we discuss this statement as well as share information about our community. Please join us!

April 2, 2015

I have added more details on all of the sessions that the Action Research SIG is sponsoring.  You can use these listing to help you find sessions as you explore AERA.  I have also added most of the over 100 sessions that have one or more action research talks sponsored by other groups or divisions.  I hope this helps you find talks that match your interest as you participate in AERA.

All of the talks are linked on the left column under AERA Conference 2015. 

Margaret Riel

November 25, 2014

AERA Action Research SIG’s

2015 Best Paper Award

Volunteer to serve as a Reviewer or as Award

Committee Member today!


The Executive Committee of the AERA Action Research SIG is excited to announce the opening of our

 2015 Best Action Research Paper Award competition. This is the first award offered by our SIG, and will

 be the first in a series of annual competitions. The goal of the award is to promote community, scholastic

exchange, rigor, innovation and activism, within the field of Action Research. Scholars will be awarded

$250 cash award and an official AERA plaque for winning papers. His or her picture and profile will also

be posted on the AR SIG website, along with a paper synopsis.

Competition Details:

Only papers selected by reviewers to be presented at the 2015 AERA Annual Meeting in Chicago are eligible for

the Best Paper Award this year. Completed papers/manuscripts must be submitted by 5pm on Friday, January 2,

 2015, to be considered for the award (Late papers will not be considered).  Winners will be announced via email, list-

serv and on the AR SIG website on Monday, February 16, 2015.  Interested persons should submit papers to AR SIG

Secretary, Debby Zambo at

We need volunteers!

Any help that we can get from volunteers is greatly appreciated. Our community thrives when we give. We thrive as professionals and as researchers when we have a strong SIG and community. Contact Debby Zambo at, by Friday, December 5th, if you would like to volunteer. We need people to serve in the following roles:

*Paper Reviewers: These committed individuals will dedicate about eight hours of their time (between January 4 – 24) to review approximately 5 – 7 papers, to evaluate them using a rubric supplied by the Award Committee and to return ratings back to committee members.

*Award Committee Members: These generous spirits volunteer to coordinate award program activities, working in collaboration with the AR SIG Secretary. This includes briefly reviewing, logging – in and assigning papers to reviewers. Then, following up with them. Creating a rubric for assessing papers and a ratings reporting sheet so that reviewers can log in all of their scores and comments on one sheet. Collecting ratings/comments forms from reviewers at the end of the review period, meeting to total scores, and to determine the winning paper. Communicating winner’s information to the AR SIG Secretary (who will then inform the SIG Chair), and assisting with designing/ordering the plaque and giving the award. This job will require about 8 - 10 hours of time between January 4th and February15th, and about 5 hours right before/during annual meeting) .

Thanks. Dr. Donna Johnson, AR SIG Chair


April 24, 2014

By Debby Zambo

Our Community/Business Meeting Minutes from AERA 2014 are posted and ready for comments. 

April 24, 2014

By Debbi Zambo

Javarro Russell asked me to share this information with our SIG: 

 My name is Javarro Russell. I am a Board Member of the Northeastern Educational Research Association (NERA) an affiliate of AERA. This year I am a co-chair of the fall 45th Annual Conference in Trumbull, CT. I am writing you in hopes that you could provide your members with our call for proposals. This is an excellent conference for those that are interested in another opportunity outside of AERA to present their research or participate in professional development. Attached is our current call for proposals. I¹ve also attached our most recent newsletter so that your members can have a sense of what to expect from our conference experience. You can also obtain the newsletter by using the following link:
Thanks for helping me get the word out. Please contact me if you have an questions.

April 20, 2014

NOTE:Please remember to register as a reviewer on the AERA website by May 9. The system closes to self-volunteering at that time. 

Text Box

Report on Potential AR Awards--AR SIG Business Meeting, April 6, 2014

By Linnea Rademaker, Program Chair, 2014-2015

Four of us discussed the need for recognition of Action Research that is occurring in our communities.  We discussed a potential outstanding dissertation award (for a graduate student), a community action researcher/practitioner award, and a best paper award (to be given to an accepted paper author for the 2015 conference).  Since the AR SIG does not currently have any AERA approved awards, we have to submit our proposals to the SIG executive committee by May 1 to be heard at the June board meeting of AERA.  Once approved, we can then discuss as members: 1) the details of each award; and, 2) whether we want to give all three in one year or rotate.  Please contact me with your comments, questions, or ideas.  Linnea Rademaker (

April 18, 2014

Report on Outreach Discussion – AR SIG Business Meeting, April 6, 2014

By Lonnie Rowell, Program Chair, 2012-2014

  A small number of individuals (n=4) participated in a discussion of future directions for the Community Outreach initiative of the AR SIG.  Program Chair Rowell reported that he would not be participating in the initiative for the foreseeable future, and that he was hoping that another SIG member might step up to take the lead in planning an activity or activities for the next AERA Conference. Although no one at the meeting did take on the role of initiator, some ideas were shared regarding keeping the initiative going. Main points included:

  • Once an individual or a small group of individuals interested in the initiative has been identified it will be important to clearly define a goal and objectives for the outreach effort.
  • One thing that could be added to the AR SIG is an Award for local practitioner research. The award could be given as a part of the annual Business Meeting or at an event in the community
  • The AR SIG could sponsor an Action Research Workshop in the community, with SIG members submitting brief proposals to conduct the workshop to the SIG leadership. This community-based event could be co-sponsored by the AR SIG and local groups involved with action research, participatory research, and/or practitioner research. I hope the community outreach initiative does continue. Over the course of the past few years the initiative has provided:
  • Visits to schools in New Orleans and San Francisco in conjunction with the AERA conferences in those cities. These visits provided opportunities for conference attendees to meet with practitioner-researchers and to learn about important school and school district initiatives to bridge the research-practice gap in education
  • Co- Sponsorship and active participation in a major community event in Oakland, California in conjunction with the 2013 AERA Conference. Attended by more than 500 people, the event was a community celebration of Linda Tuhawi Smith’s work on decolonizing knowledge and featured addresses by professor Smith and by Michelle Fine of the Public Science Project in New York City.
  • Sponsored a Community Recognition of youth participatory action research, held as a featured AR SIG session at the 2013 AERA Conference.  In addition to presentations by several high school students engaged in YPAR, and the sharing of posters based on local community-based action research projects in the East Bay area, UC Berkeley professor Emily Ozer spoke on the value of youth participatory action research.

These events were made possible by the participation of a number of individuals. Although there is little extrinsic reward for such service, there is much to be gained through taking the time to connect with and share experiences with local people in the cities and regions in which the massive AERA operation lands in each year. All who have participated have expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to share their work and be recognized for the parts they have played, and are playing, in the world of action research.

If you are interested in taking the lead in continuing this initiative within the AERA SIG, I recommend that you contact the new Program Chair, Linnea Rademaker, as soon as possible.

 Respectfully submitted,

Lonnie Rowell

April 7, 2014

Hi, folks,

Here is the powerpoint  (attached at the bottom of the page) that I made for the Business meeting.  It includes the initial results from our survey on publishing action research in journals.  We have some new committees with lots of fresh ideas. Do write Donna Johnson, our new chair, if you are interested in being on any of these committees...

Best wishes, as I pass the baton to Donna...

March 20, 2014
Hello action researchers,

We had a powerful slate of candidates!  I am so pleased that so many of you stepped up and took the risk to run for office.  We hope you all stay involved with the SIG and continue to make it a viable and active SIG that serves its members.

I am pleased to announce that we have elected three new SIG officers for next year.

Donna Johnson, Tulane University, for Action Research SIG Chair

Debby Zambo, Arizona State U., for Secretary/Treasurer

Linnea Rademaker, Northcentral University, for Program Chair,

I have attached their bios from the election so you all can reacquaint yourselves with your new officers.

Best wishes,

Dannelle D. Stevens, Ph.D., Professor

March 15, 2014 
Hello Action Researchers, 
We are looking forward to see you soon at the AERA conference.  As you know the conference program is posted on AERA but we also post  the Action Research session on our website so that you can have ready access to shorter listing of the sessions.  You will find this listing on the AERA Conference 2014 page. At the bottom of the page is a file that you can import into your calendar program to have a listing of the SIG sessions on your personal calendar. 
We also wanted to let you know that a large number of AR SIG members will also be attending the Action Research Network of the Americas Conference, May 22-24 in Bethlehem, PA.  There is still time to submit a proposal but you would need to hurry
We look forward to seeing you at either or both of these conferences. 
Margaret Riel 
AERA WebMaster

Dr. Craig Mertler,
Apr 18, 2014, 2:45 PM