Theresa Austin, professor in the Language, Literacy and Culture concentration of the College of Education’s Department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies was recently elected to the American Educational Research Association’s Special Interest Groups' Executive Committee.
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) was founded in 1916 and promotes scholarly inquiry related to education and evaluation and the dissemination and practical application of research results. These efforts are focused on improving the educational process at all levels of education in a range of settings from universities and other academic institutions to research institutes, federal and state agencies, school systems, testing companies, and nonprofit organizations.
As a newly elected member to the executive committee, Austin will take office at this year’s national meeting in San Francisco. The Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are constituted by more than 160 groups that each have a forum within AERA for the involvement of individuals drawn together by a common interest in a field of study, teaching or research. Austin’s research takes direction from the intersection of the fields of bilingualism, second language and multimodal literacy development in world languages, assessment, cross cultural communication and teacher development, and language and literacy policy.
While founded in the U.S., 5 percent of the AERA membership is international, representing more than 85 countries. Additionally 28 percent of AERA members are students -- approximately 6,500 graduate students and 600 undergraduates. In addition to education as a central research area, disciplines represented by AERA members include psychology, statistics, sociology, history, economics, philosophy, anthropology and political science.