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SREE, Advancing Education Research
Building an Education Science: Investigating Mechanisms
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Section Chairs E-mail SREEMap of Fairmont
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Section Descriptions

In 2010, the SREE conference was divided into sections centered around specific academic disciplines, early education, educational reform, and research methods.
For spring 2011, the sections are structured to:
(1) distinguish between studies of home, school and classroom-based factors, interventions, and practices and studies of larger (district, state, national) systems and policies, and
(2) differentiate between studies focused on teaching and learning in core academic content areas and studies focused on social and behavioral outcomes and processes.

A separate section focused on post-secondary education has been introduced.

The Early Childhood Education section encourages submissions which assess the efficacy of innovative home and classroom-based interventions to support the development of young children. Outcomes of interest include language acquisition, pre-academic skills, cognitive processes, and social and emotional development. While preschool-aged children are likely to be the targeted sample in many studies, examinations of both earlier (e.g. infancy, toddlerhood) and later (e.g. transition to early elementary school) developmental periods are also encouraged. Innovative methodological approaches to tests of mechanism within the context of observational and RCT designs will be of particular interest.

The section on School and Classroom-Based Educational Practices encourages submissions evaluating interventions or programs within K-12 classroom and school settings. Studies may address academic content areas including, but not limited to, literacy, history, mathematics and science. Educational programs or interventions may be targeted toward teachers or directly to students. Studies of teacher professional development in these content areas are invited. Research which examines student characteristics, as well as contextual factors that moderate the efficacy or effectiveness of interventions, are encouraged. Student populations may range across K-12 grade levels, and may include specific sub-populations of students, including English language learners, students with disabilities and students at risk of academic failure. Results from research syntheses are welcome.

The section on Social and Behavioral Processes and Outcomes in Education encourages submissions which consider social and behavior factors that provide the context for learning, and social and behavioral outcomes in school settings. Studies that consider social and behavioral factors that moderate the efficacy or effectiveness of interventions, including classroom climate, level of behavior problems in the classroom, parental involvement and child social and behavioral competencies or problems, are encouraged. Research which evaluates social and behavioral outcomes, including bullying, school violence, parent involvement, civic engagement, attitudes, dispositions, and social skills is welcome.

The Education and Social Inequality section encourages submissions that cover early childhood, K-12, or postsecondary education, yet focus explicitly on how important dimensions of social inequality such as race and ethnicity, gender, immigrant status, and social class, moderate the effects of educational policies and programs. This section welcomes studies that compare impacts across social groups or social contexts, and encourages research designed to explore the mechanisms generating differential effects.

The section on Education Policy encourages submissions which assess the effects of policies adopted by schools, school districts, states, and the federal government. These include, but may extend beyond, systemic reforms such as school choice, local control, budgeting, certification, educator training, standards, school improvement planning and accountability, which are intended to influence decision-making processes at diverse levels. Outcomes of interest include student achievement and intermediate steps such as the distribution of teachers and the selection of curriculum. Studies employing quasi-experimental methods are welcome.

The Post-Secondary Education section invites submissions of studies focused on the effectiveness of programs aimed at improving access to college and academic achievement in college. Programs may include high school interventions designed to increase college readiness such as Summer Bridge. Studies of the effectiveness and mechanisms of alternative pedagogy for college students, especially those that focus on developmental education, are encouraged.  Consistent with the theme of this year’s conference, research designs should be based on clearly articulated theories of action connecting interventions or initiatives to improvements in access or student academic outcomes. Research that enables tests of hypotheses concerning the mechanisms through which interventions affect student outcomes are of particular interest.

The Research Methods section focuses on new methods or extensions of existing methods, and innovative applications and evaluations of such applications in the areas of measurement, research design, and statistical analysis. Rigorous evaluations of the practicality and the capacity of methods for use in applied educational research and sophisticated implementations of complex methods in education settings are encouraged. Studies utilizing theoretical explorations related to the evaluation of education effectiveness are welcome. Methods that provide tools for describing and testing hypotheses about educational mechanisms are well-suited to this year’s theme.

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