Early Childhood Education
The Early Childhood Education section encourages submissions that assess the efficacy of home and classroom-based interventions designed to support the development of young children. Innovative approaches that test pathways of influence within the context of intervention studies are of interest, particularly those that address outcomes such as language and literacy skills, math skills, emotional and social development, and executive function/self-regulation. We encourage proposals about studies that target children in preschool environments, as well as earlier and later developmental periods, and research which follows children from one period into the next. Consistent with the conference theme, studies that address contradictions or inconsistencies in research findings will be of particular interest.

Instructional Improvement
Instruction is a complex phenomenon which may result in mixed or conflicting results. The section on Instructional Improvement invites submissions that describe the development, efficacy, and measurement of instructional practices, program or interventions within K-12 classroom and school settings. Submissions may address academic content areas, including, but not limited to, history/social studies, literacy, mathematics and science. Research that examines student and instructor characteristics, contextual factors, fidelity in implementation, and treatment heterogeneity, as well as measurement issues related to the efficacy or effectiveness of instruction and interventions, is encouraged. Comparisons between alternative methods of estimation of instructional effects, such as student-based value-added vs. direct observations of instruction or fidelity, and treatment effects for student subgroups and classrooms, will be of particular interest. Results from research syntheses are welcome.

School Climate and Culture
The section on School Climate and Culture encourages submissions which explore organizational or curricular factors that influence the climate and culture in classrooms and schools. Submissions focused on school contexts with non-academic outcomes will be of particular interest. These may include social and behavioral outcomes such as civic involvement, social skill development, parental involvement, bullying and school violence. Classroom or school climate-related outcomes may consider student engagement, teacher collaboration, trust or efficacy, time devoted to instruction, or principal leadership. Identifying reliable and valid measures of non-academic outcomes is often challenging and may lead to mixed and often contradictory results. Submissions that focus on measurement are encouraged, especially as they relate to, or help explain, contradictory findings.

Transitions for Youth
The Transitions for Youth section invites submissions of studies focused on policies and programs that aim to smooth student transitions through the educational pipeline, particularly from middle school through post-secondary training. Programs may include interventions designed to reduce attrition from high school into college and from college enrollment to completion, such as remedial coursework, summer counseling, mentorship programs and financial aid. Submissions that focus on programs and policies in earlier grades, such as alternative curricula, after-school opportunities and summer school programs, are also encouraged. Consistent with the theme of this year’s conference, panels and papers that address contradictory findings in existing research will be of particular interest.

Education Policy
The Education Policy section encourages submissions that investigate inconsistent or mixed effects across educational outcomes and populations. Research describing the effects of education policies on a range of educational outcomes, including, but not limited to, academic achievement, course grades, non-cognitive skills, high school graduation, postsecondary enrollment, degree attainment, and labor market outcomes, are invited. Studies focused on policies targeting multiple outcomes are encouraged. Submissions that: (a) explicitly grapple with the uneven effects of policies across different outcomes and identify mechanisms through which performance is improved in one domain while leaving others unchanged or even worse off, or (b) explore the heterogeneous effects of policies across different populations, and begin to disentangle why some policies are related to systematically larger effects in some populations than others, will be of particular interest.

Research Methods
The Research Methods section encourages submissions that focus on new methods, or extensions of existing methods, in the areas of research design, measurement and statistical analysis as they relate to problems of causal inference in educational research. Proposals may consist of purely methodological work, or applied methodological work, in which new methods are illustrated through case studies. Consistent with the conference theme, submissions that: (1) propose methods for testing robustness of conclusions across studies or methodological approaches, (2) demonstrate how methodological choices may lead to indeterminacy in conclusions reached from empirical analyses, or (3) provide insights about how to navigate methodological choices to maximize the likelihood of obtaining valid conclusions, will be of particular interest.