Learning Curves:
Creating and Sustaining Gains
from Early Childhood through Adulthood

The theme of the SREE Spring 2015 Conference, Learning Curves: Creating and Sustaining Gains from Early Childhood through Adulthood, explores the role of research in understanding and supporting learning and growth from preschool through college and beyond.  Education scientists focused on one developmental period may have limited expertise beyond the trajectory and contextual influences primarily associated with one stage of a child’s development.  One consequence may be precision in scholarship and practice at the expense of breadth of knowledge and experience across a range of educational phases and pathways.  The result may be fragmented, and ultimately less effective, science, policy, and practice.

A focus on educational trajectories and transitions, from: (a) preschool to kindergarten,  (b) elementary to middle school, (c) middle to high school, (d) high school to college, and (e) into adulthood, in combination with understanding the contributions of learning across time,may be critical in determining the means to best support enduring outcomes. The frequently observed “fade-out” of gains associated with a specific intervention, particularly, though not exclusively, in early childhood, reinforces the value of a longitudinal perspective. Studies that address mechanisms for potential maintenance, or extension, of impacts over time, and models of interventions that may support sustained effects by bridging across transitions, are well-suited for this meeting. Though not all conference presentations will explicitly examine educational pathways or trajectories, symposia, panels, papers and posters should contribute to understanding the manner in which a specific period of development or intervention may have long-term implications for learning over the continuum of the life course. These may include classroom, school, neighborhood or peer influences on growth.  Research on international studies, across all conference sections, and potentially including international and domestic comparison and contrast within a conference session, is encouraged.


  • Early Childhood Education
  • Social and Emotional Interventions in Educational Settings
  • Instruction and Student Achievement
  • Understanding the Effects of Education Policies
  • Education and Social Inequality
  • Transitions for Youth
  • Research Methods