2018 Sections

Early Childhood Education
The Early Childhood Education section encourages submissions that examine effective math and literacy interventions beginning in preschool and their carryover into subsequent developmental periods. The section is particularly interested in evidence demonstrating what types of math understanding are important in early childhood, from number sense to spatial reasoning, and the trajectories of how this learning relates to other cognitive and social developments, including support for later literacy. In particular, we wish to consider the state of the evidence for the research-to-practice implementation of these programs, their fidelity, and the sustainability of effects. Results from low-achieving or atypically-developing children are encouraged as a means of assessing strategies for improving learning at the start of formal education.

Innovations in Teacher Preparation & Education 
The section on Innovations in Teacher Preparation & Education invites submissions that address a range of clinically-oriented strategies for building and retaining a highly-qualified teacher workforce. Settings may range from pre-k to higher education environments. University-district partnerships that implement programmatic structures and/or instructional practices to improve teacher candidate preparedness are of particular interest. Examples include professional development schools, residency and clinically oriented teacher preparation programs, and institutions of higher education that partner with school districts. Submissions should provide the theoretical basis of support for a new program, employ rigorous methods to determine teacher candidate preparedness, and examine how practice was informed by research findings. Teacher preparedness research may include, but is not limited to, instructional/observational rubrics, principal feedback forms, district teacher evaluation data and other strategies for measuring effective instruction. Research on innovative instructional practices, across content areas, that alter educational trajectories are appropriate for this section. Studies that contrast aspects of the innovations that have, and have not, succeeded and the processes accessible to evaluation, are encouraged.

Research ↔ Practice in Local Educational Agencies
The Research ↔ Practice in LEAs section emphasizes new and evolving partnerships between researchers and practitioners that inform both school district practices and institutional research agendas. Such partnerships have contributed to: (a) rigorous descriptive explorations that guide the development of new interventions, (b) application of implementation science research, 
(c) growth of large-scale randomized trials, (d) scale-up efforts, and (e) the development of policy labs. We invite submissions that examine the impact of initiatives built on strong collaborative foundations. Abstracts should provide the details on partnership development, research methods and analytic techniques, significant and/or null findings, dissemination strategies, and actual or potential policy implications for the district.

Research ↔ Practice: University-Based Collaborations
Many universities are rethinking the traditional role of the academy in informing policy and practice. The section on Research ↔ Practice: University-Based Collaborations highlights work of research-practice partnerships between university-based researchers and policy makers and/or practitioners working at the state, local or national level. Particular attention will be paid to partnerships that have resulted in changes in policy and practice designed to improve student outcomes. Abstracts should include a description of rigorous research designs and analytic techniques and an explanation of how study results inform practice. Particular attention should be paid to the evolution of partnerships and sources of support that enhanced the impact on students, including ways in which the university partner had to deviate from the status quo to support this work.

Research ↔ Practice at the National Level
The section on Research ↔ Practice: National Level invites submissions that address national governments as supporters, producers, consumers, and disseminators of effectiveness research in education and closely related fields. We invite research designed with, or for, national governments on the impacts of their policies, programs, prioritized interventions or service delivery.
Rigorous studies of efforts by national governments to incentivize, draw upon and support 
the use of effectiveness research are encouraged. Submissions to this section should give special attention to how the study and its context illuminate the challenges of, and strategies for, 
bridging research and practice.

Education and Life Cycle Transitions
The Education and Life Cycle Transitions section invites submissions focusing on the role of research evidence in informing policies, programs, and practices that support successful student transitions, including transitions in early education and from secondary school to postsecondary education and careers. Studies examining evidence use in: (a) early childhood education, 
(b) youth development, (c) alternative pathways to student success, (d) secondary school improvement, and (e) postsecondary readiness and success programming, are encouraged. Submissions that describe partnerships among researchers, practitioners and policymakers that enable evidence-informed actions supporting successful student transitions will align well with the conference theme. Abstracts should provide a summary of how research findings are employed to support student transitions and detail, where appropriate, the social and organizational processes of evidence use.

Educational Effectiveness in Global Contexts
The section on Educational Effectiveness in Global Contexts encourages submissions that explore the effectiveness of education interventions at all levels, including early childhood, primary, secondary, vocational/technical and post-secondary education: (a) in non-U.S. contexts or 
(b) in relation to either a U.S. or global context. In the global arena, studies originating in low- 
and middle-income countries, as well as high-income countries other than the United States, are of particular interest. We encourage the submission of symposia and panels that pair findings from domestic and international settings. Individual papers assessing research in non-U.S. settings 
will be matched with U.S.-based studies in conference sessions across the relevant conference sections, in order to facilitate bi-directional learning.

Research Methods
The Research Methods section encourages the presentation of new methods, or extensions of existing methods, that address problems of causal inference in educational research, specifically in the areas of research design, measurement and statistical analysis. Consistent with the conference theme, proposals that focus on methods and their substantive applications while considering the following areas are of particular interest: (a) outcome measures, beyond test scores, of importance to schools and administrators, (b) methods and tools generated from the questions and constraints faced by schools and administrators, and (c) strategies for communicating research results from and to 
school communities.