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Ball receives AERA award for groundbreaking article

Arnetha Ball
Arnetha Ball

Ball receives AERA award for groundbreaking article

Professor Arnetha Ball won the Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award for her work contributing to the scholarship on teacher learning for diversity.

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) has presented its highest award, the Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award, to P. David Pearson, Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California at Berkeley for exemplary contributions to education research. This award is intended to publicize, motivate, encourage, and suggest models of education research at its best.

Pearson and other outstanding education researchers were honored on Sunday, May 2, during AERA's 91st Annual Meeting which drew more than 13,000 education researchers from 60 countries to the five-day meeting that ends on May 4. The theme of the meeting is Understanding Complex Ecologies in a Changing World, a topic selected by AERA President Carol D. Lee and Program Chair Ronald Rochon.

Pearson was honored for his 40 years of extraordinary contributions to reading theory, research, practice, and policy. He is best known for his groundbreaking work in reading comprehension and reading assessment. His early work on children's comprehension processes and comprehension instruction persuaded a generation of educators and future researchers that comprehension could and should be taught, not simply tested. He continues to push on comprehension issues as he works on improving reading instruction in high-poverty schools and text-based learning in science.

Jeffrey R. Henig of Teachers College, Columbia University was presented the Outstanding Book Award for Spin Cycle: How Research Is Used in Policy Debates: The Case of Charter Schools. The award recognizes an outstanding book in education research and development. Spin Cycle: How Research Is Used in Policy Debates: The Case of Charter Schools explores the complex debate over school choice, and examines how research, as well as public discourse, has evolved over the past 15 years. In the book, Henig presents a synthesis of the research on charter schools, as well as a compelling analysis of the role that social science research can play in public discourse and policymaking.

François Victor Tochon of University of Wisconsin-Madison was presented the Review of Research Award, which recognizes an outstanding review of research article appearing in one of the following AERA peer-reviewed journals during the 2008 volume year: Review of Research in Education or Review of Educational Research. His article, "The Key to Global Understanding: World Languages Education—Why Schools Need to Adapt," was published in the Review of Educational Research, June 2009. In the article, Tochon draws on extensive interdisciplinary research to argue for the teaching of world languages in schools, and makes a major contribution to the national discussion of how to prepare students for success in the 21st century.

The AERA Relating Research to Practice Award recognizes outstanding contributions that individuals have made toward increasing practitioner and lay-group understanding of contributions of education research to improving education practice. John Smyth of University of Ballarat in Australia was recognized for Interpretive Scholarship. Edmund W. Gordon of Teachers College, Columbia University was honored for Professional Service.

John Smyth's research focuses on disenfranchised youth who too often leave school before completion and on the experiences of young adults in disadvantaged schools throughout Southern Australia and elsewhere. He is being honored for his insightful monograph 'Hanging in with Kids' in Tough Times and for a set of professional development modules designed to guide teachers and schools through a self-investigation process to better serve such youth.

Edmund W. Gordon was recognized for his distinguished career that spans seven decades. He has made a significant impact on education research and practice and the pursuit of educational equity and achievement for urban minority children. Gordon has enriched the lives of his students, supported quality education, and pressed policy makers at federal, state and local levels to address gaps in educational achievement and to invest in enhanced learning opportunities for all children.

Michael T. Kane of ETS in Princeton, N.J. was presented the E. F. Lindquist Award, which honors a distinguished scholar and researcher for outstanding research in testing and measurement. The award is co-sponsored by AERA and ACT, Inc. Kane has made multiple significant contributions to the theory and practice of educational measurement.

Guofang Li of Michigan State University was presented the Early Career Award for her distinguished portfolio of cumulative education research within the first decade after receiving her doctoral degree. Li’s research portrays minority literacy learning as grounded in the experiences of minority students and their families.

Arnetha F. Ball of Stanford University was presented the Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award, which recognizes the highest quality of academic scholarship published in one of the following AERA journals during the 2008 volume year: American Educational Research Journal (AERJ), Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Educational Researcher, or Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics. Her article, "Towards a Theory of Generative Change in Linguistically Complex Classrooms," was published in AERJ, March 2009. The essential issue in improving learning in schools is improving the quality of instruction, and Ball's article moves the field substantially, based on its theoretical contributions to the scholarship on teacher learning for diversity.

Beverly L. Hall, Superintendent of the Atlanta, Ga., Public Schools, was presented the Distinguished Public Service Award, which recognizes exceptional contributions to advancing the use of education research and statistics in shaping policy.

Each year, the AERA President selects outstanding scholars to honor with Presidential Citations. AERA President Carol D. Lee presented these awards to Luis C. Moll of The University of Arizona, Geoffrey B. Saxe of University of California-Berkeley and William F. Tate of Washington University in St. Louis.

Luis C. Moll was recognized for his foundational contributions to the study of culture and learning, bilingualism and

Geoffrey B. Saxe was honored for his important contributions to the study of cognition and culture. Saxe’s research is foundational to the study of how human learning is shaped by participation in routine cultural practices.

William F. Tate was recognized for his expansive vision of conceptual and methodological tools that can be used to address inequities in opportunity to learn. He continuously enlarges his intellectual repertoire, and in so doing has made unique and compelling contributions to the fields of mathematics education, educational policy, and ecological theorizing related to opportunities to learn.

Five education research scholars were honored at the Annual Meeting for significant contributions to the field in support of equity and social justice. Carl A. Grant, Hoefs-Bascom Professor of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and recipient of the Association’s 2010 Social Justice in Education Award, was recognized for his outstanding commitment to the advancement of social justice through education research. Grant presented the accompanying Social Justice in Education Award Lecture on Cultivating Flourishing Lives: A Robust Vision of Social Justice Education.

The Distinguished Contributions to Gender Equity in Education Research Award was presented by the AERA Committee on Scholars and Advocates for Gender Equity in Education to Valerie Polakow, Eastern Michigan University, whose research focuses on how best to design better policy measures for families and children.

Three additional researchers were recognized by the AERA Committee on Scholars of Color in Education. The committee awards are presented to individuals to honor their contributions to the understanding of issues that disproportionately affect minority populations and to minority scholars who have made a significant contribution to education research and development.

<ul><li>The 2010 Distinguished Career Contribution Award was presented to Carol Camp Yeakey, Washington University in St. Louis.</li>
<li>Dolores Delgado Bernal, University of Utah, received the 2010 Distinguished Scholar Award.</li>
<li>Valerie Kinloch, The Ohio State University, was honored with the 2010 Early Career Contribution Award.</li></ul>

The announcement of these three awards took place at the Joint Social Justice in Education reception on Friday, with presentation of the awards at the AERA Committee on Scholars of Color in Education Awards Presentation and Business Meeting on May 1.


<em>The American Educational Research Association (AERA), based in Washington, D.C., is the national interdisciplinary research association for approximately 25,000 scholars who undertake research in education. Founded in 1916, AERA aims to advance knowledge about education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.</em>

Editor's Note: To reach AERA Communications, call (202)238-3200; Helaine Patterson (
or Lucy Cunningham ( AERA Press Room in Denver: (303) 228-8402.

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