Reflections from the AERA Annual Meeting: San Francisco Dreaming

by Cynthia Bolton-Gary, TEP SIG Chair 2013-2014

Due to many factors, not the least being the change in venue less than a year before from Atlanta, Georgia to San Francisco, California, I really did not expect a stellar turnout for the Annual Meeting.  Many universities and colleges cut their travel budgets because of continuing economic challenges, and this was the fifth meeting in the western (San Diego, Denver, Vancouver Canada) or central (New Orleans and Chicago) part of the country in 5 years.  With all of these challenges, it’s amazing that this year’s meeting surpassed my expectations by leaps and bounds.
                Last year in Vancouver Canada, TEP expanded the types of sessions offered by including poster presentations.  This year TEP sponsored a Round Table discussion.  This format was influential in helping new instructors to network and gain support from those of us who have been teaching educational psychology for many years in different contexts.  Another important result from this session was a serendipitous connection of those who teach educational psychology in departments of psychology, not colleges of education or for education program providers.  These connections are critical for those who may feel marginalized, though they have the same mission as the majority of our members:  how to teach educational psychology in meaningful, effective and innovative ways in order to provide educative experiences in how people learn, think, and are motivated and how best to effect that learning, thinking, and motivation.
                The Business Meeting was very well attended, and I hope all the new faces that I met that evening will become active and contributing members of our SIG.  The big topics of the evening was how to grow our TEP SIG; how to support all of our members especially graduate students and new professors; and how to reach out to our related SIGs and Divisions to co-sponsor sessions. 
                Every session that I attended (which was all but one due to travel arrangements) was incredibly well attended (some standing room only).  The interest in the research our members are conducting is engaging and rigorous, permeating many different areas of educational research. 
                I want to encourage you to submit a proposal for the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania next spring – April 3 – 7.  Submissions are due July 22, 2013.  You can also contribute by volunteering to be a discussant or chair of a session.  This is a great way to get to know others in TEP and network with an amazing group of professionals committed to Teaching Educational Psychology. 

See you
in Philly!

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