Philadelphia in the Springtime AERA conference 2014

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

Philadelphia can bring many thoughts to mind:  the birthplace of the United States, the Liberty Bell, even the famous scene of Rocky Balboa running up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum.  Hopefully, this year you will also be able to add the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting to those concepts.  Thirteen thousand educators, researchers, students, statisticians, historians, vendors, politicians and professors will descend on the City of Brotherly Love to contemplate the theme “The Power of Education Research for Innovation in Practice and Policy.”

The Teaching Educational Psychology (TEP) SIG program this year is inviting and reflects the changing nature of education in general and teaching educational psychology specifically.  This year TEP SIG is hosting two sessions that include six distinct papers and our annual business meeting.  These papers respond to innovative practices in teacher education, research, assessment, accreditation, higher education reform, and technological advances.  Though we share a common language, our contexts of teaching educational psychology may differ.  The Roundtable format offers TEP the flexibility to discuss innovative practices, pedagogical challenges, and on-going research.  The first Roundtable session focuses on evolutionary changes, alignment and identification, and the infusion of theory and practice.  Three papers will be presented, and Joyce Moore from the University of Iowa will chair the session. 
The Working Group Roundtable will present Iron Instructor:  Educational Psychology – Harnessing the Power of Educational Research for Practice.  This innovative and interactive session will challenge four educational psychology instructors from different institutions to use three ‘not-so-secret’ ingredients to revitalize their courses.  Lynley Anderman, from The Ohio State University, will facilitate the discussion, and ‘audience members’ will judge how well each ingredient was integrated into each course.  Then, make sure you drop by the TEP SIG Business Meeting!  We love to see old friends and meet new colleagues who share our interest in teaching educational psychology.  We are always looking for people to get involved in leadership and help grow our SIG. 
 Let’s hope our visit to this beautiful city allows us to not only have an opportunity to break away from our professional context to learn from each other, but also from the cold and snow as well.  Although, the typical climate for April in Philadelphia is 42 (low) to 65 (high), as researchers we know there can be variance in these numbers season to season and year to year.  For Philadelphians, and many of us throughout the United States, this year was an outlier in terms of snow and cold.  Typically, Philadelphia averages 23 inches of snow, this year they broke that record with a whopping 60 inches (as of the writing of this article) and more is predicted later this week.  Let’s hope that this snow is Mother Nature’s last blast, and we can truly enjoy AERA in the SPRINGTIME!
I hope to meet you in Philadelphia as we climb the steps of innovative practice and policy, or the Philadelphia Art Museum, and give a big Rocky celebration at the top!

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