The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is holding their annual meeting in a hybrid format in Chicago, IL, where faculty, graduate students and alumni from the Michigan State University College of Education (and other Spartans) are presenting their research.
In addition, several Spartans are being acknowledged for their exceptional achievements.
FACULTY & ACADEMIC STAFF RECOGNITION
Department of Teacher Education Professor Beth Herbel-Eisenmann is a recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award of the Special Interest Group (SIG) for Research in Mathematics Education. This award recognizes the programmatic research of a distinguished scholar within the field of mathematics education who has made major contributions to the broader field of educational research. The selection committee specifically highlighted Herbal-Eisenmann’s contribution in the area of mathematics discourse and augmentation, which has greatly influenced both researchers and practitioners in the field. Her scholarship has had a significant impact on both the field and society as a whole, catering to diverse audiences by adeptly linking theory and practice to enhance the comprehension of the power dynamics and linguistic nuances within math classroom environments. A colleague of Herbal-Eisenmann at Georgia State University wrote: “Whether she [Herbal-Eisenmann] is collaborating with senior or junior faulty, undergraduate or graduate students, classroom teachers or community members, she maximizes opportunities for all to rethink, to relearn and to grow anew by maximizing opportunities for all to speak, to be heard and to be seen.”
Jeremy Singer, a post-doctoral researcher for the Education Policy Innovative Collaborative (EPIC) received an honorable mention for the Outstanding Dissertation Award. Singer’s dissertation centers around the socioeconomic variances among the primarily low-income and majority-Black student population in Detroit. He examined how these differences impact the selection of schools within the city. By analyzing survey data, he brought to light notable disparities in socioeconomic indicators, including parental employment and family income, among students who are often lumped together as a homogeneous group in both popular discourse and educational research. He discovered neighborhood schools in Detroit tend to enroll more students from deep poverty than charter schools, while application/exam schools in the city enroll a relatively privileged population.
Lori Bruner, a graduate of the Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education (CITE) program is a recipient of the Dissertation Award for Literacy Excellence from the SIG Research in Reading and Literacy. This is Bruner’s second time winning the award. Bruner’s dissertation, titled “The Words, the Texts, and the Interactions: Opportunities for Word Learning from Preschool Storybook Apps,” involved analyzing 26,744 words from 70 popular storybook apps and recording 4,440 minutes of videos of caregivers reading aloud with their four- and five-year-old children. Her research showed preschool storybook apps offer a comparable amount of new vocabulary as printed books and that the interactive features of digital storytelling encourage caregivers to discuss more words with their children than when reading traditional, static text. Bruner currently works as an assistant professor of early literacy at the University of Alabama College of Education.
Amber Lawson and Rebecca Witte, both doctoral candidates in the Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education (CITE) program, are recipients of Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award. Their paper, titled “The Joy and Justice of Juneteenth,” examined how Juneteenth is represented in children’s books.
Their goal was to offer a more accurate and nuanced view of the holiday that acknowledges its historical roots and ongoing racial inequality. Witte and Lawson analyzed 15 children’s books about Juneteenth and found 11 provided a more balanced perspective, while three reinforced existing biases. They then created a list of criteria to help teachers choose books that accurately represent Juneteenth for their students.
Daman Chhikara, a doctoral candidate in the Education Policy program, is a recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award of the SIG for Research in Mathematics Education. Chhikara’s research examined how student-teacher relationships and racial identities interact to shape educational experiences for diverse student groups. Using nationally representative data, the study found positive relationships between students and teachers predict a lower likelihood of chronic absenteeism, while negative relationships predict a higher likelihood.
Andii Layton, a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership program, is serving as chair on the AERA Graduate Student Council while Andrew Utter, a doctoral student studying education policy is serving as a representative for Division L — highlighting education policy and politics.
Join us in the celebration: Include your achievement in this compilation! Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.