“Making your way in the world today, Takes everything you got, Taking a break from all your worries, It sure would help a lot, Wouldn’t you like to get away?” – Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart-Angelo
With a smile, I await one of my favorite times of the year. The 49th Northeastern Educational Research Association conference is almost here. I await the research, the camaraderie, the new faces, the old faces, and everything in between that makes this organization and this conference so special.
Our theme for this year’s conference is Honoring the Past in Educational Research, While Looking Ahead: What Does the Future Hold?
With this theme I hope to address the need for educational researchers to be thoughtful about the research and the practice that predates the work they will present at the conference. Not only doing so for the sake of creating a thorough reference list, but also for the sake of clarifying the background or context that brings you to your research question. Noting the rationale, reasons or motivations for past researchers to engage in the work continued by you is important. It is also critical for helping your audience understand the significance of the work. It helps them put into context the conclusions you draw and your recommendations for future research.
“Honor” may seem a bit strong of a word for our appreciation of the researchers in our reference list. And I admit that my co-chairs and I did take the same liberties with our theme that copy editors do for newspaper headlines. However, I don’t think we’re that far off from what it should feel like to be an inspirational part of the research that succeeds your work. It is from this position in the reference list that you, the honoree, can continue to inspire what the future holds.
In the immediate future, we have an upcoming conference that is full of engaging workshops and presentations. I won’t spoil the announcements from our co-chairs Jade Caines and Tabitha McKinley or our GSIC committee; however, I would like to take a moment to thank the sponsors. As the conference nears, we continue to gain sponsorships from organizations that find value in the work that NERA does. To date, we have approximately $20,000 in commitments. Pearson, ETS, edCount, The National Center for Improvement of Educational Assessment, and James Madison University have all contributed to our new Diamond level sponsorship packages. Thank you! And, thank you to everyone else that has contributed thus far. These sponsorships, and other in-kind gifts, help NERA put on the kind of conference that you’ve become accustomed to.
In the last newsletter, I took up significant space in my column to note and thank a few of the NERA members who were instrumental in my growth within the organization. In closing, I would like to send a shout out to all of the newer members of NERA for their continued interests, participation, engagement, and hard work within the NERA community.
Sing it with me now…
“You want to be where you can see, The troubles are all the same, You want to be where everybody knows your name”