The American Educational Research Association (AERA), founded in 1916, is concerned with improving the educational process by encouraging scholarly inquiry related to education and evaluation and by promoting the dissemination and practical application of research results. AERA's more than 25,000 members are faculty, researchers, graduate students, and other distinguished professionals with rich and diverse expertise in education research. They work in a range of settings from universities and other academic institutions to research institutes, federal and state agencies, school systems, testing companies, and nonprofit organizations. Based on their research, they produce and disseminate knowledge, refine methods and measures, and stimulate translation and practical application of research results. AERA is international in scope. Nearly 5% of members, representing over 85 countries, reside outside the United States. Over 28% of AERA members are students—approximately 6,500 graduate students and 600 undergraduate students. Over 74% of AERA members report that education is their primary discipline. Other disciplines represented by AERA members include psychology, statistics, sociology, history, economics, philosophy, anthropology, and political science.
The 2018 program theme calls us to confront the struggles for public education, considering the times in which we are living, the historical arcs that shape our present(s), and the roles we can play in the fight for justice. Public education has the potential to be a central pillar of democracy and to foster civil deliberation. It is essential to democratic government, which both depends on and makes possible respect for diversity, justice, and human dignity. It has a crucial role to play in our divided world, bringing communities together to build an inclusive formation of “we the people.”