The nation’s most prestigious organization for educational research, the American Educational Research Association (AERA), has awarded Laurence Parker a 2021 AERA Fellowship. Parker is a professor and Department Chair of Educational Leadership and Policy in the University of Utah’s College of Education where he studies disrupting the normalization of student failure.
Being awarded a fellowship is a rigorous process: AERA Fellows are nominated by their peers, selected by the AERA Fellows Committee, and then approved by the AERA Council, AERA’s governing body. Parker was one of 19 educational researchers to receive an AERA Fellowship, which is awarded only to those that demonstrate “distinguished and sustained research achievements.”
“I am honored to be recognized with the AERA Fellowship,” said Parker. “I’ve been studying social justice and other critical research conceptual frameworks to ask how we can use them to disrupt the normalization of failure in K-12 to higher education throughout my entire career. I appreciate what a valuable resource for sharing research findings and discussions of what we do, how we do it and how we can improve our work. AERA is for scholarly researchers, and I am pleased to see my work recognized in this way.”
In addition to being a nationally recognized researcher, Dr. Parker has a long history of AERA service. In 1985, he attended his first AERA conference as a graduate student. Since then, he has gone on to serve as an editor or associate editor for AERA journals, the American Educational Research Journal and the Review of Research in Education journal. He has also published in the Review of Research in Education as well.
Over his career, Parker has published 30 peer-reviewed articles, 4 edited books, 23 book chapters and given over 50 presentations. “Dr. Parker’s research has moved the field of K-12 and higher ed forward by using field examples to show how we can analyze problems through the lens of social justice theories and then come up with socially-just solutions whether that be through changes in theory or practice,” said Nancy Butler Songer, dean of the College of Education. “The AERA Fellowship is a significant recognition of his work, and we couldn’t be more proud of Dr. Parker and his accomplishments.”
When asked what the future holds for him, for AERA and for education, Parker said, “Recently, a lot of my work has focused on incorporating the voices of young people. We have lots to learn from their experiences. Their voices and perspectives should be part of our efforts to improve educational processes and outcomes. Education, from K-12 to colleges and universities, serve the public good. I’m happy to be part of that and to be working with our youth, whose input can help us advance our educational systems and processes here in Utah and throughout the country.”
Parker’s latest publication is available here. Parker and the other 19 AERA 2021 Fellows will join 676 current AERA fellows.
Founded in 1916, the American Educational Research Association (AERA) is a research society dedicated to improving education quality and outcomes through the rigorous study of educational processes and education evaluation, as well as the dissemination and practical application of research findings. AERA has 12 divisions and over 155 special interest groups (SIGs) and provides support to members through their Graduate Student Council and a forum for academic institutions, departments, non-university research institutions and professional associations through the University and Research Institutions. Learn more about AERA.