DARE and The American Education Research Association Conference – Toronto

Theo Bryer, Jane Coles, Kate Cowan, Rosie Flewitt and John Potter went to the American Education Research Association Conference (AERA) in Toronto, April 5-9, 2019. The conference theme was ‘Leveraging Education Research in a Post-Truth Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence’.  Theo and Jane were presenting on research that emerged from the Beowulf project, initiated by the DARE collaborative – a paper entitled Reanimation: multimodal discourse around text, part of the Participation in interaction: multimodal understandings of interaction in a range of education settings, symposium (or SIG session). They particularly appreciated getting to know Roberta Taylor and Karen Daniels, from Sheffield Hallam, with whom they presented.

DARE members John, Kate and Rosie were part of the symposium Exploring lived experiences through multimodal texts and methodologies: narratives and complex representations of learning, alongside Øystein Gilje from the University of Oslo and Bronwyn Williams from the University of Louisville.  John and Kate presented their work on ‘Playing the Archive’ in a paper entitled Researching children’s media-related play: multimodal narratives of lived experience. They drew on work in two schools in London alongside children as participant co-researchers of their games.

Rosie and Kate presented their research funded by the Froebel Trust, Valuing learning through multimodal narratives: observation and digital documentation of play in English kindergartens. The symposium attracted high attendance and prompted rich, engaged debate about the importance of the issues that we addressed including the need to find ways to represent the details of lived experience in educational research, using multimodal methods.

AERA is the world’s largest gathering of education researchers – involving over 15,000 delegates from all over the world. All DARE members saw some excellent presentations and speakers, including Michael Apple and Claudia Ladson-Billings – and caught up with academic contacts and friends from Sheffield Hallam, Oslo, Kentucky and other parts of the world.