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TEN Presents at National Forum for Educational Research

Posted in: College News and Events, Homepage News and Events, Teacher Education

Montclair students present at AERA conference
Anthony Gachetti and Valerie Chica, foreground, network with fellow educators at the American Education Research Association conference.

Imagine an annual gathering where educators from around the globe converge to discuss groundbreaking research, exchange ideas, and unveil the latest innovations in education. That’s the essence of the American Education Research Association (AERA) conference, where this spring, Montclair State University’s Transformative Education Network – known by its acronym TEN and nationally recognized for developing antiracist and social justice educators – shared the spotlight among the prestigious gathering in Philadelphia.

With the theme of the AERA conference “Dismantling Racial Injustice and Constructing Educational Possibilities: A Call to Action,” Teaching and Learning professors and TEN co-directors Bree Picower and Tanya Maloney were invited to present a panel on how they bring antiracism and social justice explicitly into curriculum and professional development when recruiting and preparing prospective teachers with partner districts.

Also participating were Montclair students from the University’s College of Education and Engaged Learning, several who joined the professors in the presentation on the four domains of TEN.

“Attending an educational research conference can sound intimidating, but I quickly realized how welcoming and supportive everyone was,” said Anthony Gachetti, a secondary Environmental Science pre-service educator. “As a certified science nerd, I was overjoyed to meet other science educators who were also passionate about anti-racism and inclusion.”

Montclair students present at AERA conference
Montclair students presenting at the American Education Research Association conference, are Montclair students from left, Shanika Forbes, Anthony Gachetti, Jodie Buri and Valerie Chica.

Valerie Chica, a bilingual elementary pre-service educator, attended sessions centered on equitable access, culturally responsive teaching and engaging multilingual learners with technology. “After the sessions ended, I introduced myself and was able to network with the other educators in the room. It was amazing to hear their work, insight and knowledge.”

Jodie Buri, a secondary Math pre-service educator, felt empowered by the aura of inclusivity. “At times, addressing educational injustices can make [a person of color] feel like the odd one out. However, during AERA, I found myself surrounded by like-minded individuals,” she said. “I felt optimistic, particularly when I listened to Latinx researchers sharing strategies for addressing the challenges faced by our community in accessing STEM fields. Their presence served as a powerful demonstration that we, too, belong in higher educational spaces.”

Faculty and students engaged in a number of conference sessions and explored Philadelphia culture, and attended a variety of networking events, including the Black and Brown Reception, co-sponsored by the Research Focus on Black Education Special Interest group of which Dr. Maloney is Communications Chair.

Montclair students present at AERA conference
Montclair’s Transformative Education Network is represented at the AERA conference in Philadelphia.

Story by Sarah Alaeddin ’24, a member of the Transformative Education Network.