Public scholarship—research that produces a public good, is planned and carried out with public or community partners, and has broadly accessible results—is too rarely rewarded or encouraged in academia, where it is characterized as applied work or as service but not legitimate scholarship. AERA will organize an Academic Deans Conference on Public Scholarship as a pre-day conference at the 2016 AERA Annual Meeting. This conference will convene deans and other university leaders to focus on: 1) how to define public scholarship, 2) the criteria for what is considered meritorious scholarship, 3) metrics to measure and evaluate high-quality public scholarship, and 4) how public scholarship can align with the purposes and missions of different academic institutions. AERA will also host a strand of public scholarship sessions at the Annual Meeting. Four two-hour symposia will feature TEDtalk-like presentations that convey knowledge produced through rigorous research for a broader audience, including education policymakers.
This grant will allow the American Educational Research Association (AERA) to further its work on conceptualizing what counts as high-quality public scholarship, and how to stimulate and evaluate it.