Many across the education research community are experiencing the cancellation of the 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) through the lens of loss. This loss encompasses the hard work that President Siddle-Walker, Executive Director Levine, and so many staff members and volunteers committed to curating the program and organizing logistics, the efforts that thousands of educators made to prepare proposals and papers, and the ache that comes with losing an opportunity for in-person fellowship with dear friends and colleagues in a time of anxiety and uncertainty.
We feel the loss, too.
But what if we could simultaneously interpret this cancellation as an invitation?
Perhaps we could embrace this moment as an opportunity to expand the bounds of our community, re-imagine how we talk about education research, policy, and practice, and dream about the future of education together.
go rogue: to begin to behave in an independent or uncontrolled way that is not authorized, normal, or expected
– Merriam-Webster dictionary
What if we created a #rogueAERA?
Freed from the conventions of papers or posters or symposia, let’s consider how we could express the nature, goals, and findings of our work (and play) in education. Photos. Poetry. Songs. Tweets. Games. Illustrations. Videos. Stories. Dialogues. TikToks. And more. Go rogue.*
To be clear, we use the term ‘rogue’ in the spirit of embracing the experimental, not the negative or confrontational. We love our AERA community and while this effort is in no way affiliated with the organization, we humbly propose it as a friendly innovation.
Allowing ourselves to express what we do beyond the bounds of traditional academic forms can potentially create space for new innovations in our thinking and welcome more voices into conversation. Our families can participate in #rogueAERA. Our young people can participate in #rogueAERA. Let’s demystify it and throw open the doors.
And so, if you have the bandwidth right now (in every sense of the word), we invite you to experiment with us. During what would have been the dates of AERA 2020 (April 17-21), use the hashtag #rogueAERA on all social media platforms from wherever and whenever you are to share what you would have liked to talk about in person. Let’s start a new conversation.
–Nicole Mirra & Antero Garcia
*Disclaimer: We of course have to give the reminder that whatever you share on social media must respect the privacy of any research participants and cannot violate the protections upheld by institutional review boards and bonds of trust and respect. You know the drill.