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What is the American Educational Research Association?

What is the American Educational Research Association?

The American Educational Research Association, or AERA as it’s often called, is an important American institution today. What exactly does this group do, and what is its organizational background and history? Here’s the rundown on the American Educational Research Association as we know it.


To understand AERA, it’s a great starting place to look to the group’s operational mission. AERA is a non-profit professional organization that works to improve the US education system and its results through applied research. In addition, the organization is dedicated to promoting the ongoing use of research throughout the educational system and practice. In simpler terms, this group is a research organization that uses studies and research to find ways to improve education.


Only several years back, AERA celebrated its 100th anniversary, having been originally established in 1916. At that time, AERA was actually known as the National Association of Directors of Educational Research and was created as a partnering arm of the National Education Association. Now operating as a completely different entity, the National Education Association is a separate labor union and professional interest group.

After its 1916 establishment, what we now know as AERA began organizing meetings of groups of doctors and other professionals in order to start to diagnose and improve educational efforts at the time. By 1928, however, the group had found a new value in the use of research itself as a powerful tool to help transform the education system, and consequently changed its name, that year, to the American Educational Research Association. Since then, the organization took on the shape of what we know it as today – a modern, research-based organization dedicated to educational improvement through its 25,000+ professional, contributing members.


Throughout its many efforts over the years to bolster the US educational systems, AERA has released a number of publications. These many published works have included journals, reports, books, and more. As of this writing, AERA publishes seven, peer-reviewed journals including the popular Educational Researcher, the American Educational Research Journal, and the Review of Research in Education.

Ongoing Research Efforts

A complete list of the research endeavors taken on by AERA over the years would be incredibly lengthy, but there are a number of valuable projects being facilitated by the organization right now through the group’s Education Research Service Projects program and other programs. With the Education Research Service Projects program, experts of all sorts are connected with the research projects and even other researching organizations in which their expertise is greatly needed. Additionally, AERA has recently joined the open access movement, providing open sharing of much of its work through the Online Paper Repository, its open access, peer-reviewed journal, AERA Open, and via a number of other, key, contributing share points.

AERA is an important institution in the greater educational standing of the US. It maintains this position through continued works in educational research and through an extensive network of leading experts across many fields. For more information on the American Educational Research Association, further inquiry with the organization directly through its very active website is highly recommended.