Vienna, Austria: Representatives of 25 national, regional, and international specialty education research associations from around the world gathered in Vienna on September 29, 2009 to commemorate the founding of the World Education Research Association (WERA). Officially established by a resolution on April 18, 2009 in San Diego, California, WERA was formally recognized at the Vienna ceremony, which included presentations by several distinguished speakers, a signing by WERA representatives of a declaration endorsing the purposes of WERA, and a symposium. Guests and speakers emphasized the importance of promoting international collaboration on scholarly studies of education as embodied in WERA initiatives. They also acknowledged the significance of having this important ceremony take place in Vienna, historically a great international city with multilingual and diverse traditions and cultures.
The ceremony concluded several days of meetings and events in Vienna, including the first WERA Council meeting, which took place on September 26-27. Council elected Yin Cheong Cheng, Past President of the Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association and Representative of the Hong Kong Education Research Association as Interim Vice President. He joins the other two officers, Interim President Ingrid Gogolin and Interim Secretary General Felice Levine who were elected in May 2009. All three will hold office until May 6, 2010. A plan for the election of the first WERA Executive Committee, which will take place in December 2009, was outlined and discussed.
The WERA Council meeting focused on plans for a substantive program of WERA activities for the next several years. Following the WERA Three-Year Program Plan approved in Singapore in 2008, representatives agreed on implementing WERA symposium and one focal set of WERA sessions each year aligned with the meetings of WERA member associations, capacity building workshops, and research working groups that will engage researchers with diverse expertise in working together on research problems and topics. By design, these activities would draw on worldwide scholarship and scholars, and encourage broad-based participation beyond what any single national, regional, or international specialty association is able to undertake.
The event marked the culmination of more than two years of intensive effort to create a new forum to advance and share scholarly knowledge on education on an international scale. The Education Association of South Africa (EASA) and the Taiwan Education Research Association (TERA) became new members of WERA in Vienna, bringing its membership to twenty-seven. WERA was hosted in Vienna by the European Educational Research Association (EERA) during its annual European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) and the University of Vienna.
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The World Education Research Association (WERA) is an association of national, regional, and international specialty research associations aimed at advancing education research as a scientific and scholarly field. Established on April 18, 2009 in San Diego, California, WERA’s 27 member associations are resolved to work together to address such issues as building capacity and interest in education research, advancing education research policies and practices, and promoting the use and application of education research worldwide. WERA aims to undertake initiatives that are global in nature and thus transcend what any one association can accomplish in its own country, region, or area of specialization.