The American Educational Research Association (AERA), founded in 1916, is concerned with improving the educational process by encouraging scholarly inquiry related to education and evaluation and by promoting the dissemination and practical application of research results.

Division B: Curriculum Studies is one of twelve disciplinary areas associated with the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Division B is made up of “a diverse and eclectic group of scholars who raises questions, studies issues, and explores possibilities related to curriculum–the official and unofficial bodies of knowledge taught and learned, or not.” 

About the Award:

Division B Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually to “a  distinguished scholar with widely recognized and continuous records of accomplishment and who has made substantive contributions to the field of curriculum studies or whose work has served to open up the curriculum field to diverse, transdisciplinary perspectives, critiques, and understandings.”

This year represents the first time the award is being giving posthumously. The award committee felt that breaking from precedent was justified in Dr. Woodson’s case, given his legacy as a scholar and advocate for including African American life and history in the “official curricula” of the nation’s public schools.

The award committee noted in its memo (which is below) announcing Dr. Woodson’s selection, “Although [Dr. Woodson’s] own life ended over seventy years ago, his dedication to curriculum critique, understanding, and development continues to exert a major influence on the curriculum fieldHe spent a lifetime working tirelessly to confront the racism inherent to school curricula that excluded the history and contributions of African Americans. Here in the 21st century, Woodson’s efforts are no less felt, no less imperative, than they were in his own day.”