EFLT professor Elena Aydarova named National Academy of Education and Spencer Foundation fellow

July 7, 2021

Elena Aydarova professional headshotElena Aydarova, an assistant professor in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology, has been selected as a 2021 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Post-doctoral fellow. The award provides funding and professional development to early-career researchers whose projects address critical issues in the history, theory, or practice of formal or informal education, at the national and international levels.

Aydarova is the first Auburn scholar in twenty years to receive the fellowship.

This year, 25 fellows were selected from a competitive pool of 249 applications from scholars of education. The fellowships are administered by the National Academy of Education, an honorary educational society, and they are funded by a grant to the Academy from the Spencer Foundation. The fellowship program has more than 800 alumni who include many of the strongest education researchers in the field today. The Academy believes the fellowships enhance the future of education research by developing new talent in the many disciplines represented by the scholars selected.

According to NAEd President Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, “The NAEd/Spencer Fellowship Programs cultivate the next generation of education scholars by funding their research projects and providing resources to strengthen their research and research training, including mentorship from NAEd members. We consider these fellows to be among the best in their respective fields.”

For this fellowship, Aydarova will focus on exploring the science of reading reforms that have swept across the nation in the last couple of years. According to Auburn University Provost Bill Hardgrave, “research on the science of reading and the impacts on teacher education is timely and important.”

“It is a tremendous honor for the college and Auburn University for Dr. Aydarova to receive this recognition,” said Rodney Greer, assistant dean for research in the College of Education. “Awards are made based on the quality of the proposed project, as well as the applicant’s past research record and anticipated career trajectory. This award will provide Dr. Aydarova the significant time and resources necessary to advance her scholarship in a meaningful way.”

Dr. Aydarova’s book Teacher Education Reform as Political Theater: Russian Policy Dramas (2019, with SUNY Press) has been recognized with a Critics’ Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association, an Outstanding Book Award from the Council on Anthropology and Education, and an Outstanding Book Award from the Society of Professors of Education. Her work has appeared in Educational Policy, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Teaching and Teacher Education, and other journals.

She is a recipient of an American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women, the Concha Delgado Gaitan Presidential Fellowship from the Council on Anthropology and Education, as well as a Global Teacher Education Fellowship from the Longview Foundation. Her research has also won awards from Division K of the American Educational Research Association, the Comparative and International Education Society, and TESOL International.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Aydarova as a recipient of this important fellowship award.