Research–practice partnerships strengthen educational systems. When researchers and district leaders develop long-term collaborations, they leverage research to address persistent problems of practice and policy. Learn more by exploring the topics below:
“When practitioners and researchers work together in a real partnership, not only is practice better, and what we are able to do for kids better, but the research is much, much better.”
What does a productive research–practice partnership look like?
- A long term commitment: RPPs are established with the long view in mind. The most persistent problems take time to address, and building trust between partners requires dedication.
- A focus on practical problems: RPPs work on problems that districts identify as relevant. Research priorities respond to district needs, not just gaps in existing theory or research.
- A commitment to a “two way street”: The partnership must benefit both researchers and educators. A two-way street is essential for effective communication, designing relevant research, and using the research to improve educational systems.
- Attention to relationships: Effective partnerships have formal strategies for building and maintaining relationships. Trust is a recurring theme during all stages of work, and ongoing attention to relationships is foundational to RPPs.
- An emphasis on original analyses: RPPs produce original analyses to address research agendas that are jointly constructed by researchers and the district. The goal of research is to contribute to improving educational outcomes.