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:

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“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.”

Ruth Neild Director, Institute of Education Sciences

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.

See: “Forging Common Ground: Fostering the Conditions for Evidence Use”