Dilemmas of research-practice partnerships
The National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools has worked in partnership with two of the nation’s largest school districts since 2010 to test an improvement process that brings together researchers, developers, and educators to scale collaboratively designed innovations aimed at reducing disparities in educational attainment. In this article, we draw on this partnership work to ask: What dilemmas do research-practice partnerships raise in general and for improvement research, in particular? We contend that differences-we call them dilemmas-are important to name, define, and illustrate because they shape the interactions between people from different professional, cultural, and institutional groups. While dilemmas, by definition, cannot be resolved per se, they do form the context in which partner members engage. Identifying dilemmas endemic to research-practice partnerships can help build understanding about where partner members “are coming from,” encourage boundary spanning, and better focus attention on agreed-upon goals.
In a new paper in the Journal of Research on Organization in Education, NCSU affiliates Lora Cohen-Vogel, Danielle Allen, Stacey Rutledge, Marisa Cannata, Christopher Harrison, and Thomas Smith consider how these organizational dilemmas characterize the work of research-practice partnerships.
Access the paper here.