NCRPP leadership is at the #IESPImeeting this week. We’ll be sharing some early findings from year one of our two-year study on the IES Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research program. This is a descriptive project, with surveys and interviews with 106 of the most active participants (61 researchers, 45 practitioners) in the first 28 RPPs funded by IES. We’ll be sharing the full interim report in January, but here is a sneak peek:
Perceptions of the Partnerships
Researchers and practitioners alike highly valued their participation in partnership work, with 100% of those surveyed either agreeing or strongly agreeing that they would participate in an RPP in the future. Practitioners named several benefits, including helping to shift organizational culture for research use and increasing access to resources and expertise aimed at understanding and addressing a specific problem of practice. Both researchers and practitioners also felt that the quality and applicability of research increased as a result of the partnership.
Goals of the RPPs
The most commonly reported goals were ones emphasized within the request for applications (RFA) for the program: conducting and using research and impacting local improvement efforts. RPPs also pursued the goals of cultivating partnership relationships, increasing the capacity of researchers and practitioners to engage in partnership work, and informing the work of others through sharing of strategies and tools with people outside the partnership.
Partnerships reported the greatest progress in their initial work toward the goals of building relationships and refining their understandings of problems the partnership could address. They reported somewhat less progress for longer-term goals that might take more time to accomplish, such as improving organizational policies and processes in the educational organization and impacting students’ outcomes.
Challenges Within Partnerships
Roughly half of the partnerships identified organizational turnover and obtaining usable data as key challenges to their work together. Other leading challenges were synchronizing schedules of researchers and practitioners and accommodating different timelines for getting work done.
If you’re at the PI meeting, come by the poster and say hello! We’ll be at Columbia West at the Washington Hilton from 4:15 – 5:45pm on Thursday, 12/15/16.