Impact in education through research-practice partnerships podcast
Research-practice partnerships (RPPs) are structured collaborations between practitioners – so the agencies with responsibility for delivering education, such as schools and the bodies governing and administering them, and those researching in the field of education such as universities, research institutions, or other groups that conduct research.
The objective is to help decision making in education through the use of research evidence and ultimately improve the delivery of education for the benefit of educators and students.
In this episode, hear about the benefits of research-practice partnerships for achieving impact in education. Find out how to overcome the barriers in bringing these people together, and listen to some fascinating examples of these effective partnerships in action.
Find out more about RPPs
- What are Research-Practice Partnerships in education?
- Key lessons for successful Research-Practice Partnerships in education
- LEAP – an initiative by the Jacobs Foundation and MIT Solve
Jamie Jirout is a Jacobs Research Fellow and an Assistant Professor in the Educational Psychology and Applied Developmental Sciences program in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. She studies how young children learn, with a focus on curiosity and science-related skills, in both formal and informal settings.
Laura Metzger is Co-Lead of the Learning Minds portfolio at the Jacobs Foundation. In her work at Jacobs, Laura drives forward partnerships that link research and practice with the ultimate goal to foster evidence-driven education programs and initiatives. Laura is also a development and behavioural economist with ETH Zurich and the Harvard Kennedy School where she researches evidence-based policymaking.
Laura White is a consultant in education, health, and social enterprise. Prior to moving to Oxford to obtain her MBA at the Said Business School, Laura taught children ages 1 to 5 in early intervention and school settings. Laura has held leadership roles in early childhood social ventures and holds a master’s degree in early childhood special education. Laura is also a Jacobs Social Entrepreneur Fellow.
In this episode:
- What are Research-Practice Partnerships (RPPs)?
- What are the benefits and challenges of RPPs?
- How can RPPs be taken forward in a more systemic way so more benefits can be realised across the education sector?
- How can different stakeholders get involved in RPPs?
Impact in education through research-practice partnerships – transcript
Daniel Ridge (DR): Welcome to the first episode of a brand new collaborative podcast miniseries between Emerald Publishing and the Jacobs Foundation. In this episode, we hear from three experts about the benefits of research-practice partnerships for achieving impact in education. Research-practice partnerships, RPPs, are structured collaborations between practitioners, so the agencies with responsibility for delivering education such as schools and the bodies governing and administering them, and those researching in the fields of education, such as universities, research institutions, or other groups that conduct research. The objective is to help decision making in education through the use of research evidence and ultimately improve the delivery of education for the benefit of educators and students. We are joined by three guests today. Our first is Laura Metzger. We are also joined by Laura White, who is a consultant in education, health and social enterprise. Prior to moving to Oxford to obtain her MBA at the Said Business School, Laura taught children ages one to five in early intervention in school settings. Laura has held leadership roles in early childhood social ventures and holds a master's degree in early childhood special education. Laura is also a Jacobs social entrepreneur fellow. And our third guest is Jamie Jirout, who as well as being a Jacobs Research Fellow is an assistant professor in educational psychology and applied development sciences program in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. She studies how young children learn with a focus on curiosity and science related research in both formal and informal settings.
Well, thank you, everybody so much for joining me today. I'm glad to have you here, Jamie, perhaps you could start by describing what we mean by research-practice partnerships and explain what the possible benefits can be.
Jamie Jirout (JJ): Sure, research-practice partnerships are when researchers and practitioners across fields work together to conduct research that's practically meaningful. So what that means is that there's a focus on practice and the research is typically designed to address specific questions that are relevant for practice. So for example, in education, this might be school districts, working with researchers to try to tackle questions that they have using robust research methods, and working really collaboratively.
DR: Great, Laura, do you want to add anything?
Laura White (LW): Yeah, I think research practice partnerships, several benefits to researchers, as well. By participating in research practice partnerships, researchers are able to learn about the challenges that people working in implementation are facing. And also they get exposure to more stakeholders within the ecosystem related to education so they get to learn about the needs not only of schools, but also the nonprofit's that work with them, and sometimes other officials as well.
DR: Well it will be great to hear from you about some of the past or current RPPs you're involved with. What are some of the benefits and challenges you’ve found?
LW: I've had the privilege of participating in the LEAP fellowship program with the Jacobs Foundation and MIT Solve and that program has put together teams of researchers and people working in social entrepreneurship, to advise education nonprofits. And together we've worked on strategic challenges that those education nonprofits are facing. One of the ones I worked on, involved selecting a social emotional learning assessment for use in the education nonprofits program, looking at skill development and things like empathy and problem solving.
DR: Wow, that's really interesting. Jamie, can you talk tell us about that?
JJ: Sure. Some of the research practice partnerships I've worked on, have involved working with educational stakeholders. So for example, we've worked with school districts, but also even with individual schools and the benefits that we've experienced from that is having first of all our research be much more meaningful, because it's designed to address specific needs of the educators themselves. So for example, when they have questions that they want to be answered, we're actually answering those questions. And so we're providing information that's practically useful for them. And the benefits of working more collaboratively is that the ways that we're studying things so for example the measures that we might choose to use, makes sense to the educators as well. And when we have the data, and we're working on analysing it and making sense of it the educators provide the perspective from their area of expertise, which researchers don't always have, because we typically have different ways of thinking from our different backgrounds and training. And so again, we get more meaningful interpretations of the data and also ideas about how it can be used and what implications it might have and just different ways of thinking about it from the different perspectives that are involved. So we see a lot of benefit from the more collaborative way of thinking about research from the initial stages of even choosing schools and classrooms to work with, through the end stages of making sense of the data and the findings that we have.
DR: So what is your role in the process? I mean, this is a very collaborative process, isn't it?
JJ: Yes. And there's all different ways that these types of partnerships can form and take place. I was actually part of one of those LEAP projects that Laura mentioned earlier, where we studied RPPs to try to find out, you know, what are the different ways that these look? And what are the roles of the different partners? And how can they be supported in doing this work? And the other question you just asked me, other roles, right?
DR: Oh, what your what your role is!
JJ: The role that I typically have is as the researcher, and in that role I've been able to ask practitioners and teachers and district officials and administrators, what it is they need to know and kind of think about the different ways that we might be able to answer the questions that they have, so coming in with the research expertise and thinking about different research designs, different methods of collecting data, and what that might look like, and the pros and cons of those. And then also the data analysis itself. And this is helpful, because that's expertise and training that oftentimes educators don't have, but then they have the expertise of what works in classrooms and what children are capable of doing and what's feasible in terms of the types of data we can collect, and especially, you know, the needs and the questions and problems that they're trying to address that they need the research for.
DR: Right so that's what I wanted to ask you about is the role of the practitioner when you're working together, is it, how do you formulate the questions that you're working on? Is it driven by by what they need practically in the classroom? Or is it coming from a theoretical place?
JJ: It can take either role, I've been involved, I study children's curiosity, and how curiosity can promote learning and I do have a lot of basic questions that I'm interested in studying that really do get at that kind of more theoretical way of thinking about curiosity. But what I want to know is how it can be useful in educational contexts, and how educational classroom type learning can influence children's curiosity. And so to find out about that, I need to work with practitioners and ask them, you know, what does this look like? How do you do this and, and study it in that context. But of course, teachers have very little time and, you know, educational time and resources are scarce and so it needs to be something that educators care about. So sometimes researchers can come in with an interest or question and find partners who have the same interest and same desire to study the same thing and that's one way that these collaborations can form. But they can also go the other way, where there are practical issues that are very well known so things like teacher retention, or chronic absenteeism are questions that we know are things that we need to solve in education and then researchers and educators can kind of partner to address those. And there are also instances where educators themselves have approached researchers and said this is what we want to know, this is what we're interested in, would you be interested in helping us so it can kind of go all different directions. And then there are sometimes calls for funding, where people who give grants will put out calls saying we want to fund research in this area and we want to fund RPP work. And so that can kind of help to facilitate some of those partnerships in forming through that broker stakeholder of the funder.
DR: Well, what are some of the interesting questions that have come up between this partnership?
JJ: Sure. So one thing that we're looking at, we're talking with teachers about how they're promoting curiosity in their students, and what that looks like in the student's day to day learning and so we have our student measures, and we have our teacher measures but we actually had a school administrator who said, you know, at some point, I want to talk with you about what we're doing as a school to promote teachers curiosity, and how we think about giving teachers the space to think about these things and design their instruction. And I don't think we would have thought to even consider the kind of school level supports or, or to do that level of interview without the administrator saying, you know, this is something that we're actually doing that we think matters in this context. And so we would have missed out on that important piece of information and learning from the school in that way, which might end up being really beneficial for us thinking long term about how to apply these findings beyond the type of school model that we're studying right now. So I think that's a great example of where the practitioner kind of providing us with that idea has really made our research richer and stronger in terms of the impact that it might make.
DR: Laura White do you think you could tell us about some of your experiences working in the classroom working with practitioners?
LW: So for the LEAP projects that I've been a part of, we've focused on supporting leaders at education nonprofits, working with schools to improve learning. And in these cases, we really looked at how bringing a research perspective can build the evidence base for the work that those education nonprofits are trying to do. So in one case, we got to work with a nonprofit, hoping to create a social emotional learning assessment for use in their technology that involves working with them, and also the partner schools that they worked with to understand what does social and emotional learning mean to them? What skills are the most important to focus on within a really broad domain? What skills did they think that they would really be able to help improve in target through the theory of change behind the programming that they use, then we work together to research evidence-based tools and worked with the partners to create a set of criteria to evaluate those tools against, and then ultimately, the researchers. And then the other folks with a social entrepreneurship background working on that team made a recommendation to the team and then help them create a plan for piloting that tool in practice.
DR: Are your partnerships local to you? Or can they be from a distance?
LW: Yeah, so the interesting thing that have we worked together on these LEAP partnerships, they've involved researchers and social entrepreneurship professionals from around the world. So it's been a global team of people that have been brought together to work with an education nonprofit that might be based in a place that's different from where we are, but that global team has actually been a really great way to bring different perspectives to bear.
DR: And then what do you do with your findings afterwards, do you present a report to your practitioner? Do you work through publications and put articles out?
LW: We do we present a final report and set of deliverables to the education organsiation that we work with. And they then are able to use that deliverable in practice, for example, in one project it involved preparing or selecting an assessment that they could use to evaluate social emotional learning that they went out and then got to pilot with students that they work with. In another case, we're preparing an impact evaluation plan that the partners will then be able to actually use to evaluate their program.
DR: Jamie, what sort of practical outcomes do you have that you can maybe tell us about in terms of the end result?
JJ: One of the challenges with doing RPP work is that the timeline and process is typically different for researchers and practitioners. So for example, educators often have questions or issues that they're trying to solve in a more immediate sense and researchers often take a lot of time to analyse and publish and disseminate their results. So that's one of the challenges that I think RPPs have to overcome is just identifying the different goals and timelines and finding ways of meeting both of the different types of goals that are required. So we're often you know, hesitant before we do full data analysis to make any kind of conclusions or implications. But our partners do want to know more immediately, what are we finding and what did the data look like and what can we learn and draw from that. So a lot of projects will do things like providing quarterly reports, or you know, at the end of each year, providing kind of a summary of more descriptive, like, here's what we're seeing and here's kind of the basic level patterns that we're identifying, and sometimes more qualitative work, and involving practitioners in the process of data analysis and interpretation and dissemination can help to kind of give back that information in a more timely way, instead of having to wait you know, a year or more sometimes for research journal articles to be published. And then there are also different methods of disseminating the information in ways that are better able to reach the different audiences that you might want to share the information with. So for example, we always do presentations and written reports for our school partners. And we also will do a talk for parents or community members who are involved, that puts our findings into more applied contexts and, and explains what they mean in a more day to day way for the children that they are interacting with, or that they have. And there have been a lot of different discussions around how to think about the structure of incentives and thinking about evaluation of faculty researchers to acknowledge some of this other types of dissemination of our research. So for example, typically, what the gold standard for us is to publish our research in high impact journals that again, can take over a year to get an article published in because it goes through several rounds of review by peers and the publication process can be slow. But that's what we're evaluated on and that's what we report on our annual reviews and what gets us promoted or gets us tenured. But more and more programs like my school are starting to also include criteria that we can, we can check off and say that we've accomplished related to disseminating to more general audiences and forming partnerships with educators and giving kind of non research oriented talks in the community and recognising that as something that's valued. And I think that that's a way of encouraging more RPP types of collaborative research to happen is, is changing the ways that we think about what's valued on both sides, and providing the resources and acknowledgement of that, and then also the support.
LW: So one thing I think that would really help bring research practice partnerships forward is if funders played a role, an active role in the matchmaking process of bringing together practitioners and researchers who can really support with the questions and the problems that practitioners want to explore.
DR: Right. So Jamie, maybe you could tell us about some of the barriers and some of these these kinds of conflicts that can arise?
JJ: Yeah, so I think the matchmaking process is definitely a challenge. Because you do you want to have partners who have a similar and overlapping interests and goals. And so that can be difficult, especially if you have to look across geographical space. So having some system of helping to connect researchers and practitioners who are interested in forming these RPP collaborations would be a great resource that I think would encourage more RPP research to happen. I also think that I've mentioned a few times the grant process and how RPP work is typically funded by grants. And I think that there are ways that within that process matchmakers, or, within that process, funders or other brokers could also have some impact on forming these RPP collaborations so for example, having the grant proposal require a discussion of the different goals and values for the work and a plan for outlining how the partners are going to work together and how they're going to kind of share and how they're going to have equal ownership and work together in ways that are effective and collaborative. And this might even include, you know, methods of meetings, how often they're going to meet, or evaluation, or what they're going to do if they do have a challenge, if there's some structure, or maybe the funder themselves will have somebody who can help to facilitate conversations or working through issues, and then also thinking about the ways that the proposed work is evaluated. So maybe instead of just having grant reports at the end, or even, you know, annual reports, doing some kind of regular check ins, not on necessarily just the outcomes of the research itself, but also as a way to assess the health of the RPP as the partnership. And again can identify any challenges that come up earlier, and provide support and working through those so that you really can get the long term sustained collaboration that we see being essential to successful RPPS.
DR: Looking to the future, how can we take these forward in a more systematic way, so more benefits can be realised across the education sector.
JJ: One reason why I think it's important for researchers to consider and educators to consider the work of forming one of these RPPs and putting in the time and effort that it takes to sustain these longer collaborative relationships is that it really does make the research more meaningful. And it provides a way of having more evidence-based practices in education, so having, you know, quality evidence to answer questions that we have about what works best in educational settings. But I think in order to be successful, there are some of those barriers around the different languages and the different goals and values that the different partners might have. And so in the forming of those relationships, a lot of time and effort should be put into really thinking about what do the different partners hope to get from those collaborations, and what's necessary for them to be able to engage in them successfully. And there's all sorts of tools and resources around to work through that kind of goal setting and, and outlining and being explicit about expectations. And then also even just having a lot of conversations to develop a shared language so that the partners can understand each other and kind of be on the same page when they're talking about it. And it is a lot of work but I think that the benefits are really that the work is more impactful for everybody. So both sides are getting a lot of value out of it and that value is overlapping, but also has kind of unique pieces for the different partners to advance, you know, evidence-based practice and answering the questions and needs that educators have will also helping the researcher to advance their understanding of their area of interest and, and to, you know, move science forward in that way. One other potential challenge for RPP work is that the way that we typically fund this is through grants, and researchers are typically the ones who have the background and knowledge about how to write grants and have the time and resources needed to be able to put in a grant so for example, having grant administrators who can help to prepare those and handle the pre award and post award processes. And so so much emphasis is placed on the researcher, that it creates a type of power imbalance. And it's really hard to have a true collaboration where the partners are seen as equal and as providing kind of their equal types of expertise and value to the collaboration when it feels kind of one sided in that way of developing the grant and submitting it for funding. So that's one of the other challenges that is really hard to tackle but can be done. And it's really important to find ways to address that and and to be intentional about making sure that partners have kind of an equal stake and equal authority in the partnership so that it really is truly a collaboration with equal partners.
DR: Laura White, would you like to add something?
LW: Yes, I think to help move research-practice partnerships forward it's great what we're doing here, just increasing awareness of the concept, and as more schools and education nonprofits become aware of research-practice partnerships as an option, I think, perhaps building on what Jamie said, it's really helpful for them to really think through the role that they would play, and what they're really hoping to get out of research. And the more fora we have to do that, like LEAP where education nonprofits really get to shape the need and the request that then goes to research and social entrepreneurship fellows, I think the more success we’ll see.
DR: Laura Metzger let's go from the funders perspective, what would you say the role of funders can be to strengthen RPPs?
Laura Metzger (LM): Yeah, that's a great question and I think it connects really well with things that Jamie and Laura had been talking about earlier. And we spend quite a bit of time thinking about how we can minimise barriers for researchers and practitioners to work together and try to think about the things that they need, and combine that with the things that we as a foundation can offer, which is on the one hand funding to come up with a good mechanism to bridge research and practice. But then also, on the other hand, the specific expertise that we have. So LEAP, which Jamie and Laura had been mentioning before, and which is an initiative that they have been part of in the past is one specific attempt from our side to come up with a systematic approach to help researchers and practitioners to work together. How this works in a nutshell, is that you can, you as an, you're in an education organisation, and you want to strengthen the evidence base of your work. And then you can come you can apply to the LEAP program with the specific problem that you want to address.
And when you're accepted into the program, you're matched with a researcher and a social entrepreneur who provide their expertise to work with you on your problem. So it's basically a matchmaking mechanism that tries to provide education organisations with specific research and social entrepreneur expertise that is otherwise difficult to find in the market. And so that's, in a nutshell how LEAP works. We as a funder, as the active Foundation, we wanted to play an active role in this mechanism to bridge research and practice so we didn't want another grant making mechanism to just you know, give out a grant and then basically leave it up to the researchers and practitioners to work together, we wanted to provide them with the framework in the space that they can come to and to start collaborating. And so what LEAP basically does is it takes a lot of the work off of the researchers and the practitioners plate so it's a professional managed mechanism where you don't need to do any scheduling so this is all done for you so the management aspect of you know, coordinating research-practice partnership, is one thing that LEAP is doing. And the other thing that we are doing actively and systematically with LEAP is to put a lot of effort in matching the right expertise to your problem. And then once the matchmaking is done, and the researchers and the education organisations start collaborating, by the way, this is a three months sprint so it's a relatively short period of time, by providing this framework which is professionally managed, like we really try to take down some of these barriers and the difficulties that researchers and practitioners often face basically want to make the collaboration easy so that every stakeholder involved can really focus on the problem. And the other part that we that we thought about is what you know what kind of incentives would researchers and social entrepreneur fellows, on the one hand, have to participate in a program like LEAP, because it basically means that they take time off of their own jobs and lend their expertise to other organisations, want to solve pressing problem, and what incentives would education organisations have to participate in LEAP.
And then we also decided to make the participation in the paid opportunity for fellows, so when you're a researcher, or a social entrepreneur fellows, you're compensated for the time that you give to the project. And related to that is that we wanted to make sure that the amount of time that you actually spent on the project is integratable into your regular work week. So again, three months timeframe and usually you'll work a day or day and a half per week on the project. So manageable timeframe, it's paid opportunity. And then for the education organisations that are participating in who are basically coming in with their problem, that they need support for, that to them we pay a stipend of 5000 US dollars. So, you know, they can basically cover the costs of accommodating a three month project. Oftentimes we look at research practice partnerships with, you know, the research expertise flowing into or supporting practitioners, but we really also believe it goes the other ways. So participating as a researcher in a partnership like that can be really inspiring, because you think of questions for your own research that you may not have thought of before. So I think Jamie brought up one example with the teacher curiosity so that's a really good example of how engagement in a research-practice partnership can inspire your own work. What gets me really excited about this particular project is that there's so much expertise and innovation in, you know, in policy and in the, in the non-academic world. And there's so much innovation, and awesome projects and research going on on the research side. And there's, I think, oftentimes more overlap than people actually see. And one reason is that, you know, the, these two walls sometimes just don't communicate and so what really excites me is when that actually happens, and stakeholders or people from different fields that working together and produces exciting, you know, deliverables or products, or knowledge that's really useful to people on both sides of the aisles or to the academic and the non-academic sector. So yeah, bringing people together and making them see the innovation that exists on both sides that really excites me - to solve actual problems that we have.
DR: So this must be very fulfilling work to see this come to fruition and to be able to work in partnership. Can you tell us a little bit about the the sort of personal experience, perhaps?
LW: I found it very fulfilling to work on research-practice partnerships. Someone kind of coming from a more practice-oriented side myself working in education, social entrepreneurship, it's been very beneficial to get to learn from researchers around rigorous methodology, and being able to collaborate bringing that to bear on education nonprofits, really working to advance outcomes for students. And it makes me feel really confident in the solutions that I get to work on knowing that we're working to really build that evidence base that grounds the activity that we're recommending.
JJ: And from the researcher side, I can say that it's a lot more fulfilling to work on the ground with educators and see people who care about our research in a way that might actually make something change in the real world and not just be an article that maybe a few people read in a journal down the road. So I think that's a lot of the fulfillment that comes from RPP work for me is it's just knowing that people are aware of the research and the findings and might actually use it, but also my research is so much better when I have different perspectives weighing in, and especially perspectives from people who know much more than I do about the context that I'm trying to study. So people who are on the ground, in the classroom teaching students helping me to understand the research questions and the data and interpretations, I think that has just made my research so much better. And, and it also is so inspiring to see, you know, people in the education field who want to make education as good as they can make it be and, and really, kind of find the best way of supporting students in their learning. And so I think that can be inspiring and make me it gives me motivation to want to continue doing my research and do it better and, and work with educators to answer their questions. Because you know that it might actually make a difference in the real world, as opposed to just turning into a journal article that again, like might not even be read by very many people. So I think that's a benefit that I found from from doing these partnerships. But I think also, you know, we're talking about the educators and the researchers, but even the broader community can have a role in RPP work, especially in education research, because when we're doing our research in schools, we can only study students and a lot of cases who have had consent from their parents to participate. So even you know, typical people who just have children who attend school can help us by providing consent and allowing their children and their children's classrooms to be included in this research process and to help us do the RPP work by being a partner in that way.
DR: Well, for anyone listening and wondering how they might be able to get involved, what would you suggest?
JJ: I think being open to and making your openness, be it communicating that you're open to your child's classroom, or schools being included in research studies, I think sometimes teachers can feel like this is a task that parents might not be open to, because there's already so much involved in your child going to school, and especially after the last couple of years, and everything that's been happening with the pandemic, and all of the disruption to education that children have experienced. I know right now, especially as a time where parents are really concerned about what's happening in the classroom and about instructional time. And so kind of making sure that educators know that you still do value this type of work, and that you see the value in RPP research to improve education. And so being willing to allow that to take place at the in your child's classroom or in their school and, and encouraging that and showing that you value that. I think districts do try to listen to their parents as much as possible and to do what the community wants the district and the school board to do with the schools. And so just showing support for this type of work can really go a long way in helping the district to be more open to considering what types of research projects might be a good fit and encouraging the RPP collaborations to happen.
DR: And finally, as we wrap up the discussion, what is next for you in terms of RPPs?
LW: For my next steps, in terms of continuing work and research to practice partnerships, and continuing to be involved in further LEAP projects, working on another one right now, and I'm just very excited to continue to work with researchers to improve the evidence base of the work that we're doing in education.
DR: Great, Jamie, what's up for you next?
JJ: I have several projects that I'm working on that are all school based, where we're working with education on partners, a lot of them involve talking with teachers and, and learning about different ways that they're approaching their instructional practice. But the one that I'm most excited about is starting to develop new collaborations with districts who are interested in scaling up some of the work we've been doing with individual schools to look district level at how schools are working to promote students curiosity, and how that changes over time and character virtues more generally, like creativity and open mindedness, and looking at how those can be developed through rich instruction in the classroom and how they can then contribute to children's more deeper and more meaningful learning in the classroom. And so finding the partners who are really excited about this work is what I'm engaged in right now. And thinking about what this is going to look like over the next few years is exciting for me. So that's where that's my current focus of my research is developing collaborations around finding educators who are really excited to promote curiosity in their students.
DR: So for researchers, how is it best that they might get involved in this?
JJ: I think researchers often have these interesting questions that they're excited to explore with their research and are expecting that they'll be able to find educators who are just as excited and want to work with them. But again, if it feels can one sided, it might not be as appealing to the educators themselves or they might not see it as the best use of their time if it's not related to something specific that they're challenged with right now or some question that they're trying to answer in their own practice. So I think if researchers are interested in doing RPP work, first I think the important question is just taking a step back and thinking about if the RPP model is the best fit for the specific research questions that the researcher might be hoping to answer. And if there is more openness, I think a good first step is to just be open to seeking out what are the questions and challenges that the educators have, because the best RPPs are going to be more practice driven, are going to come from the need in the real world for some information or for some answers to questions that we don't yet have. And so I think listening and seeking out where is that need, is going to be one of the better ways of finding a real RPP collaboration partner, because then the work is actually needed. Then once you're in that negotiating stage, trying to figure out whether an RPP is going to form and, and happen, I think it's really important for researchers, again, to acknowledge the kind of power dynamics when you're talking about grant funding, or you know, who's running the project, and really find ways of thinking about the partnership and making space for everybody's background and expertise to be represented in meaningful ways and to have meaningful impact on the research at all stages. So letting the educators voice really have a primary role in forming that partnership, and acknowledging that all of the partners need to have equal ownership of not just the project, but even the data themselves and the research and being able to use what is done and what's found for their practice and not have it can be owned, again, by the research, the researchers. And so really just finding a way to form that partnership in a way that everybody is an equal partner, and then also finding ways of supporting the educator workloads. Because again, this is often something that is part of the researchers job so there is the time and space and resources for accomplishing this type of research work that needs to be done. But for educators, there might be creative ways of freeing up some of their time so that they have more time and energy to devote to this type of work. So for example, in some of our grants, we have included funding for substitutes to cover classes so that teachers can be more involved, and paying teachers for their effort. If you're asking them to attend meetings outside of school hours, you want to make sure that they're not working for free that you're actually compensating for their time, and also for their expertise, just as we pay consultants for other things, you know, the all of the partners of an RPP should be compensated for the work that they're doing. And it shouldn't be assumed that this is part of the educators rule like it is for the researchers because oftentimes, this is something that's on top of what's already expected from them for their jobs.
DR: Thank you for listening to today's episode. You can find more information about our guests on our website, as well as a full transcript of our conversation. I'd like to thank Sharon Parkinson and Annie Brookman-Byrne for the help with today's episode. And Alex Jungius use of This is Distorted.
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