TYPES OF RESEARCH-PRACTICE PARTNERSHIPS

NNERPP RPP KNOWLEDGE CLEARINGHOUSE

SUMMARY

There are several different structural arrangements that research-practice partnerships (RPPs) can take; these have evolved (and will likely continue to evolve) over time. To better reflect the current state of the field, we will focus on identifying the multiple facets of RPPs that can give rise to their differences.

Structure: As presented in the definition of RPPs, a key feature is the joint collaboration between agencies that primarily administer education (such as state education agencies, local education agencies, or schools) and agencies that primarily research education (such as public or private universities, research institutions, or community groups that specialize in research). Different combinations of these various agencies can produce a variety of structural arrangements across RPPs. This in turn will affect the number and type of students impacted by RPP work, the level at which decision making is impacted, and the extent to which other stakeholders are involved directly with the work.

Interactions: The intensity and types of interaction occuring between practitioners and researchers within the context of the partnership can vary greatly and often depends on the research approaches employed. For example, partnerships that make use of design-based research often work much more closely with practitioners on various aspects of the research than those working with quasi-experimental methods.

Output: The nature and scope of the research questions investigated by a partnership are typically related to the disciplinary training of those leading the RPP. This can lead to differences across RPPs, in terms of output. For example, some partnerships may be more focused on implementation, and thus, tool kits and reports geared towards practitioners may be more common. On the other hand, some may focus more on informing policy; technical papers or policy briefs may be their goal.

In their 2013 white paper, Coburn, Penuel, and Geil initially identified three different district-level partnership arrangements: research alliances, design-based partnerships, and networked improvement communities. We encourage the reader to explore the paper as well as the case studies (available below) to learn more about these definitions.

RESOURCES | Short reads

5 Questions on design-based research partnerships, answered (researcher perspective)

Lessons learned from design-research partnership work (practitioner perspective)

NNERPP, William R. Penuel, and Douglas A. Watkins | 2017

Two posts featured on NNERPP’s EdWeek blog, “Urban Education Reform: Bridging Research and Practice

#LearnDBIR #LessonsLearned #NNERPPLearns

Coffee and Conversation: Connecting research, innovation, and practice

Rachel Miklaszewski | 2017

Blog post about the Tennessee Education Research Alliance

#TERA #StateAlliance #GreatExamples

Data use and inquiry in research-practice partnerships: Four case examples

Manuelito Biag, Amy Gerstein, Kendra Fehrer, Monika Sanchez, and Laurel Sipes | 2016

Report produced by the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities

#GardnerCenter #GreatExamples #CBOsInRPPs

Case Study I: The John W. Gardner Center and Redwood City 2020

Cynthia E. Coburn, William R. Penuel, and Kimberly E. Geil | 2013

William T. Grant Foundation white paper

#ResearchAlliancesRock #GreatExamples #CBOsInRPPs

Case Study II: Research Alliance for New York City Schools

Cynthia E. Coburn, William R. Penuel, and Kimberly E. Geil | 2013

William T. Grant Foundation white paper

#ResearchAlliancesRock #GreatExamples #IHeartNYC

Case Study III: The University of Washington and Bellevue School District Partnership

Cynthia E. Coburn, William R. Penuel, and Kimberly E. Geil | 2013

William T. Grant Foundation white paper

#DBRRules #LearnDBIR #GreatExamples

Case Study IV: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Networked Improvement Communities

Cynthia E. Coburn, William R. Penuel, and Kimberly E. Geil | 2013

William T. Grant Foundation white paper

#NICsAreAwesome #GreatExamples #ImprovementScience

Baltimore Education Research Consortium: A consideration of past, present, and future

Faith Connolly, Stephen Plank, and Tracy Rone | 2013

Report produced by the Baltimore Education Research Consortium

#BERC #ResearchAlliancesRock #VeteranRPP