Research-Practice Partnerships

Reading Toss’s, Martin’s and Emily’s perspectives on practice/research, I would like to follow up on Martin’s example for “The Research + Practice Collaboratory”. The concept of research-practice partnerships (RRP), which is becoming very useful in science education could be also useful for science communication partnerships. Research-Practice Partnerships (RPPs) are a two-way street, bringing research and empirical results into the practice of science communication training, as well as bringing the needs rising from the field of practice into the research agenda. Together with colleagues we submitted four papers describing such works as a grouped paper to the upcoming PCST.

In the field of education most educational research can still be characterized by a hierarchical relationship in which practitioners are the object of study and researchers translate their findings for them. However, the last decade has witnessed a strong increase in research that seeks mutually-beneficial long-term collaborations (see Coburn & Penuel, 2016). RPP cultivates long-term relationships that can provide the infrastructure for sustainable improvement, sharing multiple expertise and physical resources. An important question would be how to support such partnerships.


1 thought on “Research-Practice Partnerships”

  1. I couldn’t agree more, Ayelet.
    Allow me to also bring to everyone’s attention that the SoSC Colloquium activities have now led to a “Partnership Programme” supported by the Rita Allen Foundation. Two awards à US$ 37,500 are meant to bring the NASEM report’s vision closer to fruition by supporting partnerships of scholars and practitioners in collaborative projects that pursue shared research interests aligned with the report.
    In its first iteration, these awards go to (i) “Evaluating New Approaches to Promoting Vaccination” by Dartmouth College and the Vermont Department of Health, and (ii) “Evidence-based Science Communication to Policymakers” by the American University and AAAS.

    (i) as quoted from their press release
    Little is known about how to effectively promote vaccines to hesitant parents. In this project, researchers from Dartmouth College and practitioners from the Vermont Department of Health will carry out a field experiment to study the effect of messages about immunization on parents’ beliefs and vaccination decisions.

    (ii) as quoted from their press release
    This project will examine the communication and use of science within the policymaking arena. Researchers will integrate existing scholarly literature with new empirical findings from a survey of science communicators, case studies of science-relevant legislating, and qualitative interviews with policymakers to propose a set of best practices for presenting science to policy makers.

    If we take this idea of RPPs and RPs forward, we may also need to reconsider giving such collaborations a special place in conference such as our own, PCST.

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