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Ethical and Equitable: New Strategies for Supporting Sustainable Research Results


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There's a need for new models and approaches to research that can support sustained improvements in education. Too often, positive effects of research interventions drop off shortly after the studies end. Too often, research is conceived, designed, and implemented without the active participation of the educators and education leaders whose deep knowledge of local contexts, audiences, opportunities, and barriers are crucial to the viability and durability of improvement efforts.

The Research + Practice Collaboratory is investigating new ways to bridge research and practice to advance equity in STEM education. Our approach begins with creating more equitable, and therefore more ethical, relationships between STEM education researchers and educators in which the voices and experiences of each are leveraged to identify pressing problems of practice and develop new questions, strategies, and solutions that can endure in the complex, dynamic contexts of K-12 education.

We work at three levels: First, we develop the evidence base for the efficacy of research-practice partnerships in producing relevant, usable, and sustainable results. Our studies span science in urban districts, math in rural districts, and engineering/making in afterschool. Second, through these partnerships, we develop develop an array of evidence-based tools - both for supporting STEM improvement and for developing productive partnerships. Finally, we engage researchers and educators in joint dialogues around key issues of practice (e.g., ESSA implementation, STEM afterschool professional development, or NGSS-aligned formative assessments) to hear and learn from one another and together identify new directions, needs, and solutions that can advance equity in K-12 STEM education.