Researchers from the ODE/OSU partnership recently published an article on researcher-practitioner partnerships for the journal Educational Researcher. Understanding researcher-practitioner partnerships is critical, since such collaboration has become prominent within education in recent years. Funders, including the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and the Spencer Foundation, have created grant programs to support these partnerships.
In the article, Dr. Karen Thompson, Dr. Martha Martinez, Chelsea Clinton, and Dr. Guadalupe Diaz draw on the ODE/OSU partnership, plus analyses of 41 other similar partnerships, to describe four different types of research questions that emerged. These investigations relate to 1) data quality [providing information about the availability, validity, and reliability of data]; 2) information gathering [providing answers to descriptive and/or predictive questions]; 3) evaluation [asking, “What is the effect of this program or policy?”]; and 4) design questions [asking, “What new materials, activities, and/or systems would address this problem?”].
The authors conclude that the most effective research questions are those that fulfill practitioners’ and researchers’ different needs, and also seek results that can lead to meaningful improvements in education.