For decades, researchers, educators and policymakers alike have decried the divide that exists between research and practice.
Bronwyn Bevan and Philip Bell of the University of Washington College of Education shared how the Research+Practice Collaboratory is broadening the impact of research by forming partnerships with existing and wide-reaching professional associations during a presidential session at the 2018 meeting of the American Educational Research Association.
Bell and Bevan discussed their experience creating STEM Teaching Tools—short "practice briefs" focused on specific problems of educational practice that leverage the best knowledge from research and practice—and sharing them with professional associations of educators across the nation.
"By partnering with professional associations that have an existing audience that already turns to them looking for solutions, support and resources, including research resources," Bevan said, "we find researchers can get their work out into the field more quickly because it's brought into existing contexts and conversations where that work is relevant."
More than 50 practice briefs have been released to date, covering issues such as sequencing scientific practices to support students in unfolding investigations, using different instructional methods to effectively teach STEM subjects, and distinguishing between explanation and argumentation practices in the classroom. STEM Teaching Tools are designed for classroom teachers, informal educators, curriculum specialists and professional developers and include helpful instructional resources, case studies of effective STEM classroom practices, videos of exemplary classroom practice, and instructional materials such as assignments and discussion tools.
Dustin Wunderlich, Director of Marketing and Communications