This two-part special issue focuses on strategies to improve the use of research in child welfare.
How do we increase diversity in STEM fields? A recent Foundation study found that when teachers support students’ feelings of autonomy, it increases their interest and engagement in science classes. This is especially true for black and Latino students, who are typically underrepresented in STEM fields.
Research can serve the public interest when it is used to inform decisions. But for researchers at all levels of the career ladder, getting your work used in ways that shape policy and practice can be a challenge.
Reflecting on the odds of upward mobility in light of a widening opportunity gap in the United States, Harvard’s Robert Putnam states simply: “Any notion that you can ‘pull yourself up by your boot straps’ sounds ridiculous now.”
New Resources for Researchers: Read the “William T. Grant Digest” Issue 1
The introductory issue of the William T. Grant Foundation Digest features essays and commentary on the value of qualitative and mixed-methods research in reducing inequality and the potential for researcher access to big data to yield useful research evidence.
It’s important to recognize that the form of research contributes to the social sense-making process, and can create a body of shared understandings based on research principles. Research designed for use, with specific guidance for practice, can embed common ideas in state school improvement delivery systems.
Despite widespread efforts by intermediaries to shape education by conveying research to policymakers, a recent study finds that very few of these policymakers report using research when making decisions. As other studies have found instances where research can shape policy and practice in a variety ways, what explains this contradiction? And what does it mean for efforts to improve the use of research evidence?
Whether it is instrumental or conceptual, research use needs to be measured in order to be understood. But what exactly are we measuring?
Research works in subtle ways to influence policy decisions and practice. Bill Penuel and Anna-Ruth Allen outline three approaches that can help identify the uptake of ideas from research in practice.