Insight & Analysis
President’s Comment: It’s Time for Universities to Fulfill their Promise as Engines of Social Change
By institutionalizing collaborative research and building sustained knowledge-building partnerships with local service providers, universities can lead the way towards a more prosperous and equitable future.
At our recent William T. Grant Scholars retreat, I had the opportunity to share my reflections with early- and mid-career academics about ways they might meet this social and political moment. In this post I expand on three recommendations: 1) act now but plan for the long game, 2) build your relationships with change partners and your understanding of change processes, and 3) know yourself and care for yourself.
In light of the lessons learned over the past decade, as well as those we’re learning in real time as the crisis unfolds, I recently wrote a post for Transforming Evidence reflecting on ways the research community can be of service as decision makers seek to chart the proper course in an unsettled environment.
Empirical understanding of the “how” of policymakers’ research use can inform our theoretical explanations of the “why”.
Whether at the district, state, or federal level, successful efforts to produce and use research in policy decisions are often the result of cross-departmental collaboration. Given recent reforms, including the 2019 Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, which calls on federal agencies to create and implement plans for developing evidence to guide their work, models of […]
In a recent interview we conducted with a congressional aide, she remarked that she was often inundated with research when working on a new policy issue. The aide’s primary goal in seeking out research evidence was to bring a new perspective to how her team was thinking through a given policy issue. This type of research use, wherein the research is a source of ideas, information, and orientations, is frequently defined as conceptual use of research.
ICYMI: All of this @nytimes article about science denial is true — but it’s not the whole story. The whole story is worse in some ways, better than others. What accounts for when science is accepted and when it’s denied? Read to the end of this thread. https://t.co/wCsRvt21BT — Adam Gamoran (@agamoran) January 6, 2020 […]
New research has the potential not only to shape the school finance debate in years ahead, but improve policies and ultimately reduce inequalities in student opportunities and outcomes.
Many research-practice partnerships begin when two initially unaffiliated partner organizations decide to pursue collaborative work. Having formed a partnership between our respective offices within a federal agency, our experience is a bit different.
I share my reflections on the past decade of work in this area, as well as my current thinking, with the hope that we, along with fellow travelers on a similar journey, can find ways to forge a more productive path forward together. In the meantime, I welcome your feedback to improve our thinking and work, and I look forward to continuing to share what we are learning across sectors and countries.
“Seeing the light of evidence in dark times”
There are signs that data, evidence, and rigorous evaluation persist even in these dark times for science and public policy in the United States. What will it take to keep the light of evidence burning and ensure that the best science informs important decisions of our time? Adam Gamoran shares some ideas in this week’s […]
For over three decades, research has shown that young people transitioning to adulthood from foster care in the United States have fared very poorly compared to their peers who have not been in care. This is the case across measures of well-being including educational attainment, employment and earnings, material hardship, and criminal justice system involvement. […]
Although today much of the work to bring research to bear on important decisions that shape our lives and our environment is still focused largely on disseminating findings and communicating with those who will listen, we’re encouraged that a movement is growing to foster engagement and build meaningful, collaborative relationships.
When well executed, research-practice partnerships can be powerful mechanisms for producing relevant and useful knowledge and facilitating its integration into policy and practice to improve youth outcomes. But without taking intentional steps to avoid common hurdles, it’s likely that many partnerships will fail to fulfill this potential. In Five Ways RPPs Can Fail and How […]
Photovoice provides a platform for members of communities to share their narratives and articulate the assets and needs of their neighborhoods. This method can enable youth to promote critical conversations and move their neighbors toward collective identification of problems and solutions.