Brokering Activities and Outcomes Among Embedded Versus Informal Liaisons in Education Research-Practice Partnerships

Does an embedded boundary spanner increase the use of research evidence when compared to an informal boundary spanner in an education research-practice partnership?

Boundary spanning enables exchanges about the production and use of knowledge to support research-informed decision-making. Prior studies suggest that effectively navigating boundaries between researchers and practitioners can cultivate conditions that improve research use, such as increased trust, enhanced researcher responsiveness, and integration of research use tools in practitioner routines. Further, the research-practice partnership (RPP) model has demonstrated potential to address problems of practice and may improve education outcomes for students by increasing research use in decision-making. However, no previous studies have directly compared full-time, embedded boundary spanners with more informal boundary-spanning strategies in promoting research use. Focusing specifically on instrumental use of research, which is the direct application of research evidence to specific decisions, this study will investigate differences in activities and outcomes related to research use in school districts with embedded versus informal liaisons. López Turley and colleagues will measure changes in instrumental research through bi-annual surveys with district leaders, annual follow-up interviews with a subset of survey sample and liaisons, and document analysis of catalogued policy and practice changes at the district level. The study will contribute to literature on strategies to create the conditions and organizational structures that enable instrumental use of research evidence for improvement of student outcomes.

Subscribe for Updates