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Practice-Engaged Research and Development in Education


This paper argues for education research and development (R&D) arrangements and policies that systematically encourage engagement with practice. Citing practices in health-services research and commercial R&D as well as education, it advocates more attention to approaches such as the following:
  • Grounding studies in practitioners' problems and exploring practitioners' solutions
  • Building knowledge by building interventions, as in the 90-Day R&D projects of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that address specific questions of practice, or in the rapid prototyping approach used in the fields of design and software development
  • Opening the development process to many participants, drawing on ideas such as the engagement of customers in "open R&D" in business
  • Broadening the focus for R&D by not only studying the implementation of particular innovations in school contexts, but also studying the capacity of schools and school systems to absorb innovation