Design Based Implementation Research

Educational Researcher article by Kris Gutiérrez and Bill Penuel on "Relevance to Practice as a Criterion for Rigor"

February 14, 2014

Relevance to Practice as a Criterion for Rigor

Kris D. Gutiérrez and William R. Penuel

Educational Researcher Jan/Feb 2014 43: 19-23, doi:10.3102/0013189X13520289

The authors argue for a reconceptualization of rigor that requires sustained, direct, and systematic documentation of what takes place inside programs to document how students and teachers change and adapt interventions in interactions with each other in relation to their dynamic local contexts. Building on promising new programs at the Institute of Education Sciences, they call for the formulation of collaborative research standards that must require researchers to provide evidence that they have engaged in a process to surface and negotiate the focus of their joint work, and to document the ways participation in this process was structured to include district and school leaders, teachers, parents, community stakeholders, and, wherever possible, children and youth. They close by describing how this new criterion—“relevance to practice”—can ensure the longevity and efficacy of educational research.