Strengthening Infrastructures for Promoting Equity in Mathematics Education through Research-Practice Partnerships (2018)

In RPPs, researchers may collaboratively design new programs with educators, support implementation, and study implementation and outcomes. There is strong evidence that interventions designed by RPPs can improve student outcomes and the quality of teaching (Coburn & Penuel, 2016). RPPs can be an important form of infrastructure for promoting equity. For one, they empower educators to help shape reforms. Second, the involvement of researchers over the long-term allows for programs to be adapted and studied when they fail to achieve equitable implementation and outcomes. Third, the research conducted by RPPs can provide a powerful justification for equity-oriented reforms.

Successful RPPs are not easy to develop or sustain, however. Success depends on mutual regard for the expertise of researchers and practitioners, a commitment to ongoing communication, tools and routines for ensuring mutualism, and intentional efforts to build trust while also addressing mistrust that arises from educational inequity and status differences between researchers and practitioners.