The Partnership for Public Education (PPE), in collaboration with the Center for Research Use in Education, is working with UD researchers and Delaware educators to translate research into practical tools and resources for educators. There are long-standing, historical challenges to linking research and practice, and projects like this help build relationships between the two and mobilize both researcher and educator knowledge for educational improvement.
Three projects were selected as initial “builds” because they have the potential to address issues of equity in different aspects of education. The teams include researchers, two members of the Delaware education community, and digital and research communication specialists. Teams are facilitated by a member of the PPE team as they pilot a resource optimization toolkit developed by the Gates Foundation as part of their Advancing Actionable Knowledge initiative. This toolkit offers a process for engaging with issues of research, practice, and communications to help create tools that are useful, usable, and used - all while helping everyone on the project to learn how to do this work better.
About the builds
Dr. Erica Litke (SOE), assistant professor of education, is working with Anthony Reid, a teacher at Howard High School and the New Castle County Vo-Tech teacher of the year, and Michael Williams, a teacher at Great Oaks High School and member of the Rodel Teacher Network, to design instructional resources to support high quality algebra instruction. Drawing on Dr. Litke’s recently published work, the team is collaborating around a digital tool that will help educators put research-based instructional routines into practice.
Dr. Jill Flynn (English) and Dr. Bill Lewis (SOE) are working with Taria Pritchett, a Mount Pleasant English teacher and Brandywine teacher of the year, and Casey Montigney, an English teacher at Shue-Medill Middle School and member of the Delaware Professional Standards Board, to support educators’ use of quad text sets to support social justice and racial equity. Recognizing a need to more clearly incorporate issues of equity into the curriculum, the team is building out a publicly available website of resources based on the 2017 article describing this approach.
Dr. Roderick Carey (HDFS) is joined by Anthony Phillps, pre-college success manager for TeenSHARP and Dawn Clarke, RTI coordinator and AVID teacher at Newark High School, in efforts to build knowledge and awareness of how to support the college aspirations of black and latino boys. Informed by Dr. Carey’s series of articles between 2016 and 2019, the team is working to design resources that address assumptions and challenge narratives about expectations and aspiration.
Making it work
Overseeing the project are CRUE project manager Debbie Micklos and CRUE co-director and PPE director Dr. Liz Farley-Ripple, who work to support members of the CRUE and PPE teams that facilitate and observe the work. Annastasia Purinton (PPE) and Carolyn Hammerschmidt (DASL) are facilitating the three builds, drawing on their experience both as educators and as researchers and their current roles helping to link the two communities. Dr. Horatio Blackman, Dr. Samantha Shewchuk, Katherine Tilley, and Chanel Gaither are helping to gather feedback on the process and taking stock of lessons learned. These lessons will help inform the Gates Foundation’s national work to support research translation but also help the Centers to develop guidance for researchers, practitioners, and communication specialists about how to collaborate and develop their own research-informed tools and resources.
About the research
Litke, E. (2020). The nature and quality of algebra instruction: Using a content-focused observation tool as a lens for understanding and improving instructional practice. Cognition and Instruction, 38(1), 57-86.
Lewis, W., & Flynn, J. E. (2017). Below the surface level of social justice: Using quad text sets to plan equity-oriented instruction. ALAN Review, 45(1), 22-31.
Carey, R. L. (2016). “Keep that in mind… You’re gonna go to college”: Family influence on the college going processes of Black and Latino high school boys. The Urban Review, 48(5), 718-742.
Carey, R. L. (2018). “What am I gonna be losing?” School culture and the family-based college-going dilemmas of Black and Latino adolescent boys. Education and Urban Society, 50(3), 246-273.
Carey, R. L. (2019). Am I smart enough? Will I make friends? And can I even afford it? Exploring the college-going dilemmas of Black and Latino adolescent boys. American Journal of Education, 125(3), 381-415.