Navigating the gray spaces in research-to-action

Navigating the gray spaces in research-to-action

Engaging partners in a cross-district study of middle school math curricula
Published: Apr 26, 2024
Publisher: Mathematica
Associated Project

Middle School Math: Culturally Responsive Materials, Teacher Professional Learning, and Student Engagement

Time frame: 2019 – 2024

Prepared for:

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Moira McCullough

Key Findings

We learned two key lessons from our partnership experience:

  • The greater the level of participation of district experts in the research process, the greater the potential for effective research, policy, and practice.
  • Researchers should be especially thoughtful about how research findings could translate to action-oriented recommendations when the level of engagement with partners is relatively limited.
Researchers are increasingly engaging in efforts to actively involve community members and study participants in the co-construction of research. Participant engagement can be conceptualized as a continuum. Several factors influence where a study falls along the continuum, which can also vary at each stage of the research process. In this brief, we share our experience engaging study participants in the research process for a study of middle school math curricula and instruction.

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