Increasing research use in education decision-making is not achieved solely by finding better ways to disseminate research, nor by finding better ways to motivate practitioners to use research evidence. Rather, activities in both the research and practice domains must be enhanced to positively influence the use of education research in decision-making.

The work of the Center will be guided by the conceptual framework presented below, driven by two interconnected perspectives:

  • First, research use is the practice of incorporating evidence into decision-making processes. While there is value in other forms of research use, we have particular interest in instrumental use—situations in which practitioners can cite specific ways in which research evidence was used in decision-making.
  • Second, our conceptual framework recognizes the importance of engaging both the research and practice communities in understanding and addressing the relationship between research and practice.

What practices and conditions can narrow the gap between these two communities?

We hypothesize that where gaps between the research and practice communities are largest, we will see the least research use, or research use that lacks depth, as indicated by the wide gap between green and blue triangles. Similarly, we hypothesize where those gaps are minimized (i.e., where the triangles converge on the right), we will see greater and deeper use of research.

Our two large scale descriptive studies focus on the research and practice communities. Additionally, we explore the role brokers play in these relationships in our study of research brokerage.

Depth of Research Use chart