Making Knowledge Usable
You're a teacher who wants to find better ways to communicate with parents. Or you're a superintendent researching things to consider when hiring school leaders. Maybe you're a journalist looking for research on learning and the brain or on closing the achievement gap.
But you're busy. You don't have time to wade through academic journals or dense dissertations to find tangible, easy-to-digest information and strategies. That's where the Ed School's new Usable Knowledge project comes in. The project will include practice guides, how-to-manuals, and regular email news blasts. There will also be a website, updated regularly, with pieces that break down the research being done here at the Ed School. The pieces will include short articles, video discussions, checklists, and Q&As. The hope, says Dean Jim Ryan, is that this project will become a go-to resource for practitioners, policymakers, and journalists.
"Too often, important research findings are left to linger in academic journals. These discoveries may inspire other academics and may ultimately lead to additional discoveries that advance our knowledge and impact the field," Ryan says, "but history has shown us that this progress has been far too slow, and that we need to explicitly extend our reach to those working in practice or policy. With the Usable Knowledge project, our goal is to make research findings accessible to the field by translating that knowledge into usable tools, and by making every effort to get these resources into the hands of those who are poised to act, whether they are teachers, principals, superintendents, advocates, or policy leaders."
Over the next few months, various pieces of the Usable Knowledge project will roll out, with the first phase — the website — officially launching in early September. Here's a sneak peak at some of the web pieces:
A video roundtable discussion focused on the Common Core state standards and their related assessments, in conjunction with Ed. magazine, featuring Professors Paul Reville, Heather Hill, and Dan Koretz.
A Q&A with Lecturers Kathryn Boudett and Elizabeth City, Ed.M.'04, Ed.D.'07 — the editors of Data Wise — on their new book, Meeting Wise, including concrete steps for educators to enhance how meetings are planned and facilitated.
Senior Lecturer Karen Mapp, Ed.M.'93, Ed.D.'99, shares the U.S. Department of Education's national frameworks for family engagement, released by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in April, that she played an instrumental role in developing.