As 2021 draws to a close, we on the EdResearch team wanted to take a moment to share highlights from the past year and preview what’s ahead in 2022. Some of you may know the work of Chip and Dan Heath, who in their 2017 book write about “peak moments” - notable experiences that stand out among others for their ability to elevate us, give us insight, serve as sources of pride, and connect us. In a year with many ups and downs for all of us, personally and professionally, we thought sharing the EdResearch project’s “peak moments” would be a nice way to reflect on the past 12 months.
Peak Moment #1: To date, we’ve released 19 evidence briefs on crucial recovery topics ranging from how to design high-dosage tutoring programs to how to support teacher well-being. We have two briefs in production – one on instructional coaching, the other on school counseling – that will be released in January and several more in the queue. Our work has been:
- Used to inform federal and state recovery guidance;
- Featured in national news outlets including in the Examining the Evidence webinar series run by EdWeek; and, most significantly:
- Used by district and school leaders to inform critically needed student supports. We set out with a vision of creating useful, usable research syntheses that would be of practical value to educators as they navigate the ongoing pandemic and recovery efforts, and we are pleased with what we have been able to contribute in a relatively short time span.
Peak Moment #2: We have had the privilege of connecting directly with district leaders across Rhode Island through our ongoing practitioner network. Using our EdResearch for Recovery brief as a foundational resource, we focused heavily on supporting the launch of high-dosage tutoring programs, which will continue to be a central topic in the coming year. Learning from and alongside district staff and school administrators as they use research evidence to design programs that address their communities’ needs and contend with myriad practical implementation challenges has been both gratifying and humbling.
Peak Moment #3: We formalized our participation in a new collaborative effort between TN SCORE, the Tennessee Education Research Alliance, TNTP and EdResearch for Recovery to support a research-to-practice network for eight districts in Tennessee. These eight districts will work together to design, implement, measure and continuously improve evidence-based summer learning programs in 2022. With $1.2 billion in federal relief funds earmarked for summer learning, and strong evidence demonstrating its effectiveness, we are grateful for the opportunity to learn and contribute to the national knowledge base about what it takes to design and implement successful programs that bring joy and strengthen academic outcomes for students.
Peak Moment #4: We expanded our team in wonderful ways, bringing on Sam Stockwell, Carrie Conaway, and Heather Boughton. Each has quickly become integral to our project’s success. As a result, we are well-positioned to continue to expand our library of research briefs, research-to-practice networks, and resources to the broader field.
Looking ahead, we are excited to continue to expand our library of evidence briefs, and encourage you to share your ideas about the kinds of topics we should be taking on (which you can do here). We look forward to continued partnership with our network of incredibly talented researchers, student-centered practitioner advisers, our state and district network participants, and the organizational partners who have helped shape, strengthen, and share our work. Beyond new briefs, we anticipate gaining new knowledge and insight into what it takes to translate often complex research evidence into practice, and are eager to convert what we learn into useful tools that education leaders at all levels can use during this very important recovery period.
Thank you for partnership and support, and wishing you a peaceful transition into the new year.
The EdResearch for Recovery Team Sara Kerr