How can we support district and school leaders to engage with research and increase the use of evidence in their decision-making?
Overview: The onset of COVID-19 has left district and school leaders desperate for timely evidence-based guidance as they confront unprecedented challenges. Although there is a substantial amount of high-quality education research, applying research to educational practice is immensely difficult. Simply disseminating research often does not help education decision-makers use that information to improve their work and develop research-aligned programs. The EdResearch Workshop Series brings together leadership teams in Rhode Island to engage with practical and relevant research-based ideas and discuss new and ongoing challenges with peers and experts.
Background: Workshops cover content from EdResearch for Recovery briefs, and give district leaders time and space to engage with top researchers in the field on what works, for whom, in what contexts, and how these strategies might be implemented. To promote research use in Rhode Island schools, the EdResearch District Workshop Series provides decision makers with opportunities to engage in a sense-making process with researchers and with each other around research findings, work collaboratively to identify challenges and obstacles in their own contexts, and develop action plans that incorporate multiple areas of expertise.
District participants read relevant research briefs in preparation and then start each workshop with short breakout discussions about ongoing experiences around the session topic in their schools. Throughout these workshops, presentations and activities are designed to help practitioners understand and internalize research evidence, by surfacing sub-topics determined by key questions and challenges schools are facing. Participants leave the series of workshops with actionable, research proven strategies to improve student and teacher outcomes across multiple areas of needs.
Using content from our design principles brief, Advancing Student Learning and Opportunity through Voluntary Academic Summer Programs, this toolkit offers facilitator resources for strategy sessions and workshops aimed at creating more effective summer learning programs for K-12 students.