AEFP 44th Annual Conference Program
Chair:, New York University
Chair:, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chair:, Harvard University
Chair:, Reed College
Chair:, University of Massachusetts Boston
Chair:, Vanderbilt University
Chair:, American Institutes of Research
Chair:, The George Washington University
Chair:, University of Maryland
Chair:, Brigham Young University
Chair:, United States Military Academy
Chair:, University of Michigan
The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) has long been committed to assessing and improving teacher education statewide. To expand their efforts in these areas, they applied for and received an IES State Longitudinal Data Systems Grant with an emphasis on building and using data systems to identify promising features of preparation and use them as levers for improvement. As part of this grant, the TDOE has partnered with researchers from University of Michigan and a number of Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs) to engage in research and initiatives that use data in Tennessee to understand and improve the current state of teacher preparation policy and practice. Though many have argued that these kinds of research-practice partnerships hold much promise for improving educational systems (Coburn & Penuel, 2016), those engaged in them also acknowledge that the goals and priorities of different stakeholders can present substantial challenges to their success (Booker, Conaway, & Schwartz, under review).
This policy talk will illuminate some of those successes and difficulties by bringing together three key stakeholders engaged in the Tennessee partnership efforts, representing three different perspectives: a TDOE policymaker (Kevin Schaaf), a leader of an EPP that has participated in many partnership initiatives (Julie Baker), and a university-based researcher (Matt Ronfeldt). In addition, we have invited another researcher (Dan Goldhaber) who has participated in similar research-practice partnerships in two other states to share how the promises and pitfalls identified in the Tennessee partnership are similar to and different from those he has faced elsewhere.
We will open the policy talk by providing background on how the partnership formed, describing how clinical training became a primary focus, and giving an overview of a sequence of studies and initiatives focused specifically on clinical training that have involved the panel participants. Panel participants will then engage in an open-ended conversation about what motivated them to participate in this partnership work, what the work has accomplished, how their priorities and goals have shifted over time, and where they see partnership work heading in the future. Panelists will discuss successes and challenges, and focus particularly on lessons learned that can inform partnerships in other contexts and recommendations for improving partnership efforts in the future. Audience members will be invited to comment on the conversation and ask questions.
While policymakers have increasingly advocated for research-practice partnerships, less is known about how to make them successful in practice. By bringing together the differing perspectives of various stakeholders engaged in partnership work in Tennessee and other states, this policy talk promises to shed light on what these types of partnerships look like on the ground and where they are headed in the future.