Equitable Research-Practice Partnerships: A Multilevel Reimagining


  • Kemi A. Oyewole Stanford Graduate School of Education
  • Sumit Karn
  • Jen Classen
  • Maxwell M. Yurkofsky


Research-Practice Partnership, Social Justice, Institutional Logic, school reform, multilevel analysis


Research-practice partnerships (RPPs) are a promising tool for producing educational research that supports sustainable and equitable school reform. However, the status quo in research-practice partnerships poses some challenges to the achievement of these admirable aims. We use an institutional logics perspective (Friedland & Alford, 1991; Thornton & Ocasio, 1999) to suggest ways neoliberal market, bureaucratic, and professional logics operate between institutional, organizational, and individual levels to compromise the goal of using RPPs for equity. Then, we follow the tradition of Black freedom dreamers by reimagining what research-practice partnerships could be if they were instead rooted in a progressive social justice logic. A social justice logic for RPPs centers interrogations of inequity and strives for authentic, democratic resource allocation and inclusion as seen in: institutional connections to radical participatory research traditions, organizational respect for local funds of knowledge, and individual analysis of intersectional identities. The issues we present and the futures we imagine ask RPP participants, supporters, and leaders to consider how they might reflect, reorganize, and redouble their commitment to creating the conditions for RPPs to flourish.