Using Mediating Artifacts to Push for Greater Equity in Research Practice Partnerships


  • Megan Goeke University of Minnesota
  • Alexandria Muller Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Daniela Alvarez-Vargas School of Education, University of California, Irvine
  • Erica Jeanne Van Steenis Ocean County Educational Advancement Network, School of Education, University of California, Irvine


Research Practice Partnerships, cultural-historical activity theory, power


Strong research-practice partnership (RPP) relationships are defined in part by having routines and norms the support equitable participation of each partner, but exactly how those routines and norms are achieved is unclear. Utilizing cultural historical activity theory (CHAT), we examine two RPPs who shifted their mediating artifacts – the tools, rules, and division of labor that structure joint work – to move toward more equitable partnership. These narrative accounts provide insight into how RPP participants – researchers, practitioners, and graduate students – can leverage moments of change to maintain or regain equitable power distribution.