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Contested Institutional Environments and the Structure and Function of Research-Practice Partnerships

Mon, April 8, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Mezzanine Level, Confederation 6

Abstract

Research-practice partnerships (RPPs) are a growing feature of the education landscape, yet little research has examined their larger institutional environments. Adopting an “institutional logics” perspective, this study analyzes the work of RPPs in two large urban districts, exploring the ways that institutional environments shape RPPs and their work. We find that RPPs contend with multiple institutional logics (profession, state, and market) with varying conceptions of what it means to be an effective and legitimate organization. Contending with these multiple logics limits RPPs’ ability to produce research that supports district learning, but also encourages RPPs to innovate to meet these demands. Our work has implications for the design of RPPs that can lead to district learning and improvement.

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