Equity and Improvement: Engaging Communities in Educational Research
- LAST MODIFIED: 29 July 2020
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0253
- LAST MODIFIED: 29 July 2020
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0253
Improvement initiatives in the field of education have historically aimed to reduce the gap between the aspirations of school reformers and the oppressive realities confronting students and families from non-dominant communities. Despite this ambition, scholars spearheading community-based research and practitioner inquiry suggest that such divides persist because the very groups underserved by educational systems are also marginalized by enduring power asymmetries between “the Academy” and “the field.” Consequently, their voices and perspectives remain under-represented in efforts to define, research, and pursue educational improvement. This bibliography presents a range of resources to help students, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers re-theorize the relationship between community perspectives and educational reform, centering the ways of being and knowing of those historically undervalued in the research enterprise. We gather pieces that are essential to understanding the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of community-based research as well as key texts addressing the role of improvement in education. In addition, we feature a range of interdisciplinary examples of school and community-based research from around the world that illustrate how knowledge producers have navigated power dynamics vis-à-vis their contexts, their positionalities, and the other complexities inherent to conducting inquiries within and alongside minoritized communities. These examples variously erode the boundary between “the researcher” and the “researched,” indicating ways in which educational improvement strategies may be co-constructed in ethical collaboration with those most chronically underserved.
Improvement in Education
A guiding ambition of community-based research is to improve educational outcomes for students and their families in marginalized communities through partnerships that often include researchers, community members, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders. Given the power disparities between members of the partnership, Campano, et al. 2015 and others have underscored issues of ethics and power and emphasized the need to reimagine how research institutions collaborate with practitioners and communities. Likewise, Bryk 2015 calls for “a different role for the education research community” (p. 475) in improvement science. “We have tacitly accepted that there is a small class of ‘knowers’ and a much larger class of ‘doers,’ who are expected to just use the knowledge generated by others” (p. 475). The author’s call for education stakeholders to form “networked improvement communities” and work together “respecting and valuing the varied expertise that is needed to solve educational problems” (p. 475) dovetails with the goal of participants involved in community-based research. While the objectives of improvement science and community-based research are similar—to value the perspectives of those most implicated and impacted by educational systems—some differences do exist. For example, Ghiso, et al. 2019 argues that in improvement science there is “long-term commitment with multiple projects rather than a single study” while in community-based research “the length of the project is not determined by the cycle of research, but by the urgencies and social justice struggles faced by partners” (p. 3). We begin this section with salient literature about improvement in the field of education. Bryk 2010 draws on longitudinal data to highlight improvement work carried out by the Consortium on Chicago School Research in the 1990s, while Bryk 2015 theorizes the “improvement paradigm.” Bryk 2015 highlights how work in the medical field by the physician Atul Gawande informs Bryk’s thinking on improvement science. Similarly, Lytle 2008 shows how Gawande’s work holds implications for teachers involved in “practitioner inquiry,” a research methodology used by many in the field of community-based research such as Blackburn, et al. 2009, Brydon-Miller and Maguire 2009, Cochran-Smith and Lytle 2009 (cited under Critical Theories), and Lampert and Ball 1998. Like Bryk 2015, Lewis 2015 explains the underpinnings and approaches of improvement science and theorizes about their place in the realm of education by invoking two case studies; meanwhile, Park, et al. 2013 and Penuel, et al. 2011 exemplify the operationalization of “improvement” in different educational contexts.
Blackburn, M. V., C. T. Clark, L. M. Kenney, and J. M. Smith. 2009. Acting out! Combating homophobia through teacher activism. Practitioner Inquiry Series. New York: Teachers College Press.
This book exemplifies how educators from diverse backgrounds can collaborate across institutional lines to advocate on behalf of their students. Particularly, the teacher-inquiry group showcased challenges to homophobia and hegemonic notions of heteronormativity with the aim of fostering healthful and equitable learning environments for all students.
Brydon-Miller, M., and P. Maguire. 2009. Participatory action research: Contributions to the development of practitioner inquiry in education. Educational Action Research 17.1: 79–93.
Brydon-Miller and Maguire trace the beginnings, objectives, and characteristics of Participatory action research (PAR) and examine how it can be used to improve opportunities for students, families, educators, and communities. The article also explores the affordances of incorporating aspects of PAR into practitioner inquiry.
Bryk, A. S. 2010. Organizing schools for improvement: Research on Chicago school improvement indicates that improving elementary schools requires coherent, orchestrated action across five essential supports. Phi Delta Kappan 91.7: 23–30.
This piece reflects on a longitudinal study of elementary schools spearheaded by the Consortium on Chicago School Research in the 1990s. Drawing on findings from the fifteen-year database, Bryk traces how the “complex interplay” of schools and communities connect to educational outcomes, offers “essential supports for school improvement,” and provides suggestions for various educational stakeholders (p. 24).
Bryk, A. S. 2015. 2014 AERA distinguished lecture: Accelerating how we learn to improve. Educational Researcher 44.9: 467–477.
In this 2014 AERA distinguished lecture, Bryk sketches “a new improvement paradigm” for education (p. 467). His approach combines improvement science with networked improvement communities (NICs), thus foregrounding tools, heuristics, and strategies to better analyze the myriad factors that “generate unsatisfactory outcomes” in educational settings (p. 474).
Campano, G., M. P. Ghiso, and B. Welch. 2015. Ethical and professional norms in community-based research. Harvard Educational Review 85.1: 29–49.
In this article, the authors describe how they created guidelines in collaboration with community members during their ongoing multi-year partnership situated in a multiethnic and multilingual Catholic parish and its school and community center in the northeastern United States. The paper underscores how universities and communities that are engaged in collaborative research and working across multiple boundaries can forge enduring research partnerships based on respect and trust.
Ghiso, M. P., G. Campano, E. R. Schwab, D. Asaah, and A. Rusoja. 2019. Mentoring in research-practice partnerships: Toward democratizing expertise. AERA Open 5.4.
Two university professors and three doctoral students examine how their multi-year research-practice partnership (RPP) alongside multilingual, multiethnic refugee and (im)migrant populations in the northeastern United States, which focuses on issues of educational access and equity in K-12 schools, reimagines the mentorship of graduate students. This study conceptualizes the relationship between research universities and community-based organizations, and underscores some similarities, overlaps, and differences between improvement science and community-based research.
Lampert, M., and D. L. Ball. 1998. Teaching, multimedia, and mathematics: Investigations of real practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
This book explores how teachers learn through the self-reflective examination of their own practice. Lampert and Ball examine the curriculum and instruction, students’ knowledge acquisition, and the culture of two elementary classrooms, focusing on mathematics lessons over the course of a year.
Lewis, C. 2015. What is improvement science? Do we need it in education? Educational Researcher 44.1: 54–61.
Lewis’s article theorizes the place of “improvement science,” which she defines as “an applied science that has dramatically improved practices in industries ranging from automobile manufacturing to healthcare,” in the field of education (p. 54). Drawing on Community College Pathways Networked Improvement Community and lesson study in Japan as two examples from the field, she reflects on the affordances and limitations of the approach.
Lytle, S. L. 2008. Practitioner inquiry and the practice of teaching: Some thoughts on “Better.” Research in the Teaching of English 42.3: 373–379.
Lytle argues that Atul Gawande’s Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance holds examples for the practice of teaching. Although her article is aimed at classroom teachers, Gawande’s concept of “positive deviance—the idea of building on the capability people already had rather than telling them they had to change” (p. 25) would benefit researchers and practitioners working with/in communities.
Park, S., S. Hironaka, P. Carver, and L. Nordstrum. 2013. Continuous improvement in education. Stanford, CA: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
This paper examines how “continuous improvement” is approached by three “types” of organizations in the educational field: those focused on “instructional improvement”; those focused on “system-wide” improvement; and those concerned with “collective impact” (p. 3). The authors share their findings on the features and approaches of these organizations and conclude with four main observations.
Penuel, W. R., B. J. Fishman, B. Haugan Cheng, and N. Sabelli. 2011. Organizing research and development at the intersection of learning, implementation, and design. Educational Researcher 40.7: 331–337.
This article describes the potential place of design-based implementation research in education. It discusses “four key features” of this approach and envisions the ways it might support the “productive adaptation of programs as they go to scale” in the field (p. 331).
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- Academic Achievement
- Academic Audit for Universities
- Academic Freedom and Tenure in the United States
- Action Research in Education
- Adjuncts in Higher Education in the United States
- Administrator Preparation
- Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Courses
- Advocacy and Activism in Early Childhood
- African American Racial Identity and Learning
- Alaska Native Education
- Alternative Certification Programs for Educators
- Alternative Schools
- American Indian Education
- Art Education
- Artificial Intelligence and Learning
- Assessing School Leader Effectiveness
- Assessment, Behavioral
- Assessment, Educational
- Assessment in Early Childhood Education
- Assistive Technology
- Augmented Reality in Education
- Beginning-Teacher Induction
- Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
- Blended Learning
- Case Study in Education Research
- Changing Professional and Academic Identities
- Character Education
- Children’s and Young Adult Literature
- Children's Beliefs about Intelligence
- Children's Rights in Early Childhood Education
- Citizenship Education
- Civic and Social Engagement of Higher Education
- Classroom Learning Environments: Assessing and Investigati...
- Classroom Management
- Coherent Instructional Systems at the School and School Sy...
- College Admissions in the United States
- College Athletics in the United States
- Community Relations
- Comparative Education
- Computer-Based Testing
- Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Evaluating Improvement Net...
- Continuous Improvement and "High Leverage" Educational Pro...
- Counseling in Schools
- Critical Perspectives on Educational Innovation and Improv...
- Critical Race Theory
- Crossborder and Transnational Higher Education
- Cross-National Research on Continuous Improvement
- Cross-Sector Research on Continuous Learning and Improveme...
- Cultural Diversity in Early Childhood Education
- Culturally Responsive Leadership
- Culturally Responsive Pedagogies
- Culturally Responsive Teacher Education in the United Stat...
- Curriculum Design
- Data Collection in Educational Research
- Data-driven Decision Making in the United States
- Deaf Education
- Desegregation and Integration
- Design Thinking and the Learning Sciences: Theoretical, Pr...
- Development, Moral
- Dialogic Pedagogy
- Digital Age Teacher, The
- Digital Citizenship
- Digital Divides
- Distance Learning
- Distributed Leadership
- Doctoral Education and Training
- Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Denmark
- Early Childhood Education and Development in Mexico
- Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa New Zealand
- Early Childhood Education in Australia
- Early Childhood Education in China
- Early Childhood Education in Europe
- Early Childhood Education in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Early Childhood Education in Sweden
- Early Childhood Education Pedagogy
- Early Childhood Education Policy
- Early Childhood Education, The Arts in
- Early Childhood Mathematics
- Early Childhood Science
- Early Childhood Teacher Education
- Early Childhood Teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand
- Early Years Professionalism and Professionalization Polici...
- Economics of Education
- Education For Children with Autism
- Education for Sustainable Development
- Education Leadership, Empirical Perspectives in
- Education of Native Hawaiian Students
- Education Reform and School Change
- Educational Statistics for Longitudinal Research
- Educator Partnerships with Parents and Families with a Foc...
- Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- Epistemic Beliefs
- Equity and Improvement: Engaging Communities in Educationa...
- Equity, Ethnicity, Diversity, and Excellence in Education
- Ethical Research with Young Children
- Ethics and Education
- Ethics of Teaching
- Ethnic Studies
- Evidence-Based Communication Assessment and Intervention
- Family and Community Partnerships in Education
- Family Day Care
- Federal Government Programs and Issues
- Finance, Education
- Financial Aid
- Formative Assessment
- Future-Focused Education
- Gender and Achievement
- Gender and Alternative Education
- Gifted Education
- Global Mindedness and Global Citizenship Education
- Global University Rankings
- Governance, Education
- Grounded Theory
- Growth of Effective Mental Health Services in Schools in t...
- Higher Education and Globalization
- Higher Education and the Developing World
- Higher Education Faculty Characteristics and Trends in the...
- Higher Education Finance
- Higher Education Governance
- Higher Education Graduate Outcomes and Destinations
- Higher Education in Africa
- Higher Education in China
- Higher Education in Latin America
- Higher Education in the United States, Historical Evolutio...
- Higher Education, International Issues in
- Higher Education Management
- Higher Education Policy
- Higher Education Research
- Higher Education Student Assessment
- High-stakes Testing
- History of Early Childhood Education in the United States
- History of Education in the United States
- History of Technology Integration in Education
- Inclusion in Early Childhood: Difference, Disability, and ...
- Inclusive Education
- Indigenous Education in a Global Context
- Indigenous Learning Environments
- Indigenous Students in Higher Education in the United Stat...
- Infant and Toddler Pedagogy
- Inservice Teacher Education
- Integrating Art across the Curriculum
- Intensive Interventions for Children and Adolescents with ...
- International Perspectives on Academic Freedom
- Intersectionality and Education
- Knowledge Development in Early Childhood
- Leadership Development, Coaching and Feedback for
- Leadership in Early Childhood Education
- Leadership Training with an Emphasis on the United States
- Learning Analytics in Higher Education
- Learning Difficulties
- Learning, Lifelong
- Learning, Multimedia
- Learning Strategies
- Legal Matters and Education Law
- LGBT Youth in Schools
- Linguistic Diversity
- Linguistically Inclusive Pedagogy
- Literacy Development and Language Acquisition
- Literature Reviews
- Mathematics Instruction and Interventions for Students wit...
- Mathematics Teacher Education
- Measurement for Improvement in Education
- Measurement in Education in the United States
- Meta-Analysis and Research Synthesis in Education
- Methodological Approaches for Impact Evaluation in Educati...
- Methodologies for Conducting Education Research
- Mindfulness, Learning, and Education
- Mixed Methods Research
- Multiliteracies in Early Childhood Education
- Multiple Documents Literacy: Theory, Research, and Applica...
- Multivariate Research Methodology
- Museums, Education, and Curriculum
- Music Education
- Narrative Research in Education
- Native American Studies
- Numeracy Education
- One-to-One Technology in the K-12 Classroom
- Online Education
- Open Education
- Organizing for Continuous Improvement in Education
- Organizing Schools for the Inclusion of Students with Disa...
- Outdoor Play and Learning
- Outdoor Play and Learning in Early Childhood Education
- Pedagogical Leadership
- Pedagogy of Teacher Education, A
- Performance Objectives and Measurement
- Performance-based Research Assessment in Higher Education
- Performance-based Research Funding
- Phenomenology in Educational Research
- Philosophy of Education
- Physical Education
- Podcasts in Education
- Policy Context of United States Educational Innovation and...
- Politics of Education
- Portable Technology Use in Special Education Programs and ...
- Pre-Service Teacher Education
- Problem Solving
- Productivity and Higher Education
- Professional Development
- Professional Learning Communities
- Program Evaluation
- Programs and Services for Students with Emotional or Behav...
- Psychology Learning and Teaching
- Psychometric Issues in the Assessment of English Language ...
- Qualitative Data Analysis Techniques
- Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Research Samp...
- Qualitative Research Design
- Quantitative Research Designs in Educational Research
- Race and Affirmative Action in Higher Education
- Reading Education
- Refugee and New Immigrant Learners
- Relational and Developmental Trauma and Schools
- Reliability in Educational Assessments
- Religion in Elementary and Secondary Education in the Unit...
- Researcher Development and Skills Training within the Cont...
- Research-Practice Partnerships in Education within the Uni...
- Response to Intervention
- Restorative Practices
- Scale and Sustainability of Education Innovation and Impro...
- Scaling Up Research-based Educational Practices
- School Accreditation
- School Choice
- School Culture
- School District Budgeting and Financial Management in the ...
- School Improvement through Inclusive Education
- School Reform
- Schools, Private and Independent
- School-Wide Positive Behavior Support
- Science Education
- Secondary to Postsecondary Transition Issues
- Self-Regulated Learning
- Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices
- Severe Disabilities
- Single Salary Schedule
- Single-sex Education
- Single-Subject Research Design
- Social Context of Education
- Social Justice
- Social Network Analysis
- Social Pedagogy
- Social Science and Education Research
- Social Studies Education
- Sociology of Education
- Standards-Based Education
- Statistical Assumptions
- Student Access, Equity, and Diversity in Higher Education
- Student Assignment Policy
- Student Engagement in Tertiary Education
- Student Learning, Development, Engagement, and Motivation ...
- Student Participation
- Student Voice in Teacher Development
- Sustainability Education in Early Childhood Education
- Sustainability in Early Childhood Education
- Sustainability in Higher Education
- Teacher Beliefs and Epistemologies
- Teacher Collaboration in School Improvement
- Teacher Evaluation and Teacher Effectiveness
- Teacher Preparation
- Teacher Training and Development
- Teacher Unions and Associations
- Teacher-Student Relationships
- Teaching Critical Thinking
- Technologies, Teaching, and Learning in Higher Education
- Technology Education in Early Childhood
- Technology, Educational
- Technology-based Assessment
- The Bologna Process
- The Regulation of Standards in Higher Education
- Theories of Educational Leadership
- Three Conceptions of Literacy: Media, Narrative, and Gamin...
- Tracking and Detracking
- Traditions of Quality Improvement in Education
- Transformative Learning
- Transitions in Early Childhood Education
- Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities in the Unite...
- Understanding the Psycho-Social Dimensions of Schools and ...
- University Faculty Roles and Responsibilities in the Unite...
- Using Ethnography in Educational Research
- Value of Higher Education for Students and Other Stakehold...
- Virtual Learning Environments
- Vocational and Technical Education
- Wellness and Well-Being in Education
- Women's and Gender Studies
- Young Children and Spirituality
- Young Children's Learning Dispositions
- Young Children's Working Theories