Research in Education


Introduction to Collaborative Research

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JOAN GREEN: The Ontario Education Research Panel (OERP) was established to advance education research in Ontario to support improved outcomes for our students, through collaboration among educators, researchers, professional organizations and the ministry.

We are dedicated to encouraging, promoting, disseminating and celebrating positive examples of research-to-practice initiatives currently underway in education. To assist us in this endeavour we have asked individuals involved in successful research partnerships to share their stories.

We know that positive professional relationships are the backbone of successful research partnerships. Unique collaborations happen when people work together across traditional boundaries to create the best possible learning environments for our students. In a sense, OERP wants to serve as a “matchmaker” to facilitate and encourage exciting connections which will result in better teaching and learning.

Successful partnerships between university researchers and practitioners are characterized by relationships that are reciprocal, respectful, and collaborative.

And, most importantly, they make a big difference for students.

NARRATION: Last year, the OERP, in partnership with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education commissioned a literature review on School-University Collaborative Research. What is school-university collaborative research?

NARRATION:
We found that there are a number of factors that support effective research partnerships between school districts and universities:
Mutual interest
Identifying shared goals
Clear expectations
Respect and trust
Flexible research design
Time and resources
Long-term commitment
Support and recognition
And Shared power and ownership

CAROL CAMPBELL: The Ministry of Education is very committed to working in partnership with schools, school boards, universities, research agencies, and professional organizations to promote research and develop knowledge that is relevant to the work of educators in classrooms, schools, boards and at the provincial level. The Ontario Education Research Panel is an important part of Ontario’s Education Research and Evaluation Strategy.

In order to advance our three key goals of improved student achievement, reduced gaps in achievement and increased confidence in publicly funded education, the Ministry of Education is committed to developing and implementing policies and programs that are evidence-based, research-informed and connected to these goals.

CAROL CAMPBELL: The Research Strategy comprises:

  • leading the ministry's research agenda to coordinate and manage ministry research activities to support our provincial educational goals;
  • building individual and organizational capacity to access, use and conduct research;
  • applying research and evaluation to support evidence-based policy and program decisions and practices;
  • communicating information about existing and new research activities and findings
  • fostering research collaboration through networking and partnerships between and among ministry of education staff, researchers and educators across Ontario and beyond; and finally…
  • contributing to the provincial, national and indeed international body of research knowledge about educational policies, programs and practices.

JOAN GREEN: We believe it is crucial for practitioners, education leaders and policy makers to find common ground and to learn from one another in the interest of improved learning and, of course, teaching. Collaborative research links those working with students in schools every day with those who engage in research and evaluation to address priority questions. When teachers in the classroom and researchers working in the Universities join forces we can genuinely improve the learning environment and experience of students.  We all care about the same thing. We want to ensure that all students achieve at high levels and are able to move with confidence and competence from one learning context to another.

Our commitment is to sustain conversations across traditional boundaries, roles and organizations. We see this as a way to support a culture of inquiry, where questions are our friends and help us to identify what comes next. True accountability is the conversation that moves things forward for all of our students and the OERP is here to help us do just that.