ERIC Number: ED278801
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: 0
The Research-to-Practice Dilemma. Occasional Paper No. 123.
Merriam, Sharan B.
The relative newness of the field of adult education and the newness of its research has been one of the problems in the research-to-practice dilemma. Edcuators have a sense of uncertainty and hence uneasiness in their role as social scientists. Others feel that adult education research is too flawed or impoverished for adoption. Dissemination problems are another area of concern. One constraint to effective interaction between research and practice is that each activity is conducted under different reward systems. The language of research problems is another problem area. Mechanisms for research dissemination are already in place. Included among these are state, regional, and national conferences; information clearinghouses; professional association activities and resources; publications; and computer networking and teleconferencing. Assuming that these mechanisms are able to improve the dialogue between researchers and practitioners and that research findings get into the hands of those most able to use them, there is still the problem of new ideas or practices actually being adopted. The process of adopting research findings is largely informal, and the key to utilizing the informal system is finding a link among people and organizations. Such "gatekeepers" are characterized as readers of journals, persons acting as translators of what they read for their colleagues, networkers who maintain contacts outside their own organizations, and persons who function as advisers to their colleagues. Interaction between researchers and practitioners can be enriched by having researchers engage in practice and practitioners engage in reflective discussion for an alloted time each week. (MN)
Descriptors: Adoption (Ideas), Adult Education, Diffusion (Communication), Educational Practices, Educational Research, Linking Agents, Postsecondary Education, Research Utilization, Theory Practice Relationship
National Center Publications, National Center for Research in Vocational Education, 1960 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1090 (OC123--$3.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ohio State Univ., Columbus. National Center for Research in Vocational Education.