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ERIC Number: EJ795534
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0009-4056
Shifting Policy, Shaping Practice: When Researchers and Advocates Work Together
Lobman, Carrie; Ryan, Sharon
Childhood Education, v84 n4 p192 Sum 2008
This article reports on the authors' experiences as researchers finding out that working with an advocacy organization helped to address the lag between analyzing and drawing conclusions from research and ensuring that relevant findings had an impact. For many in the world of advocacy or those in the world of research, the partnership that is the center of this story is somewhat unconventional. According to Zervigon-Hakes (1998), researchers and advocacy groups tend to reside in two distinct cultures, each framed by its own norms, values, and practices, that often clash, rather than resonate, with one another. Advocates work in the present; their aim is to help improve programs and initiatives that are of current public interest. "Key findings" often take precedence over the need for reams of data or knowledge of the intricacies of research design. Alternatively, researchers look at the details, and tend to focus not only on the "how" and "why" of their findings, but also on their limitations. In being descriptive rather than prescriptive, researchers know what their findings do and do not say about an issue, and thus are often wary of their data being used out of context, or as a marker to specify action in relation to a particular issue. Given these differences, it is not surprising that researchers and advocates tend to view each other warily from a distance. In their case, however, the authors found that some of these differences could be turned into assets because of the particular context in which they were working. In this article, the authors report their story with the aim of providing insights for those interested in making research transformative, rather than simply informative.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey; United States