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Going on a statewide listening tour: involving education leaders in the process of research to enhance the practical value of qualitative research

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This study explores how involving education leaders in the process of research can enhance the practical value of research for them. This paper describes: 1) a design process used for engaging US state science leaders in participatory research; and 2) shifts in understanding that state leaders reported based on their participation. The authors explicate the steps of how they engaged practitioners in the process of data collection and analysis. They then present evidence for how and why the participatory research process was impactful for practitioners. Through engaging in the process of conducting focus groups and analysing qualitative data from the focus groups, state science leaders shifted their understanding of the value of qualitative research and made adjustments to their goals for improving science education in their respective states. Creating opportunities for practitioners to fully engage in the research process may result in a greater influence of the research on practice and local policy.
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Keywords: focus groups; qualitative participatory research; research practice partnerships; research utilisation

Affiliations: University of Colorado Boulder, USA

Appeared or available online: March 17, 2018

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