Design-Centric Research-Practice Partnerships: Three Key Lenses for Building Productive Bridges Between Theory and Practice

  • Yael KaliEmail author
  • Bat-Sheva Eylon
  • Susan McKenney
  • Adi Kidron
Living reference work entry


The last decade has witnessed a strong increase in research that moves toward mutually beneficial collaboration between researchers and practitioners. This chapter focuses on such collaborations that aim to design resources for use in schools while also advancing theoretical understanding of the dynamics within such partnership. We refer to such endeavors as design-centric research-practice partnerships (DC-RPPs). To guide the development of productive DC-RPPs, we synthesize insights from three theoretical lenses: (1) scholarship of teaching and practitioner research, (2) change laboratory formative interventions, and (3) multilevel boundary crossing. These lenses, together with a framework that characterizes DC-RPPs based on the practical constructs of (1) processes, (2) roles, and (3) habits-of-mind, are used in a 3 × 3 theory-practice matrix to elicit and articulate nine design principles that can support productive DC-RPPs. We describe two cases that illustrate how the design principles come to life in authentic DC-RPPs (one with 3 middle schools, focusing on interdisciplinary learning, and the other with 22 high schools, focusing on physics) and conclude with a discussion of emerging work that could support DC-RPPs and recommendations for future research.


Research-practice partnerships (RPPs) Design-based research (DBR) Design principles Scholarship of teaching Change laboratories Boundary crossing 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yael Kali
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bat-Sheva Eylon
    • 2
  • Susan McKenney
    • 3
  • Adi Kidron
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.The Science Teaching DepartmentThe Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  3. 3.ELAN, Department of Teacher Professional DevelopmentUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

Section editors and affiliations

  • Drew Polly
    • 1
  • Robert Doyle
    • 2
  1. 1.College of EducationThe University of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA
  2. 2.PsychiatryHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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