Extending the applicability of design-based research through research-practice partnerships
This research explored the implementation of a technology-enhanced instructional model for interdisciplinary learning. The model was developed in a previous phase of this research via DBR in the context of higher-education. Our aim in the current phase was to extend the applicability of the model and refine its underlying design principles based on their implementation in three secondary schools. For this purpose, a research-practice partnership was established, which included researchers, practitioners from an educational non-governmental organization, school principals, and teachers. Three practitioner-teams, facilitated by one of the researchers, collaboratively designed their own technology-enhanced interdisciplinary learning environments, in which they adapted the instructional model. This paper presents a new type of principled practical knowledge (PPK) —enhanced principled instructional model— which was obtained by comparison between the practitioners' designs and the original, higher-education context design. The PPK broadened the partnership's understanding of ways to promote interdisciplinary learning. Furthermore, it has raised new perspectives that were not considered during the development of the model, thereby allowing deeper understanding of the notion of interdisciplinary learning. Thus, this study illustrates how the establishment of productive research-practice partnerships can serve as a powerful strategy for implementing and scaling educational innovations beyond the original DBR context.
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