Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Creed, Benjamin M.

Second Advisor

Summers, Kelly H.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF)


In this dissertation, I begin with a paper exploring K-12 educators’ use of evidence. I give several examples of how practitioners are delivering programming that is in direct opposition to commonly held evidence-based understandings, explore the reasons why this is happening and then offer a relatively new type of partnership between practitioners and researchers that looks promising in the ongoing pursuit of greater research engagement and use of evidence by practitioners. This paper also applies the Outcomes Based Concern Model for deconstructing the reasons practitioners do not use evidence to the degree desired by policymakers.

In the second paper I discuss how these Research Practice Partnerships (RPPs) offer a relatively new approach to collaboration and cooperation between researchers and practitioners that relies on building a relationship between entities so that the resulting work has mutual benefits. The problems of practice are focused on increasing K-12 student achievement and providing actionable results for the practitioners. Two original diagrams illustrate how knowledge is transferred in the traditional university to practitioner model compared to in an RPP.

The final product in this dissertation is a toolkit to assist the Northern Illinois Regional P-20 Network in evolving into a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) RPP. Included in the final product is an updated P-20 Network Logic Model, aligned to the principles of an NIC and the dimensions of an RPP, recommendations for creating a leadership team and three Illinois Administrator Academies to be used to recruit K-12 administrators in the work with our researchers in the College of Education.


157 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

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