Creating Transformative Research–Practice Partnership in Collaboration with School, City, and University Actors

Tiina Korhonen, Laura Salo, Hanna Reinius, Sanni Malander, Netta Tiippana, Noora Laakso, Jari Lavonen, Kai Hakkarainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Traditional educational research has been criticized for the gap between the research and practice communities, meaning that outcomes do not transfer to educational praxis. To meet this challenge, policymakers, funders, and researchers are developing research–practice partnerships (RPPs). The purpose of this research is to study the research–practice partnership as a strategy for educational transformation in the Finnish educational context. This study highlights the multifaceted perspectives of key RPP stakeholders: teachers, principals, municipality administrators, and researchers. Their experiences were explored through semi-structured interviews. The data were examined through content analysis and categorized into themes depicting the goals and goal-setting process in RPPs, the experiences of RPP activities, and the factors facilitating and challenging RPPs. The results show that stakeholders viewed the goals through the perspectives of professional development; supporting the growth and learning of students; and developing school, municipality, and research practices. Regular participation solidified the commitment to the RPP process. Horizontal interaction worked well between stakeholders, but challenges arose with vertical interaction. We found multiple roles for researchers and municipality administrators. Researchers found that they take on a new role in RPPs as change agents and facilitators. Regarding the facilitating or challenging aspects of RPPs, an open and flexible attitude and atmosphere and readiness for change are demanded on all actor levels. Mutual appreciation and sensitivity facilitate RPP activities. We propose taking all stakeholder perspectives into account when designing RPPs aimed at systemic change and that RPP processes should facilitate both horizontal and vertical interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number399
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • educational transformation
  • professional development
  • research–practice partnership
  • school improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Computer Science Applications


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