In today’s information age, we all have access to WAY more information than we could ever hope to process. Sometimes the deluge even extends to the theory and research that underlies program design. KPC has recently started working with clients to help review the literature with clients and then guide the team’s reflections on how they are applying theory and research to their practice. We have begun to distill the learning from this process through a series of graphical one-pagers that present a theory or framework in very simple terms on the first page and then demonstrate the application of that theory or framework via a project on a second page. The template that we are using was created by my colleague and long-time KPC staff member, Leanne Jacobson. We have two examples available so far. The first demonstrates how the Chief Science Officers (CSO) program is applying empowerment theory to its project design. The second focuses on the idea of STEM learning ecosystems, as applied by the CSO program and a second project called Rural Activation and Innovation Network (RAIN). Plans are in place for a third version that will focus on place-based education. Our longer-term plan for each of these is to create a third page that features evaluation data to support the implementation and outcomes associated with each piece. Taking this step will extend the format one step further to show the connections from research to practice to outcomes. We are excited about the potential for applying this process across projects as a way to help clients communicate the key elements of their work. We’ll update each of these examples last this year as outcome data become available, and so stay tuned! For now, here’s a sneak peek at how we have used Leanne’s template to feature the research to practice connections for two programs: Empowerment Theory and the CSO Project and STEM Learning Ecosystems and the RAIN project.
Hello, and thanks for visiting my site. I am an evaluator and researcher who studies both formal and informal STEM education programs. My favorites are those that are particularly tricky to study, like science festivals and citizen science projects. I received fantastic Ph.D. training in the psych department at Duke, and have applied my skills to the field of education since 2002.
I started doing independent consulting work in 2007 and founded KPC in 2010, with a focus on STEM education. I split my time between providing external evaluation services for some and collaborating to publish educational research with others. A lot of my most recent work has focused on evaluation capacity building, and a number of the resources on this site are from those projects.