Hi there tout la gang,

We don't have much to say about research in practice at the Café right now

but we are talking policy and practice over here now: Literacy Enquirers.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

supporting RiP

This piece was created by Yukon artist Jo deBeaudrap for the Focused on Practice research project. Here's some of what Jo learned from being involved in the research:

RiP participants expressed both frustration and gratification about their field. They wrote about the need for community support, for building a foundation and finding new ways to do things. Some expressed frustration at being surveyed when time and money are stretched thin....
Working on the piece I thought about how literacy affects the social and economic development of individuals. The impression that I have is that the challenges for the worker are often similar to the challenges of the learner: time, money, support and staying motivated.

The Framework project outlined all of the barriers that make research in practice difficult. More importantly, perhaps, it also articulated a strong vision for how research in practice strengthens literacy work, and the best ways to support this vital work. Research coordinators Jenny Horsman and Helen Woodrow are clear that RiP includes "not only practitioners carrying out research but also reading research, reflecting on practice in the light of research, and changing their practice as a result of research and reflection" (p. 11). Here is what the researchers concluded about the best ways to support RiP:

Research in practice will thrive within an infrastructure that strengthens both the literacy field and RiP itself. It will flourish if governments, funders, administrators and institutional providers recognize the realities of literacy work and value and support practitioner knowledge and methods of strengthening and developing that knowledge. Here is what this means:

...Infrastructure that strengthens RiP:
• Awareness raising
• Funding for all aspects of RiP (locally and nationally, including various ways to engage with research, for short and longer-term studies)
• Support for reflective practice as a precursor to RiP
• Readily available and flexible seed money, sabbaticals and other structures that would free up time to plan and carry out RiP
• Training (both face-to-face and face-to-face combined with online formats; topics including introduction to reflective-practice, recognizing the role of research in everyday practice, and all aspects of RiP)
• Mentors (face-to-face and online, both local and from other regions)
• Flexible ways for provinces and territories that are new to RiP to learn from other regions and to develop locally appropriate models
• Support for dissemination in varied formats (including Literacies and other print vehicles, online sites, and face-to-face methods)
• Networks (local, regional and national)
• Gatherings (local, regional and national)
• Resources (easily accessible for both newcomers to the field and experienced RiP practitioners) (p.18)

Which of these are supported? Which are neglected?

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