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Building Relationships Between Educators and Researchers

By Deborah Hanuscin

Posted on 2023-12-21

Building Relationships Between Educators and Researchers

Many have written about the research-practice gap that exists in education. For teachers, access to research can be challenging and time consuming. 

Yet research alone does not change practice. This is true in every field, be it engineering, science, or education. Just putting information into teachers’ hands does not help them understand how to use that evidence to improve their work. 

Translating academic research into classroom practice has traditionally been a one-way relationship: from research to practice. As NSTA’s Division Director for Research in Science Education, I’d like to promote a different type of relationship, one that includes engagement between educators and researchers. NSTA's new research e-mail list (subscribe at provides an opportunity for us to build these relationships. By focusing on research in science education (research on the teaching and learning of science, and preparation of teachers to engage in this work), the NSTA Research Committee envisions this as a space for

  • teachers to share questions or dilemmas and get assistance with identifying relevant research to inform their work;
  • researchers to highlight key findings of their recent work and discuss the implications for practice with teachers; and
  • members to get involved in research opportunities and connect through research+practice partnerships. 

While sharing student-conducted research projects or the latest scientific research can be valuable, the new research e-mail list is not a space for that. What we hope is that subscribers to and participants in this e-mail exchange will be better positioned to use evidence to address specific problems of practice and will help contribute to shifts in our perspectives for how new knowledge is generated and incorporated into our current thinking about teaching and learning science. 

Deborah HanuscinDeborah Hanuscin is a professor of Elementary Education/Science, Math, and Technology Education at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, and NSTA Division Director of Research in Science Education. She can be reached at

Note: This article is part of the blog series Association News, which features information and updates about NSTA. Topics include breaking news, milestones and goals, progress and achievements, upcoming events, and member spotlights/personal stories.

The mission of NSTA is to transform science education to benefit all through professional learning, partnerships, and advocacy.

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