What Makes Research Useful for Public School Educators?

  • Jennifer Watling Neal
  • Zachary P. Neal
  • Jennifer A. Lawlor
  • Kristen J. Mills
  • Kathryn McAlindon
Original Article

Abstract

In this study, we explored the extent to which educators discuss and prioritize Rogers’ (Diffusion of innovations, The Free Press: New York, 1995) five attributes of innovations—relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, observability, and trialability—in the context of research use. Using a directed content analysis of 54 semi-structured interviews and exemplar quotes, we describe how educators mentioned compatibility most frequently, but also commonly invoked observability and complexity in their discussions of research use. Our results also revealed key differences between educators in executive and non-executive roles. We discuss the implications of our findings for closing the research-practice gap in school-based mental health services and psychosocial interventions.

Keywords

Diffusion Innovation Research use Districts Schools Directed content analysis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by Officer’s Research Award (#182241) and a Use of Research Evidence Award (#183010) from the William T. Grant Foundation. Additional support for this research also came from an R21 research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (#1R21MH100238-01A1).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors of this manuscript (i.e., Jennifer Watling Neal, Zachary P. Neal, Jennifer A. Lawlor, Kristen J. Mills, and Kathryn McAlindon) declare that they have no conflicts of interest. This research was approved by Michigan State University’s IRB (#x12-1011e, #x14-706e, #x14-1173e).

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Watling Neal
    • 1
  • Zachary P. Neal
    • 1
  • Jennifer A. Lawlor
    • 1
  • Kristen J. Mills
    • 1
  • Kathryn McAlindon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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