Bridging Research and Practice

The Institute for School Partnership bridges the gap between research and practice in education by translating research findings into implementable actions. We partner with PreK-12 educators using these actions to achieve positive change in schools.

Please browse this collection of reports, resources, and publications by our fields of action:

Partnering with Schools and Districts

Learn about how we partner with schools and teachers to engage students and improve outcomes.

Partnership for Improvement
Journal Article
Leveraging strengths of a research-practice partnership to support equitable science teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic

Rachel Ruggirello, Alison Brockhouse and Maia Elkana, November 2023

Article in the Cultural Studies of Science Education journal studying the use of a research-practice partnership (RPP) approach to supporting equitable K-5 science education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the article

STEM DI Outcomes
ISP joins three school districts to improve mathematics instruction with systems approach aimed at creating equitable learning environments

Abbey Loehr, May 2023

This brief details the results of an ongoing networked improvement community bringing together three regional districts to improve student learning and equitable outcomes in mathematics. Read the report

Partnership Model
NNERPP White Paper
Towards a field for collaborative education research: Developing a framework for the complexity of necessary learning

The Collaborative Education Research Collective, January 2023

Collaborative framework for educating, training, and supporting researchers in authentic partnerships with schools & communities developed in partnership with NNERPP, NCRPP, and researchers from across the country with support from The Hewlett Foundation. Read the paper

Partnership for Improvement
In the News
New partnership empowers principals to ‘dream big’

Diane Keaggy, June 2022

ISP has partnered with Saint Louis Public Schools on the Principal Redesign Fellowship to leverage existing strengths to improve outcomes in seven schools. Read the article

Partnership for Improvement Presentation
Uniting districts to see their common aim: A unique NIC formation strategy

Abbey Loehr, Rachel Ruggirello, Mandy Harvell, Briana Trager, March 2022

Poster presented to the Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education detailing the ISP’s STEM District Immersion work to increase equitable math instruction with three district partners. Presented as part of a structured poster session, Good Beginnings: How to Approach the Early Days of a Networked Improvement Community. View poster

Partnership for Improvement
Journal article
Growing Stronger Together: An Improvement Science Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Maia Elkana and Myra Lopez, December 2021

The ISP used a trauma-informed approach to use improvement science tools and leverage partnerships with regional educators to support continued science teaching & learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read article

Partnership Model Case Study
Broadening the impact of plant science through innovative, integrative, and inclusive outreach

Victoria May contributor, April 2021

ISP executive director, Victoria May, shares a case study offering insights into the sustainable funding models that enable researchers to engage with schools and teachers in this comprehensive roadmap for science outreach. Read article

Partnership for Improvement
Using Improvement Science to Support Educators During the COVID-19 Crisis

Alison Brockhouse, Maia Elkana, Abbey Loehr, Rachel Ruggirello, Heather Milo, April 2021

Poster presented to the Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education detailing the use of improvement science tools and principles to support partner educators during the COVID-19 crisis. View poster

Partnership Model Educator Resource
Partnering with Schools to Nurture Positive Work Environment

ISP instructional specialist Jeff Kennedy was a member of the 100Kin10 project team, 2019

Tools for capacity-building organizations and school partners to identify existing assets and tailor support to build on these assets developed in partnership with 100Kin10. Access resources

Educator Learning and Leadership

Learn about our human-centered work to prepare and support teachers and school leaders. ISP fosters learning and capacity development, investing in strong educators and school leadership systems.

Professional Learning
In the News
International Workshop on Action Research in Science Education

FMIPA, June 2022

ISP Associate Director Dr. Rachel Ruggirello partnered the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) and science education researchers from Australia, Indonesia, & Singapore on a workshop to raise Indonesian science teachers’ and teacher educators’ understanding of action research. Read the article

Teacher Leadership Presentation
Moving beyond providing resources: A multi-system analysis of science teacher leadership

Rachel Ruggirello, James Derek Scott, Alison Brockhouse, Maia Elkana, April 2021

Poster presented to the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) exploring the ways that science teacher leadership supports high quality science teaching and learning and how to best support science teacher leaders. View poster

Teacher Leadership
In the News
Building Pathways: The School District of University City Embraces Distributed Leadership

Myra Lopez, Jan 2021

The School District of University City reminagines school leadership and names co-principals of Pershing Elementary. Read article

Teacher Leadership
In the News
Disrupt to Rebuild: TLI and SLPS Redefining Traditional Models of Leadership and Accountability

Myra Lopez, Jan 2021

The Consortium Partnership Network of St. Louis Public Schools is participating in the Transformational Leadership Initiative to redefine school leadership and build capacity for change in two elementary schools. Read article

Professional Learning
White Paper
Designing Effective, High-quality, Virtual Professional Learning for Educators

Jeanne Norris and Rachel Ruggirello, Sep 2020

10 strategies for educators to design effective, high-quality, virtual professional development learning environments for educators, with practical implementation suggestions. Read article

Professional Learning
Doing the math: Building a foundation of joyful and authentic math learning for all students

100kin10, Sep 2019

Report by 100Kin10 written with support from ISP instructional specialists on preparing teachers to enable authentic joyful math learning for all students. Read report

Professional Learning
In the News
Who will teach tomorrow’s coders? ISP addresses region’s shortage of computer science teachers

Diane Toroian Keaggy for WUSTL Source, Dec 2018

ISP addresses the region’s shortage of computer science teachers with Read article

STEM Materials and Pedagogy

Learn about our work to support high quality STEM teaching and learning. Across program offerings, we work with educators to develop curriculum, professional learning, and the resources they need to provide all students the opportunity to be successful.

High Quality STEM Instructional Materials
White Paper
mySci Impact: Student Outcomes Overview

Maia Elkana and Alison Brockhouse, September 2023

This white paper details the research and design of the mySci program as well as evaluation outcomes for teachers and students. Read the paper

High Quality STEM Instructional Materials
St. Louis Public School District grows science learning through 2-year pilot

Maia Elkana, November 2022

This evaluation brief details the results of a 2-year pilot. This partnership between ISP, The Little Bit Foundation, and SLPS resulted in science teaching & learning gains. Read report

High Quality STEM Instructional Materials
Courageous Cheetah Car: Kindergarten engineers build a functional playground car with the help of family members

Rebecca Stobbs and Jeanne Norris, November 2022

This NSTA article details a hands-on project based learning lesson developed by Maplewood-Richmond Heights kindergarten teacher, Rebecca Stobbs, in partnership with the Institute for School Partnership. Read article

High Quality STEM Instructional Materials
Case Study
mySci and Student Achievement Case Study: Pattonville

Maia Elkana, Jan 2021

This case study illustrates the increase in student science performance on state-wide standardized tests and explores student science achievement on mySci unit assessments in a suburban Missouri public school district during curriculum adoption and early implementation. Read case study

Virtual Learning
Science Education Response in COVID-19 Pandemic Situation, From Disruption to Recovery During COVID-19

Rachel Ruggirello, Alison Brockhouse, Maia Elkana, Jeanne Norris, Lauren Ashman, Heather Milo Tori Engel, Nov 2020. Presented at the International Conference of Seoul National University, Korea

International symposium presentations detailing the context, approach, and results of the ISP’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teaching and Supporting Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers During COVID-19 PDF Video (5:00)

Contextualizing the COVID response in St. Louis schools PDF Video (5:30)

Leveraging Students’ Authentic Questions about COVID-19 to Motivate Meaningful Engagement with Science PDF Video (4:39)

Adapting a Hands-On K-8 Science Curriculum to Remote Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic PDF Video(5:05)

Developing a Trauma-Informed Improvement Practice to Support Educators During COVID PDF Video (5:00)

Virtual Learning
Using Human-centered Strategies to Adapt Science Lessons for Remote Learning

Victoria May and Maia Elkana, Oct 2020

5 key strategies for educators building connections and engaging students in science during distance learning. Read article

Virtual Learning
Keep Teaching Science! Successful Strategies to Adapt K-12 Science Experiences to Distance Learning, NextGen Science Report

WestEd, Sep 2020

Report by WestEd on strategies to adapt science learning during the pandemic with examples from mySci. Read article

High Quality STEM Instructional Materials
Book Chapter
Experiencing Real Science: Washington University’s mySci curriculum transforms K-12 science education

Jeanne Norris and Myra Lopez, Feb 2020

Chapter in Designing Successful Systems: Stories of Change Volume 1. About the book

High Quality STEM Instructional Materials
ISP to Improve Math Education in Local Schools through Math314

Diane Toroian Keaggy for WUSTL Source, Nov 2019

Launching the Math314 innovative professional development program to support engaging math instruction. Read article

Equity and Inclusion

Increasing educational equity, especially in STEM, is central to the ISP’s intentional approach toward co-creating the inclusive, whole-school culture and systems students and educators need to thrive.

mySci Equity Framework
Journal Article
Equitable from the Start: Strategies for making science relevant, engaging and accessible

Rachel Ruggirello & Alison Brockhouse, January 2024

In this paper, we describe a framework for designing equitable and inclusive science lessons and share an example of how this framework was applied to the launch of a fifth grade science unit, specifying the instructional strategies used to provide students with a meaningful, relevant, and engaging learning experience. Read article

Centering Equity in Data Practice
Data-Informed, Equity-Driven: Cultivating a collaborative data culture

Social Policy Institute, featuring Amen Ra Mashariki, Sena Dawes, Sherita Love & Maia Elkana, April 2022

Webinar featuring tools and strategies to cultivate a culture of data-informed decision-making grounded in collaboration and focused on equitable outcomes. View webinar

Equity in the STEM Classroom
Factors Associated with Science Teaching Time

Maia Elkana, Alison Brockhouse, Rachel Ruggerello, March 2022

Presentation to the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST) Annual Conference on the mySci research-practice partnership’s work to increase the time spent on high quality science education in elementary classrooms. View presentation

Equity in the STEM Classroom
Shifting courses: Achieving equity in high school STEM

100Kin10, Sep 2020

Report by 100Kin10 on strategies to achieve science equity through high school course offerings, supporting teachers to facilitate active and applied STEM learning, and creating systems to ensure equitable teaching and learning with examples from mySci. Read report

Equity in STEM Careers
Collaborative leverages business and community resources for transformative approach to STEM education

Victoria May and Myra Lopez, March 2020

STEMpact is a collaborative program that brings together corporate and foundation funders, teachers, and researchers to formulate and implement best practices to diversify the pipeline for STEM careers. Read article

Equity in STEM Careers
In the News
Teachers learn how to spark early interest in STEM careers

STL Post-Dispatch, Jul 2018

STEMpact’s Teacher Quality program gives teachers skills to weave STEM topics and real-life connections into their existing lesson plans to spark an interest in STEM prior to high school. Read article

Equity in the STEM Classroom
Supporting new science teachers in pursuing socially just science education

Rachel Ruggirello and Linda Flohr, Oct 2017

Exploring strategies to support early career teachers, especially those in alternative certification route programs, teaching science in unfamiliar communities. Read article

Equity in education is at the core of everything we do at the Institute for School Partnership. Recognizing that disparities exist, we are working to level the playing field for PreK-12 students, transform the learning landscape for teachers, and promote educational justice.

Victoria May,
Executive Director of the Institute for School Partnership, Assistant Dean School of Arts and Sciences