Each year the SIG considers nominations for the AERA supported Research to Practice Award. The award, established in 2010 and first awarded in 2011, is presented to an individual or group for exemplary performance moving research into the field of educational practice.

A full description of the award is available here.

2022 Winner

a photograph of Dr. Gillian Judson

The 2022 winner of the Research to Practice award is Gillian Judson, Ph.D. Over the past15 years, Dr. Judson’s scholarship has involved the development of Imaginative Ecological Education (IEE), an educational theory related to K-12 students’ ecological understandings that provides the basis for a pedagogical approach to ecological education that teachers can use  local contexts. Through her  scholarship, conference presentations, free professional development offerings (through podcasts, webinars, and Facebook), Dr. Judson has elaborated a theory-rich practice and introduced it to thousands of educators worldwide. Her work is transforming the teaching of ecological education and illustrates a powerful example of marshalling research for practical use—in this case, the transformation of teaching and learning.

List of Prior Winners

The Research to Practice Award was not awarded in 2021.

Dr. Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple is associate professor in the School of Education and director of the Partnership for Public Education at the University of Delaware. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Education Policy and has been working in educational research for ten years. She has expertise in quantitative and mixed methods and applies a variety of methodological tools to research projects, including in regression, multi-level models, social network analysis, surveys, and content analysis. Her research expertise is in policy analysis and evidence-based decision-making, and recent work includes studies of administrator mobility, school and teachers’ use of data, teacher quality and effects, and equity in student outcomes. 

Dr. Farley-Ripple is currently leading two research projects on research use. The first is the Center for Research Use in Education, an IES-funded knowledge utilization center. The second is a project focused on understanding how teachers use data to inform instruction.

To learn more about her work, visit her faculty profile.

The Research to Practice Award was not awarded in 2019.

Dr. Seashore-Louis’ primary research interests focus on school improvement and school reform, as well as educational policy and administration generally. Her main area of expertise includes improvement in K-12 leadership and policy over the last 30 years, particularly in urban secondary schools. She has also conducted research on organizational changes within higher education, with particular attention to faculty roles, and on international comparative policy in educational reform. Her interest in evaluation is a long-standing, as emphasized in her work on the assessment of large-scale educational programs and policies.

As a sociologist, she’s looks at educational reform through the lens of organizational theory, with an emphasis on the interaction between culture and structure. She is interested in the implications of chaos theory for socially constructed groups as a way to examine social and organizational dynamics that we can’t currently explain empirically with a large degree of predictability.

To learn more about her work, visit her faculty profile.

Gustavo E. Fischman is Professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University. He obtained his Ph.D. in social sciences and comparative education at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1997.  His areas of specialization are Comparative Education, Higher Education Policy Studies, and Gender Studies in Education. His books include “Imagining Teachers: Rethinking Teacher Education and Gender” and “Education, Crisis and Hope: Tension and Change in Latin-America” and numerous articles on education policies, higher education education, and gender issues in education. He is the lead editor of Educational Policy Analysis Archives and co-editor of Education Review/Reseñas Educativas, and has greatly advanced the use of research in policy and practice through his work in these journals.

Gustavo Fischman is currently leading two research projects. The first project aims at improving the mobilization and transfer of research based knowledge from academic centers to communities of stakeholders such as other scholars, educators, administrators, policymakers, and the general public. The second project focuses on understanding and strengthening the quality, impact and reach of open access scholarly communications.

To learn more about his work, visit his faculty profile.

The Research to Practice Award was not awarded in 2014.

Dan Laitsch is an associate professor with the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. He is founding director of the SFU Centre for the Study of Educational Leadership and Policy and his primary teaching area is in Educational Leadership. He is co-editor of the open access peer reviewed International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership ( and is active in the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group on Research Use, having served past terms as Chair, Program Chair, and Treasurer. Dr. Laitsch has worked with the Joint Consortium for School Health on health issues in BC and across Canada.

Dr. Laitsch worked on education research and policy issues as a Senior Policy Analyst for the U.S.-based Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, where he developed a research-to-practice newsletter, ResearchBriefs. Prior to joining ASCD, he spent five years working on state policy issues related to teacher quality at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, developing the Education Policy Clearinghouse to help disseminate research and policy information to AACTE members and the broader community.

Dr. Laitsch’s research interests include the use and misuse of research in teaching, policymaking, and issue advocacy; the impact of neoliberal policies on educational systems; and school health approaches to systemic education reform. He earned his doctorate from American University, in Washington, DC.

To learn more about his work, visit his faculty profile.

The Research to Practice Award was not awarded in 2012.

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