I have been talking to program directors about the RSD Framework and integrating it into programs to a) start a conversation about research and where it falls at the program level and b) to address concerns about different language being used at the pre-service teacher, in-service teacher and university faculty researcher levels to describe “classroom” research. I keep hearing the argument that the terminology is different for each of these audiences and it therefore causes confusion. I continue to advocate for using the RSD for a common frame of reference. The response to the RSD Framework has been very positive to date. However, there has been little indication that any real progress will be made at adopting the framework at the program level because of time constraints. Everyone sees how it can fit at the course or program level but then time gets sucked away by other, more pressing priorities. I am coming to several conclusions that may seem obvious to those with more RSD experience:
1) It is difficult to customize the RSD framework at the program level without first looking at courses within the program. You have to look at where “research-based” assignments are occurring at the class level and then use those assignments to tackle the language at the program level. More about this below.
2) It takes a committed individual to integrate the RSD into classes because interest and agreement with the RSD conceptual framework in and of itself is not sufficient for people to take action. There needs to be personal motivation, a pressing need at the course or program level, and/or incentives (financial or other) for people to put the time and energy into integrating the RSD process.
With this being said I introduced the RSD Framework to a program director and emphasized that the RSD was NOT a rubric. The different levels of research stood on their own merit. The program director smiled and said, “Oh, its like the world peace poles”. You need to google these they are poles that have sayings about world peace posted on each side of a square pole. So, I am going to try and use this analogy (yes, another one) to collect research – based assignments from different instructors teaching in my program. I will map out the language and levels of research to the RSD on “ribbons” that represent a side of a “peace pole”. I will then try to use these ribbons to start a discussion about how to insert program-specific language into the RSD Framework. I am hoping that if I do the leg work then I can get buy in from faculty teaching in my program.