Episode 31 - From Translation to Implementation with Nicole Patton Terry, PhD

Episode Summary

What does it take to invest in improving the educational outcomes and livelihood of all children? In this episode, Nicole Patton Terry, PhD, director of the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) shares her expertise and experience collaborating with researchers, schools, community partners, and families to support literacy and academic goals of students.

Dr. Terry’s research focuses primarily on young learners who are vulnerable to experiencing poor language and literacy achievement including African American children, children growing up in poverty, and children with disabilities. Applying a collective and integrated approach to implementation and dissemination of research in education, Dr. Terry offers insights and wisdom to the systems that are needed to make lasting change.

Top READ Bookmarks
Each episode, host Danielle Scorrano identifies key takeaways or “READ bookmarks.” 

1. The “yes, and” collective approach to addressing the needs of children

Addressing the literacy and academic achievement of children, especially in vulnerable populations and complex urban environments, should always be a collective approach.

All stakeholders within the school, community, and family should have an equitable voice in discussing the needs of the children beyond the classroom.

“If we don't figure out how to harness the power that comes from [community-based resources and partners], then we're really missing out on understanding what it takes to support student achievement and school success, because it's not just tied to what's happening in the classroom.”

Read more about Dr. Terry and the FCRR’s collective impact work with The Village.

2. Key pillars for promoting equity in educational partnership and collaboration

Sustainable and equitable approaches to partnering with schools and communities use a solution-based lens and requires:

  • Prioritizing the community needs

"The priorities are and have always been about making sure you take an equity frame to what you’re doing."

  • Focusing on the process and systems


"It’s about who is at the table. What decision makers are there? Who are the leaders that are there? Do they reflect the communities you’re trying to serve? Try to address the [process] and the structures that are built up there."

  • Maintaining relevance to the problems of practice, implementation, and policies that are applicable to the specific context and culture

"You have to have appreciation for how complex the problem is. We didn’t get here overnight… and a complex problem deserves a comprehensive solution."

  • Committing to rigor and consistency of implementation and evaluation of programs

"Rigor is hard, and sometimes it’s time consuming and takes patience. But if you want to see the outcomes you expect to see, you need to move with care and intention, and be systemic and systematic in the way you approach it."

3. Bringing innovative solutions at scale

Applying research in educational settings requires translation of research across disciplines as well as efforts for collaborative implementation and dissemination. It’s about sitting with partners and collaborators, rather than sitting next to them.

"Implementation of effective practices and interventions of strategies in schools is not just about adherence and fidelity. There are real issues that you need think about in terms of adaptations interventions and heterogeneity of effects."


Nicole Patton Terry, PhD at Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR)

Learn more about the Regional Education Laboratory (REL)

Connect with Dr. Terry on Twitter

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READ Podcast is produced by The Windward School and The Windward Institute. READ is hosted by Danielle Scorrano.

About READ: READ, the Research Education ADvocacy Podcast connects you with prominent researchers, thought leaders, and educators who share their work, insights, and expertise about current research and best practices in fields of education and child development.
Note: All information and insights shared demonstrate the expertise and views of our guests.