The AIM Buddy Project research study year is coming to a close! Throughout the 2015–2016 school year, the research team collected data across nine schools, in 91 classrooms, from 61 teachers, 1145 students, and 462 parents. Although data collection for the school year has come to an end, the research study won’t be completed until after a final round of survey data is collected from teachers, students, and parents in Fall 2016.
Last week the AIM Buddy Project partners–WGBH and Tufts–gathered to review preliminary findings from the data collection to date. During this meeting, the research team reviewed the current state of the AIM Buddy Project data set including surveys, observations, program session booklets, and observations. Both parties discussed the future direction of the project, plans for outcome analysis, and future publication opportunities.
Meetings between research and applied practice, like this one between the Tufts research team and WGBH, are integral to research-practice integration. By incorporating perspectives from both research and applied practice into the AIM Buddy Project, we are able to better understand and optimize the integration of developmental science into professional practice, in this case creating a character education program.
Traditionally, research and applied practice have functioned independently, but the AIM Buddy Project has exemplified the power of collaboration between the two partner organizations from the beginning stages of development. Throughout the development of the AIM Buddy Project we have drawn on the collective knowledge of WGBH’s experts in the field of children’s media and Tufts University researchers’ knowledge of developmental theory and study design to create the strongest digital materials for young children.
As critical as the collaboration between research and applied practice was to the development of the AIM Buddy Project, the partnerships we developed with the participating school’s administrators, educators, students, and practitioners were critical to the success and enjoyment of implementing the program in the classroom. Read what a few of the participants had to say about taking part the AIM Buddy Project: