Putting Education Research to Good Work

The Center for Practice Engaged Education Research (C-PEER) is a network focused on re-imagining the relationship between researchers, educators, and community members to support schools and communities in improving their work on behalf of learners. We identify and investigate promising education practices to address challenging problems in education and to learn from promising research findings.

Our education research network matches educators and researchers with shared interests and complementary abilities to encourage collaboration on locally relevant research. We share results across the network in order to understand what works in education and to improve supports and outcomes for learners.

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.            Albert Einstein


What Is “Practice Engaged Education Research?”

Practice Engaged Education Research represents a commitment to co-designing and conducting research and disseminating findings of research studies in ways that will be useful to improving educational practice and the policies that support it. The “PEER” portion of our name is important. It reflects our investment in a collaborative and productive relationship between educators and researchers. As peers, we work together to define problems of practice. Then, we implement quality “on the ground” research to create solutions for those problems.


We believe that practitioners have the will to do things differently in order to improve outcomes for all learners, and that those closest to learners and their contexts are in the best position to drive change in support of learners’ needs and strengths. Researchers (both faculty and students) at higher education institutions, as well as other research organizations, bring essential technical skill and deep knowledge to the table – but, they are often not well supported to develop and maintain relationships with classroom teachers, school leaders, and communities. C-PEER resources and supports will:

  • Help educators and community members take a leading role in research – from defining the issues, to advising the useful dissemination of findings – without taking too much time from their core work with learners.
  • Help researchers understand how to adapt their methods and participate with teams to ensure that research generates knowledge that is useful in local practice sites while also informing the field at large.

PEER Spotlight

Here, we regularly feature short interviews highlighting collaborative research projects that illustrate the Practice Engaged Education Research PEER model.

May 2015:  University of Denver Professor Nicholas Cutforth’s work in the San Luis Valley to help physical education teachers support students’ health and learning.

Dr. Nick Cutforth, DU

Dr. Nick Cutforth, DU

Can you describe the current project you are working on?

Nick: The current project I’m doing is one I’ve been working on for a while, in its fifth year. It’s based in the San Luis Valley, working with about one hundred schools, forty teachers, and principals. The purpose of the project is to help physical education teachers implement best practices around physical education, particularly with reference to engaging kids in moderate to vigorous physical activity. So the activities they’re doing in P.E. are fun and engaging, but also get the heart rate up, in a way that’s not scary or horrible. There’s kind of a new P.E., that’s less concerned with traditional games such as basketball or football, but looking at ways to help teachers implement small-sized games, fitness activities, activities in which kids work at their own abilities. So the research is really around: What does it take to get P.E. teachers to adopt evidence-based practices around physical education…   {FULL ARTICLE}


Networking Events

In this spot, you’ll find information about upcoming in-person and online C-PEER events, as well as information about conference calls and open webinars of interest to practice engaged scholars.

December 2-4, 2015:  Improvement Science in Practice workshop, sponsored by Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, to be held in Stanford, CA. “The course, which includes a three-day workshop and follow-up coaching and support through webinars, takes a “learning by doing” approach. Participants are introduced to some of the tools of improvement science and then apply them to a specific problem facing their organization.”  More about the workshop at THIS LINK.



We’ll spotlight news of interest about research of value to common issues and innovations of education practice. Network members can opt into our monthly e-news blast as well.

C-PEER Launch Celebration Event!

Some may recall that we had one of our intense Denver snow dumps at just about the time of our Launch event on February 25th.  In spite of that, we had a good group able to join us, and some interesting conversation!  We recorded the presentation with PowerPoint, and you can view that on our CU Denver YouTube channel HERE.

We ended the presentation with some specific ways that various types of constituents can become more involved with the C-PEER network.  We’ve posted those options on our website HERE.

To join the Network and opt into our monthly e-news blast, fill out the form at the “Join” button below.

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