The assumption that research is out-of-reach, irrelevant, or unusable for practitioners has been a theme echoed throughout academia. Research alliances such as Research-Practice Partnerships (RPP) attempt to alleviate this problem by having researchers, practitioners, and/or community-based organizations form a collaborative partnership that uses research to solve tangible problems of practice. Previous works have highlighted the complexities inherent with forming and maintaining these long-term partnerships including politics, trust building, time, and available resources. In this paper, we engage in reflective analysis of our own RPP around three key elements we believe are at the heart of RPPs: politicized trust, mutualism, and use of research. This paper illustrates successes and points of failure in each of these areas, which have been previously unconnected in RPP literature. We conclude with recommendations for school and university partners and future research on RPPs.
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