Non-profit educational research organizations seek betterment of our education system through policy and practice research and advocacy. As non-profits, their activities are directed toward improving education policy and practice independent of government, which helps avoid claims of conflict of interest. Their work can be international, national, and regional in scope.
Educational research organizations aim to improve education at all levels through a variety of activities. Organizations focus their research on education policy, practices, and evaluations. Many organizations use an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on insights from psychology, sociology, statistics, economics and political science. It's common for educational research organizations to include all types of educators such as teachers, counselors, and administrators.
Educational research organizations undertake a variety of activities to complete their work. A common method is compiling reports for educators and policymakers to disseminate their findings. Workshops bringing together educators, administrators, policymakers and researchers are a means to collect information from a large group, but also to allow people to share experiences and learn from each other. These organizations also conduct hands-on training workshops and pilot programs.
Educational Policy Research
Education policy impacts the type, timing, and quality of education in a country or state. The research in this area explores how policy is made and the effects. Using this information, education research organizations present their findings to policymakers and recommend policies or reforms. These organizations include the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, the Education Commission of the States and the American Educational Research Association, Education Policy and Politics Division.
Education Practice Research
Education practice consists of in-classroom techniques and activities to deliver lessons to students at all levels. Research will often specialize on a level of education (primary, high school or post-secondary) and provide information on new innovations and their effectiveness. This research often considers the social context of education practice. A large organization in this area is the American Institute for Research, which focuses on education at all levels.
Education Evaluation Research
Policymakers and educators want to know the effectiveness of policies and practices. Evaluation research studies the impacts of policies and practices, often using a range of information such as statistics and economic information. This type of research if valuable to assess progress and identify areas of improvement. An example of this type of research organization is the What Works Clearinghouse.