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Breaking out of the Ivory Tower: Making the Move from the Lab to the Real World

Breaking out of the Ivory Tower: Making the Move from the Lab to the Real World
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Author(s): Kristina Coop Gordon (University of Tennessee, USA)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 16
Source title: Emerging Perspectives on Community Schools and the Engaged University
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Robert F. Kronick (University of Tennessee, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0280-8.ch010

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Abstract

This chapter outlines the author's process of moving from conducting laboratory research to community-based participatory research and her perspectives on the academic cultural barriers to making this shift. She also describes themes across her studies that are characteristic of successful projects and offers suggestions for future directions for clinical psychology that could increase academics' involvement in engaged research. The author also describes some important lessons from these experiences, such as (1) creative collaborations with interdisciplinary partners can lead to meaningful work outside of disciplinary and funding restrictions; (2) community partnerships can be “messy” to conduct, but the payoff in external validity is worth it; and (3) engaged scholarship requires a high level of investment and trust by both researchers and the community partners. However, despite the difficulties in establishing these connections and navigating differing agency structures, the final products can have a much larger impact and reward than carefully-controlled laboratory studies.

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