THE CHALLENGES OF DEVELOPING A ROBUST KNOWLEDGE BASE ON COMPLEMENTARY EDUCATION: Toward a Policy-Relevant Research Agenda
This volume is evidence of an increasing awareness that, in order to increase student success and narrow the achievement gap that exists along racial and socioeconomic lines, public policy must extend beyond the traditional school house and classroom. Although quality schools are a crucial factor in children’s learning and development, researchers have long known that a multitude of family and other out-of-school infl uences play an even larger role. Our current base of knowledge about which types of programs are most effective in complementing or supplementing in-school learning is limited, and research in this area faces numerous constraints. In this chapter we consider the challenges of designing and conducting research on complementary education and suggest strategies for developing a more robust knowledge base in order to inform public policy.