Bridging Research and the Classroom: The Legacy and Learning of Robert E. Slavin

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Robert E. Slavin, a prolific educational researcher, is perhaps best known for his mantra of solely employing “what works” (based on empirical evidence following rigorous standards of methodology and evaluation) in education. Slavin dedicated his life to the pursuit and promotion of evidence-based, scientific practices applied to the implementation methods leveraged to increase achievement in the classroom and overhaul school reform efforts. He advocated for the betterment of pedagogical practices through proven strategies, bridging academia and the real world, with the ultimate goal of improving education, and, thus, success for all. This chapter explores the larger impacts of Slavin’s body of work, as well as implications of his research and resultant practical applications, specifically as it relates to reading, cooperative learning, and lower SES populations in K-12 educational settings. Particular attention is paid to Slavin’s legacy of learning regarding his pivotal contributions to the field, seminal works, and what remains to be studied after his untimely death.


The Palgrave Handbook of Educational Thinkers


Palgrave Macmillan, Cham


College of Education


  • Received 08 October 2022

  • Accepted 11 October 2022

  • Published 24 January 2023