Malin's research focuses on the connections and disjunctures between research, policy, and educational practice. Malin also focuses upon the leadership and organization of complex, cross-sector collaborations that centrally involve education. Overarching themes in Malin's writings include leadership, influence, equity, and research use/engagement. Malin serves as Treasurer of the American Educational Research Association's Research Use Special Interest Group and is his program's plenary representative for the University Council for Educational Administration. Malin's research and associated ideas have been published or shared in several widely read outlets, including The Conversation and The Hill.
Addresses an area of major concern: how to improve the use of research evidence and enhance educators' research engagement as a route to the improvement of educational practice. Focuses particularly on the role of knowledge brokers in education.
Analyzes leadership structures, processes, and practices that have enabled and constrained an ambitious career and college readiness reform within an urban school district. Provides initial insights that may be useful to practitioners who are increasingly engaging in cross-sector reforms, and for scholars who are attempting to understand, inform, and support them.
Analyzes educators’ requests for grant funding to purchase desired educational resources or services. Examines to what extent, and how, educators utilized research and other forms of evidence to support their decision-making.
Asks how and why three large-scale intermediaries—Edutopia, the Marshall Memo, and Usable Knowledge—are engaging in knowledge brokering activities, and compares the features of the knowledge they seek to share and mobilize. Presents theoretical (how to conceptualize brokerage) and practical (how to foster interactive knowledge exchange) implications, based on the study's findings.
Addresses the current policy push to improve students’ college and career readiness (CCR) as manifested within the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Examines CCR policy in the state of Illinois as a case study, noting ways in which provisions for CCR programs prepare all students, including those historically underserved by higher education, to be prepared for education and employment post–high school. Finds ESSA provisions providing new flexibilities to states portend wide variation in emphasis toward, and accountability for, long-standing equity issues.
Examines the relationships between expertise, advocacy and media influence in the U.S. education policy context. Finds weak relations between expertise and impact, and elevated media penetration by individuals who worked at a sub-sample of organizations.