KM Mailing list is a ‘knowledge building community’ related to strengthening the role of research and evidence in education policy and practice. The KM Mailing list provides a forum for people to share ideas and resources around the linkages between research, policy and practice in education.
At present, 80 people from 10 countries are subscribed to the list, including academics, government education ministry staff, and people from a range of local, national and international agencies concerned with research in education or with KM generally.
The list is by invitation only, but we do accept expressions of interest from people working actively on KM issues.
Information on how to send a general message.
- Anyone subscribed can post material of interest but all postings must be ‘signed’.
- We want to keep the number of exchanges modest. We encourage short postings that raise an important issue or point to interesting resources or materials.
- In particular, we do not want the list to turn into a debating forum in which a large number of short messages arguing points of view are being circulated, as this is highly annoying to most participants. We will develop another less obtrusive mechanism for that sort of debate (see project wiki).
We encourage new members of the list to post a short message telling others who you are and what sort of work you do (particularly related to the theme of the list). See example below.
We encourage you to share interesting work or resources related to the list theme – these may be your own work or other work that you have found useful.
We encourage sharing of opportunities to develop joint work or participate jointly in relevant events such as conferences or research projects.
We encourage you to invite interested people from other organizations to take part in the list. Rather than add large numbers of people from the same organizations (we could be inundated with people from a few ministries or universities), we encourage you to redistribute anything on the list within your own organization.
Ben Levin is Professor and Canada Research Chair in education policy and leadership at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in Toronto. My career has been about half in academia and half in government so I have a strong interest in how research can inform education policy, especially on a large scale system level.
Example of sharing resources:
The UK Overseas Development Institute has an interesting web site focused on use research for development policy (http://www.odi.org.uk/RAPID/Index.html). The site includes a number of interesting reports, including an extensive annotated bibliography and a set of case studies drawn from developing countries. All materials can be downloaded.
Introductory Message from Reg Allen
Subject: Four Items on Knowledge Mobilization
I'm trying to do put some ideas into circulation right now in Australia - ideas about how 'value-added' could be done sensibly and how it can't be done using linear mixed effects modelling. I think this might be the sort of thing your network could be interested in, so I'm sending this now. You'll see that , I'm trying , starting from a call in a recently released paper written by the state governments (Federalist Paper Number Two) for 'fair measures of school performance with an emphasis on value-added' to put out into the public arena some ideas on
a. why we shouldn't do value-added measures in the hlm, multi-level modelling methods that the technocrats will be selling
b. why we should and can develop some fair measures of school performance with an emphasis on value-added that
i. align with the major things we want schools to do
ii. are accessible to schools, teachers and the public
iii. are designed/constructed to send signals, recognise and reward achievement of schools rather than meet the needs of statisticians.
I've reviewed the literature in epidemiology on 'neighbourhood effects' and causal analyses as I think this is more developed than the educational literature in its exploration of the causality issues and their implication for modelling. Comments and suggestions for where to go to next are most welcome.
Message from Peter Levesque, Principal, Knowledge Mobilization Works!
Subject: Re: Four Items on Knowledge Mobilization
Hello Ben and List Friends,
1) On next research area, I would like to share this comment from Dr. Albert Simard:
Gen. Carrier Type Implications
1st Artifacts Explicit Infrastructure for managing knowledge
2nd Individuals Tacit Collaborative behaviors & knowledge exchange
3rd Networks Emergent Enabling network connectivity.
The first generation of KM focused on developing infrastructure to manage knowledge "artifacts"– that is explicit forms of knowledge. In this stage, it was difficult to distinguish between a scientific publication (containing understanding) and an information report (containing facts). It was equally difficult for persons outside the disciplines to distinguish between IM infrastructure and KM infrastructure.
The second generation of KM is clearly distinguishable from IM in that the former focusses on tacit knowledge contained in the minds of people - well beyond the scope of IM "documents" regardless of how broadly they are defined. A third stage is emerging in which social networks are being used to create synergies and house higher orders of knowledge beyond the ability of individuals to create.
2) The University of Sherbrooke is doing some interesting work on systems-based KT: http://www.usherbrooke.ca/adm/faculte/personnel/professeurs/management/rparent.htm
3) As a background piece on wikis etc, here is a paper I wrote as an intro in 2005: http://www.cymh.ca/resources/reports/Youreblogging.pdf
4) Burning question - Aboriginal Learning that includes their culture. I link you to DIALOG at INRS: http://www.reseaudialog.qc.ca/home.asp
Peter Levesque, Principal, Knowledge Mobilization Works!
Message from Ben Levin
Subject: Re: Four Items on Knowledge Mobilization
A response to Peter Levesque's thoughtful comment a couple of weeks ago.
He raises an important issue of the extent to which knowledge is most usefully represented through products, whether reports, articles, or audio/video materials. My view is that face to face encounters are still the most powerful way in which knowledge is spread but much of the focus on KM has been around products. In the analysis our team is doing of KM practices on websites we are looking at 3 broad cateogires - products, events, and networks. Any comments on that as a frame for thinking about the issue?
I'm not sure, though, that I fully understand how tacit knowledge gets shared without being made explicit at least to some degree - would welcome more comment on that.
The Aboriginal site Peter references illustrates another KM problem - too much stuff. Surely there is a central communications issue around focus and simplicity in messaging. If there are too many items in a communication they all tend to get ignored. So websites that try to include everything may end up having little impact? Indeed, the whole value of websites as KM tools needs, I think, both much more empirical evidence (some of which our team intends to gather) and much more rigorous thinking.
Regards to all, Ben
Introductory Message from Philippa Cordinglye
Philippa Cordingley is founder (in 1998) and chief executive of the Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education (CUREE www.curee.co.uk), an independent organisation that does what its title says, based in England. I have spent about half my career in education institutions and local government and half working on use of research and evidence in education practice settings and on supporting policy development to this end. We act as the centre for EPPI registered systematic reviews of research on the impact of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) on teachers, teaching and pupils’ learning because we think professional learning lies at the heart of use of research and evidence. We design and populate a number of web sites for practitioners and create tools, activities and frameworks for supporting the transfer of learning between environments. This includes creating, from our research reviews a National Framework for Mentoring and Coaching that specifies use of research and evidence as a core skill. Our newest project is the development of the evidence base to inform a curriculum for the 21st century for the English Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. This involves a co-ordinated mix of research maps (including maps of research reviews), reviews, surveys, action research and probes and wide ranging diffusion resources activities.
As a first example of something to share.
Colleagues might be interested in this short pamphlet from CUREE reviewing the last ten years of support for research and evidence informed practice in England. It was funded by the English Department for Education and Skills ( Now renamed the Department for Children Schools and Families) and published by the Innovation Unit. It signposts the key initiatives and offers an heuristic mapping out some of the key stages or components of engaging with and using evidence, as well as pointing to the challenges being tackled and those to come.