On this page, we aim to answer your questions about KNAER and its work to mobilize knowledge within and across the Ontario education system, including:
Although there is no one definition of knowledge mobilization, the KNAER Secretariat uses the term Knowledge Mobilization (or KMb for short) to refer to the many strategies, activities, and processes through which evidence and knowledge come to inform policy and practice.
We see building system-wide capacity for knowledge mobilization as including the following key strategies:
Developing and expanding networks to share and apply knowledge
Building capacity for mobilizing knowledge and use of evidence
Providing ongoing opportunities for practitioners and researchers to connect and engage with evidence as well as each other
Engaging in and sustaining interactive activities for knowledge co-creation and sharing
Producing, drawing on and utilizing actionable resources to share and apply knowledge
Engaging leaders at every level of the system to model and champion knowledge mobilization practices
*MAXIMIZE YOUR NETWORKS AND MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE MOBILIZATION PLAN*
SEE OUR TIP SHEETS, ARTICLE & EXPERT BLOG POSTS:
- 10 TIPS FOR BUILDING & SUSTAINING EFFECTIVE KNOWLEDGE MOBILIZATION NETWORKS
- FINDING THE SWEET SPOT: NETWORK STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES FOR INCREASED KMB
- TAGLED UP IN NETWORKS: NETWORK ADVANTAGES AND STRATEGIES FOR NETWORK SUCCESS
- CREATING PARTNERSHIPS: LEARNING NEW WAYS TO CONNECT
- PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH: MAKE SURE YOUR KMB PRACTICES ARE EVIDENCE INFORMED
- 5 TIPS FOR KNOWLEDGE MOBILIZATION
- TIPS FOR KNOWLEDGE MOBILIZATION PLANNING
WHAT IS THE KNOWLEDGE NETWORK FOR APPLIED EDUCATION RESEARCH (KNAER)?
The KNAER was established in 2010 through a tri-partite agreement among the University of Toronto, Western University and the Ontario Ministry of Education to build, advance, and apply robust evidence of effective practices through promoting research use, synthesizing state-of-the-art knowledge from existing bodies of evidence, and facilitating networks of policy makers, educators, and researchers, working collaboratively, to apply research to practice. The KNAER has created a wide range of knowledge products, increased capacity for knowledge mobilization, and extended partnerships and networks across the province.The KNAER is a partnership between the Ministry of Education, Western University, and the OISE/University of Toronto, which aims to mobilize knowledge within and across the Ontario education system.
From 2010-2014, the KNAER funded 44 projects involving more than 150 partner organizations with the following key successes:
- Enhanced collaboration and relationship building in the sector through partnerships and networking (140 different partners of varying types involved in 44 projects, 26 of which created new partnerships);
- Network creation and expansion, including growing awareness of the type of plan and preparation needed to grow and expand networks;
- Increased awareness of the concept of knowledge mobilization and increased capacity through targeted funding and individualized project support, as well as changing mindsets around professional learning; and
- Creation and dissemination of knowledge products with more than 1,000 outputs (i.e. a product or activity created by a project), an online toolkit, social media campaign, and events.
In 2014, an analysis of the utility of KNAER along with a review of knowledge mobilization literature, interviews with KMb experts, and strategic planning sessions with Ontario educators and researchers, led to the development of recommendations for a renewed KNAER. A key recommendation was that the KNAER continue to build on its successes and identified challenges, while evolving towards a systems approach to knowledge mobilization.
From 2015-2020, the KNAER is building on its previous successes and learning by supporting thematic knowledge networks that employ a systems approach to KMb to enhance knowledge mobilization on clear and specific priority themes. The university partners form the KNAER Secretariat will support and connect thematic knowledge networks and communities of practice and provide and champion knowledge mobilization and knowledge network expertise, build capacity for knowledge mobilization and broker research-practice connections. The KNAER Secretariat will provide knowledge mobilization expertise, training, tools, and resources to assist networks in developing knowledge mobilization plans and using effective knowledge mobilization strategies that support knowledge mobilization, sharing, co-creation, and evidence use.
The graphic below provides a visual representation of the KNAER thematic knowledge network model.
What is a Thematic Knowledge Network?
Each of the KNAER thematic knowledge networks (as depicted in the graphic above) will bring together multiple partners to form a provincial network and local communities of practice. Working collaboratively, the networks will support evidence-informed practices connected to the goals of Achieving Excellence. Connections between and among the networks will be encouraged in order to maximize the outcomes related to the KNAER objectives: mobilization, collaboration, interaction, and sharing of research and practices across networks and communities of practice, to improve the achievement and well-being of Ontario students and early learners. Thematic knowledge network partner organizations may exist at the provincial or regional level.
What are Communities of Practice (CoPs)?
Communities of practice are groups of individuals who collaborate on shared interests to co-create and support evidence use to inform educational practice connected to the
thematic knowledge network goals. Communities of practice will operate at local, regional or cross-regional levels to address specific problems of practice related to the priorities of the larger thematic knowledge network.