By Dr. Katina Pollock, Associate Director, KNAER-RECRAE

Knowledge mobilization (KM) is not necessarily anything new; in fact many researchers in the field of education have engaged in some type of KM without ever consciously calling it knowledge mobilization. So why is there an emphasis on KM in education now? I would argue that there are a number of influences simultaneously converging that warrant some degree of awareness of, and engagement in, knowledge mobilization. Some of these influences include:

  • Advances in information communication technology that allow more people from different groups greater access to particular kinds of information and knowledge once restricted for a select few (OECD, 2004).
  • As state nations move into knowledge economies, information and knowledge now provide a particular kind of capital and more people are seeking information and knowledge (Mann & Von Moltke, 1999).
  • In an accountability era, it is expected that decisions be informed by evidenced-based research (Nutley, Walter & Davies, 2007);
  • Over the past few decades research in applied education research has grown tremendously in developing the field with well-established knowledge bases (OECD, 2007)

Yet, despite the increase in education research, the potential increase in access to information and knowledge through advancements in information communication technology, and a demand for the use of information and knowledge to inform decision-making, much of this applied educational research is not reaching practitioners and policymakers (Sa, Li, & Faubert, 2011). One way to reduce the gap between knowledge producers and users is through intentional mobilization of knowledge.

Watch Peter Levesque's video to learn more about the origins of KM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1p5IfEcarU

References

Nutley, S., Walter, I., & Davies, H. (2007). Using Evidence: How research can inform public services. Bristol, UK: Policy Press.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2004). Innovation in the Knowledge Economy: Implications for Education and Learning, Knowledge management, Author.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2007). Evidence in Education: Linking Research and Policy, Knowledge management. Author.

Sa, C, Li, S & Faubert, B. (2011). Faculties of education and institutional strategies for knowledge mobilization: an exploratory study. Journal of Higher Education, 61(5), 501-512.