Fostering improved connections between research, policy, and practice: The knowledge network for applied education research.
The Role of Knowledge Brokers in Education: Connecting the Dots Between Research and Practice
This chapter explores the complexities of creating and sustaining research–practice partnerships and illustrates the value of engaging researchers, practitioners and policy makers in such partnerships. The authors examine the Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research (KNAER), a research–policy–practice partnership established in 2010 to build capacity for knowledge mobilization and evidence use across an education system. The evolution of KNAER from a focus on collaborative knowledge mobilization projects to multi-year provincial knowledge networks and local communities of practice illustrates the challenges of and opportunities for increasing the depth of evidence use in education by crossing traditional boundaries between research, policy and practice communities. The KNAER is intentionally designed to enable knowledge brokering throughout its interconnected thematic networks and communities of practice, facilitated by intermediary organization partners, including the KNAER Secretariat and the Education Research and Evaluation Strategy Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Education. Two thematic networks (Mathematics and Equity) are highlighted to illustrate strategies for navigating gaps between research and practice communities, drawing on the conceptual framework developed by Farley-Ripple et al. (2018). Finally, the authors share insights about making productive use of research-policy-practice partnerships to improve professional practice and student outcomes.
Citation of this paper:
McWhorter, D., van Roosmalen, E., Kotsopoulos, D., Gadanidis, G., Kane, R., Ng-A-Fook, N., Campbell, C., Pollock, K., & Sarfaraz, D. (2019). Fostering improved connections between research, policy, and practice: The knowledge network for applied education research. In J. Malin & C. Brown (Eds.), The Role of Knowledge Brokers in Education: Connecting the Dots Between Research and Practice. (pp.52-64). London: Routledge. DOI: 10.4324/9780429462436