PS News

Reports on recent College activities and a selection of announcements, events and initiatives in the wider education community.

Knowledge mobilization

Brokering research for the greater good

With a simple click of the mouse, organizations like the Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research (KNAER) will facilitate delivery of the information teachers want and need to improve their practice.

The January 2011 establishment of the KNAER - a partnership between the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario, funded by the Ministry of Education - supports the Ministry's commitment to develop and implement policies, programs and processes that are evidence based, research informed and connected to provincial education goals.

Knowledge mobilization is at the core of this initiative and was the focus of this year's Ontario Education Research Symposium.

Julia Lalande, Research and Knowledge Mobilization Analyst at the Ministry of Education, explains that the objective behind the much-discussed concept is to "bring research and practice closer together to ensure that both new and established bodies of knowledge about teaching and learning get into the hands of those who need it."

The KNAER mandate is to build, advance and apply solid evidence of effective procedures through the research and synthesis of state-of-the-art knowledge from existing bodies of evidence.

As a knowledge broker, the organization connects with global networks and shares both established and new evidence via Ontario's policy, education and research communities.

A former teacher with the Trillium Lakelands DSB, Amanda Cooper, OCT - now a PhD candidate at OISE/UT and KNAER program manager - understands the demands of being a teacher and appreciates the obstacles to research use in education.

"There are few systems to find and share research across schools and districts," she says, "and even where such systems exist, most education research is not in a format that can be readily applied to classrooms and pedagogical practice."

"KNAER represents an opportunity for practitioners and education organizations to co-create the research-based resources and strategies that can improve teaching and learning across Ontario."

With more than $1 million in Ministry support - and the completion of all KNAER collaborative projects due by March 31, 2012 - the intention to improve knowledge mobilization in Ontario's education system is well under way.

"Knowledge mobilization efforts lead to new and strengthened networks, enhanced partnerships between researchers and end-users, and a better flow of information - all things that will ultimately benefit teachers in classrooms across Ontario."

And it's all just a mouse click away.

More links for research to go

Want to know more about differentiated instruction at the elementary level? Read the University of Windsor's research on the topic at

Want to learn about digital mathematical performance? Check out the University of Western Ontario's Digital Windows into Mathematics project at

Visit the London region's University Research Exchange at to download a database of 81 education research projects. Five faculties of education and 16 district school boards are working to develop and sustain this collaborative research relationship. To read successful KNAER letters of intent and to review project descriptions, visit ➔ Accepted Proposals.

For more information on knowledge sharing and learning, visit the Ontario Education Research Exchange at ➔ The Ontario Education Research Exchange.