Impact Practitioners

Improving the effectiveness of educational knowledge brokering 

By 11/07/2024

In this 46-page article by Lucy Rycroft-Smith, the focus is on connecting research to practical use in education, and finding ways to bridge the gap between research and practice through knowledge brokering. It calls for more research to be done on effective educational knowledge brokering.

Knowledge brokering is the process of turning research knowledge into practical use by connecting different areas. It aims to achieve a few key goals:

  1. Making scientific research accessible to its users.
  2. Providing practical information for decision-making.
  3. Aligning the priorities of researchers with the needs of the intended users.

Here are some key findings from the study to help knowledge brokering achieve its goals:

Effective knowledge brokering relies on good design. This involves connecting ideas, making information accessible, challenging assumptions, and dealing with complexities early on in the design process.

The person who does the knowledge brokering matters, because it involves relational networks. We need to ensure that the intended users (in the educational context, these may be teachers) emotionally and practically connect with the knowledge they are offered for it to be effective.

Knowledge brokers should also have good interpersonal skills, the ability to translate complex information, and an understanding of research methodology to facilitate the use of research effectively. Additionally, we need to evaluate how brokers address barriers to research use – including time constraints, usefulness, information overload, and context – in order to improve its effectiveness.

Relatedly, holding knowledge brokers accountable, and ensuring they are honest, fair, credible, and ethical in their work is crucial for knowledge brokering to be effective.

Finally, it’s an urgent priority to determine who can or should be responsible for knowledge brokering in the first place. Without careful consideration, it can lead to harmful misinformation and misrepresentation.

In conclusion, connecting research to practice in education is essential, and knowledge brokering plays a vital role in this process. Effective knowledge brokering relies on design, emotional connection, and accountability to ensure that research is used to its fullest potential in practical settings.

This article is part of our initiative, R2A Impact Practitioners. To find out more, please click here.