Reflections on Knowledge Cultivation

Near the beginning of this book, I alluded to Evel Knievel’s iconic 1974 attempt to clear Idaho’s Snake River Canyon on his Skycycle. I suggested that most attempts to traverse the gap between research and practice have been about as successful as Knievel

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Cultivating Knowledge Promoting Research to Enrich Everyday Practice

Scott Tunison University of Saskatchewan & Saskatoon Public Schools, Canada

A C.I.P. record for this book is available from the Library of Congress.

ISBN: 978-94-6300-601-9 (paperback) ISBN: 978-94-6300-602-6 (hardback) ISBN: 978-94-6300-603-3 (e-book)

Published by: Sense Publishers, P.O. Box 21858, 3001 AW Rotterdam, The Netherlands

All chapters in this book have undergone peer review.

Printed on acid-free paper

All Rights Reserved © 2016 Sense Publishers No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming, recording or otherwise, without written permission from the Publisher, with the exception of any material supplied specifically for the purpose of being entered and executed on a computer system, for exclusive use by the purchaser of the work.


Prefacevii Chapter 1: Setting the Headlands: Defining the Shape of the Field


Introduction1 Chapter 2: Give the People What They Want!: (Or Figure Out What They Need and Give Them That)


Setting13 Chapter 3: “Making the Jump”: Clearing the Gap between Research and Practice21 What Is Research? and What Does It Mean to “Use” It? Chapter 4: What Organisational Strategies Might Make Knowledge Cultivation More Successful? Mobilising Research for Improved Practice What Is a Knowledge Broker? What Does One Do? What Makes a Good One? Do Any of These Models Work?

23 37 38 54 57

Chapter 5: Knowledge Cultivation in a Public School District: What Does It Look Like in Practice?


Chapter 6: Simple Jumps


Organisational Discussant 65 Critical Reflexion 74 Joint Application 78 Summary79 Chapter 7: Adding Complexity and “Danger”: The Embedded KC Model The OD Must Add Value and Enhance KC Processes Overall! Chapter 8: Reflections on Knowledge Cultivation: Have We Enriched Everyday Practice with Research? Has Knowledge Cultivation Enriched Everyday Practice?


81 92 95 97


Professional Reading Series Issues 2010–2011 (Volume 1, Issues 1–32) 2011–2012 (Volume 2, Issues 1–38) 2012–2013 (Volume 3, Issues 1–35) 2013–2014 (Volume 4, Issues 1–37) 2014–2015 (Volume 5, Issues 1–35)

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Recently, a colleague and I were talking about work I’d been doing over the past few years at the provincial education policy level. At the time, I had the privilege of leading a collaborative project with representatives from the major educationsector stakeholders (i.e., teachers, senior administrators, school board association representatives, Aboriginal peoples,1 and provincial policy makers) to apply academic research ethics principles – along with privacy legislation and relevant research – to provincial education-sector data handling policies. The work wasn’t going to change the world but it was unique in that I could find no evidence of it having been don