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ERIC Number: EJ1129315
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0161-956X
New Governance and New Knowledge Brokers: Think Tanks and Universities as Boundary Organizations
Anderson, Gary; De La Cruz, Pedro; López, Andrea
Peabody Journal of Education, v92 n1 p4-15 2017
Educational researchers, along with universities in general, form part of the social field of knowledge production. Schools of education, as with all professional schools, are boundary organizations in the sense that they not only produce knowledge, but also train teachers, counselors, and administrators and have an impact on curriculum and instruction in schools. This places them in the interstices between universities and schools between the social fields of knowledge production and education. In this sense, schools of education are also boundary organizations and knowledge brokers, in that they have struggled with how to make their knowledge relevant to the needs of practitioners. Their position within social fields raises two somewhat different dilemmas: how to create and disseminate knowledge to practitioners in schools and school districts and how to influence education policy through providing research evidence. Both dilemmas call into question traditional models of knowledge mobilization that posit the creation of knowledge in universities, its dissemination though conferences and journals, and its utilization by practitioners and policymakers. Intermediary organizations that are more effective at influencing social and educational policy as well as alternative pathways to teacher and principal training have challenged schools of education. As a result, the traditional model of knowledge mobilization has come under increasing scrutiny (Dumas & Anderson, 2014). However, unlike think tanks, schools of education have not made significant inroads into having an impact on the political, media, or economic/market social fields (See Figure 1). As educational researchers attempt to expand their boundaries within these social fields, they experience a series of dilemmas that field theory can help to illuminate (Bourdieu, 1985, 1989, 2005; Fligstein & McAdam, 2015). This article underlines the need for future research to explore how universities may be repositioning themselves within social fields. The authors spotlight the importance of more research to better understand the calculation of benefits and risks entailed as educational researchers attempt to more aggressively enter the policy conversation and have a greater impact on policy outcomes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A