Study of mechanisms at play in the decision of the school interveners to use research knowledge to change their practices
As part of the Agir autrement intervention study, established by the Québec Department of Education, Leisure and Sports in 2002, we studied the processes at play in intervener decisions to use research. Our work has revealed the Research Knowledge (RK) is very underused by teachers and school interveners. This situation may be explained by the fact that to a large extent, school interveners:
- confuse the sources of knowledge with the knowledge itself;
- do not differentiate RK from other types of knowledge;
- rely first and foremost on their intuition to evaluate the quality of the knowledge that they adopt in their practices.
Our work enabled us to identify certain conditions that would foster the development of expertise by actors in using RK:
1) Efforts should be devoted to persuading schools to appreciate RK;
2) Effective strategies ought to be adopted to provide support for use of RK (allocate the resources necessary for its use, bring in support staff, etc.);
3) Develop an organizational context favourable to research;
4) Introduce adequate support strategies.