Week 11: What is the role of knowledge creation and sharing in a healthy educational organization?

“Most organizations have invested heavily in technology and possibly training, but hardly at all in knowledge sharing and creation” (Fullan, 2014, p 79).  This is the key to functionality.  Without sharing of knowledge we lose that connection and at times the information.  There was a teacher who was so knowledgeable in regards to technology within our building, he shared when he could but since we didn’t open up more times for him to share we lost all of the information he had when he suddenly moved to another state.  We have to create time to knowledge share.  So many times we have all of this information but we have no means to distribute the knowledge within our own buildings due to time restraints.  I love this mentoring project, It forces us to take that time.  I wish we could do it with a larger group instead of just the one or few we are mentoring.

Knowledge creation is another thing we need to be free to do.  The creation of knowledge, distribution of it and embodiment within your building.  It is a tough concept when we have such differing opinions even within a single building.  But to have it disperse among the entire district is pretty phenomenal.  An example of this would be our early release that we did several years ago.  My building had started an early release within our own building to allow for whole staff collaboration focusing on reading and writing.  Our student scores sky rocketed and our morale was the best I had ever seen it.  The district saw what we were doing and decided to follow suit, having all schools do an early release.  Unfortunately they didn’t see the benefits when they participated and were not as leader driven as our building so it went back to the regular schedule a couple of years later.

A healthy organization is one that knowledge creates and shares.  You can’t expect a brand new person to come into the building and just know what to do without the proper training, that is knowledge sharing.  When we share that knowledge we begin to build those relationships.  The graph below demonstrates how people are still the number one resource we look to for knowledge.  We are a social society and thus need to take advantage of the knowledge we have within our communities.

graph(Cross, 2001, p 106)
“On the strategic side, management must create/design the right environments, processes, and systems that provide the means and willingness for it to take place” (KMT, 2015).  Without the proper environment that will allow for the creativity necessary for Knowledge creation or the time allowed to share that knowledge we cannot utilize our peers and gain the information needed to keep up with our fast paced society.  Something as simple as peer inter-visitations can be so helpful when you are learning a new position.  My first year as a PE teacher I was able to observe several other PE teachers and gain some wonderful insight as to how they run their programs, what little tricks they use for classroom management, and how to keep the kids engaged during the entire 45 minute period.  It was eye opening for me, and I was glad to see that there are other schools that participate in this (New York City has a toolkit for teachers that I have listed below).
Works Cited
Cross, R., Parker, A., Prusak, L., Borgatti, S, P. (2001). Supporting Knowledge Creation and Sharing in Social Networks. Organizational Dynamics, 30; 2, 100-120. Retrieved from http://www.analytictech.com/borgatti/papers/borgatti%20-%20knowing%20what%20we%20know.pdf
KMT. (2015).  Knowledge Creation. Retrieved from http://www.knowledge-management-tools.net/knowledge-creation.html

Fullan, M. (2014, February). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass (pp. 77-106).

Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Learning. (n.d.). Collaborative Learning Through Peer Inter-visitation: A Toolkit for Educators. Retrieved from http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/69F61FF7-68F8-4D9C-847C-B7D7DD6A1343/0/IntervisitationToolkit.pdf

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8 thoughts on “Week 11: What is the role of knowledge creation and sharing in a healthy educational organization?

  1. Sunshine- I agree with you so much on that point that we often get training but without sharing of knowledge we lose that connection and at times the information. I have received a lot of didn’t trainings but without getting together with others or sharing this I forgot how to use it and I forget about it. I think if we shared together what we learned then we will more likely to use it. It will also be better if we are stuck then we can just talk to someone else who had that training. That is a wonderful idea early release so you can have training with others. We often don’t have time to get together. That is a good graph to see. It really shows how much communication is important in a organization.

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  2. Good point about the possibility of losing knowledge, when the teachers who are experts leave, if that knowledge was not shared we lose it. When I worked in rural AK this was an ongoing issue because teacher turn over was so great. Many times there wasn’t time allotted to share knowledge across grade levels. Other knowledge sharing issues I have experienced is when teachers are sent to conferences and they come back, but don’t share what they learned with their colleagues. If I were a principal I would require staff do a school pd if they attended a conference to share knowledge with all.

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    • I agree, it should be a requirement to share your knowledge gained. It would benefit so many people and yourself because you have to recite what you learned which reminds you, then you will be more likely to use it.

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  3. I, too, have watched many people walk away with knowledge. Fortunately, we usually train in groups. Yet, some training is done by individuals and it is the same one every year. Most of the time the teacher would have to present at the next in-service.

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    • One year we did a quick sharing before every staff meeting. That way a teacher introduced something to the entire staff that they may or may not have already known. It was usually some tech. app. It was great.

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  4. I love your opening quote! So true! We are often getting more tools and we are told how to use those tools or how to learn to use those tools, but there is never any discussion later to discuss how things are going. This would greatly help us to better use the tools that we are given on a daily basis.

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