What do you know, its the age of knowledge

I think I have chosen the best two courses to study together this semester for my Masters degree, Advanced Pedagogy and Leadership for Learning.  When I think about the foundations of teaching and learning, I think about pedagogy, but how often do we actually discuss, intentionally, pedagogy within our school contexts?  For most schools, I would hazard to guess that it is very little.  We get caught up in organisational structure, politics and curriculum requirements.  Well in my readings this week, in both courses, the same concept came up, and that is knowledge management.  This is not simply about information management, it is about a lot more than that.  Kalantzis and Cope (2012) write in their article, ‘New learning: a charter for a change in education’, that we are now a “new ‘knowledge society’ […] marked by a decline in the relative need for unskilled labour and the increasing economic significance of knowledge management systems” (p. 83).  They say that we need to be teaching “knowledgeability” (p. 84).

I discovered in my readings, that knowledge management is considered as highly important and significant in 21st leadership contexts.  There are both pedagogical and organisational implications to a quality knowledge management system, which has implications for expectations of educational leadership.  Dubrin, Dalglish and Miller (2006) define knowledge management “as the systematic sharing of information to achieve such goals as innovation, non-duplication of effort and competitive advantage” (p. 152).  They also quote Garvin (1993), who says that “managing knowledge well helps an organisation to learn.  A learning organisation is one that is skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying behaviour to reflect new knowledge and insights” (p. 152).

These points made, emphasise the need for a leader to cultivate a sharing community and encourage both discussion and dialogue to begin the transfer of knowledge and modification of behaviour.  There are many different models of knowledge management (I have pinned some on Pinterest) that offer suggestions for processes that generate a learning organisation that shares knowledge, creates knowledge together and uses knowledge for the good of those around them.  In order to cultivate further, the ‘knowledgeability’ of teachers and leaders, Kalantzis and Cope (2012) share these five things we need to do:

  • “be participant-researchers or action researchers”
  • “become transformative leaders of change”
  • “become good citizens” (autonomous and collaborative)
  • “contribute to a productive diversity”, and
  • “build a capacity for innovation”.  (p.84)

However, the question then is, what skills do our students need to be quality knowledge managers?  What is knowledge management for students?  Labbo (2006) begins answering the question by outlining the position that Osborne and Wittrock take in their Generative Learning Model (1985), which states that “the process by which learners acquire knowledge and then use that knowledge to keep learning” help students to learn how to generate new knowledge.  Therefore, teaching students about the processes by which they acquire knowledge and use knowledge will help them move towards quality knowledge management.

This is a topic area I have only just started to consider in light of pedagogy and leadership, but which has been on my radar under alternate terms, however, much more reading is needed for me to fully grasp this and apply it into my own context further.


 

REFERENCES

DuBrin, A., Dalglish, C., & Miller, P. J. (2006). leadership: 2nd Asia-Pacific Edition.

Kalantzis, M., & Cope, B. (2012). New learning: a charter for change in education. Critical Studies in Education, 53(1), 83-94.

Labbo, L. D. (2006). Literacy pedagogy and computer technologies: Toward solving the puzzle of current and future classroom practices. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, The, 29(3), 199.

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