Mobilising knowledge in community - university partnerships: what does a community of practice approach contribute?

Angela Hart, Ceri Davies, Kim Aumann, Etienne Wenger, Kay Aranda, Becky Heaver, David Wolff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


Over the past decade different approaches to mobilising knowledge in Community2University Partnership (CUP) contexts have emerged in the UK. Despite this, detailed accounts of the intricate texture of these approaches, enabling others to replicate or learn from them, are lacking. This paper adds to the literature which begins to address this gap. The case considered here concentrates on one particular approach to knowledge mobilisation (KM) developed in the UK context. It provides an account of the authors' involvement in applying the concept, and practical lessons from a community of practice (CoP) approach, to developing knowledge exchange (KE) between academics, parents and practitioners. The authors' approach to KM explicitly attempts to combat power differentials between academics and community partners, and problematises knowledge power hierarchies. The paper explores the CoP concept and critically investigates key elements of relevance to developing KE in the CUP context. Specific themes addressed are those of power, participation and working across boundaries by CoP members with very different subject positions and knowledge capitals. The paper concludes that CoPs can be a useful mechanism for KM, but have many limitations depending on the specific context in which KM is being undertaken.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKnowledge Mobilisation and the Social Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationResearch Impact and Engagement
EditorsJon Bannister, Irene Hardill
Place of PublicationUK
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781317615316
ISBN (Print)9781138806757
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2014


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