MESH is an international low cost education knowledge mobilisation system requiring slight changes in practice by all concerned with education. MESH can be implemented within current resources with the exception of a core editorial team and software and hosting costs.
The MESH system is that
- Those holding research knowledge relevant to teachers, whether energy specialists or pedagogic specialists, are asked to provide a summary of research (- a MESHGuide, written as a word document with lots of headings and indicating the strength of evidence for the information), in their language. This requirement can be written into research contracts and expectations for PhD/EdD/MA theses.
- That this MESHGuide is produced with teachers so as to ensure the information is relevant and intelligible
- That this is peer reviewed and quality assured as are academic journal articles
- That this is then held on a portal common to all (with google translate available)
- That the contribution is updated over time, in the way contributions to an edited book are updated.
- That new knowledge is added to existing guides in collaboration with existing authors so as to accumulate knowledge
- That controversies/debates and strength of evidence are included so that the practitioner/user of the knowledge can use their professional judgement in deciding whether to and how to implement the ideas.
- It is preferable that the MESHGuide research summaries are open to all but it may be that those providing long term core funding for the editorial group, funding and software make a decision to keep the resource open to all only in the subscribing countries. This would however, penalise teachers and learners in countries who were not partners. This will be decided by the MESH Board in partnership with funding agencies/governments.
- MESH is similar to wikipedia but contributors are not anonymous and peer review is rigorous. MESHGuides are a form of ‘translational research’ ie theory to practice research.
- MESH grew out of a realisation by educators in a number of countries that digital technologies were providing new opportunities as well as challenges to educators:
- Loss of knowledge teachers and teacher educators rely on: online resources funded by governments and held on government servers are being lost when there is a change of government or change in priorities. There are examples from a number of countries where teachers and teacher educators have linked programmes of study to online resources on government websites which then vanish without consultation.
- Costs of publishing online resources while lower than print costs still have to be met in some way.
- Open access to knowledge by anyone with access to a smart phone (but see the note on costs above). This breaks down barriers to accessing the latest knowledge traditionally experienced in rural areas and by those without funds to purchase books or training.
- Accumulation of knowledge: It is possible to update online publications as new research yields new findings and so build an accumulating knowledge base on a topic.
- Updating can be easily done; new knowledge can be easily incorporated into an online resource on a topic.
- Controversies can be incorporated as published research findings are tested in new settings.
- Efficiencies: popular topics attract funding from different sources leading to duplication while other topics remain unexplored
- Access to knowledge in other Languages: The use of Google Translate while not perfect allows web users access to knowledge published in different languages.
The MESH system –
Keeps teachers’ knowledge up-to-date through:
- Pooling and updating quality-assured knowledge for teachers
- Providing open access, updatable, trusted, research summaries.
- Using research and resources already available
- Supporting equitable access to knowledge
Applies innovative technologies by:
- Building a professional knowledge base
- Publishing, fostering partnerships and networking
- Minimising duplication, maximising accumulation of knowledge and research impact.
Saves money by mobilising knowledge through technology giving efficiencies of scale and reach.
- governments, charities and policy makers: to value/require/encourage/co-ordinate MESHGuide research summary production; join the MESH Advisory Board
- universities: to require MESHGuide contributions from Masters/PhD theses and research staff
- individual educators/professional organisations: to use/contribute to MESHGuides and to train student teachers as research users and contributors
- potential funders: to fund research networks to pool knowledge in their areas of interest
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: +441162506341; +447568520447