Where's My Knowledge Translation Curriculum?

by Rick Austin September 26, 2013 04:01 PM

What a world we live in! Google Scholar just recently served up this master’s thesis by Eleni Wener. I think I would have been very self-conscious if my master’s thesis had been instantly available online.


Of course, she’s Canadian, at the University of Manitoba. The mandate for knowledge translation planning from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research has now filtered down to the level where graduate students are writing their theses about KT.


In exploring the use of knowledge translation in disability research, Wener, I think inadvertently, adds to the word salad of KT when she coins a new term, “inclusive knowledge translation.”


Now we can debate the relative merits of the terms knowledge translation, inclusive knowledge translation, knowledge translation and exchange, knowledge exchange, knowledge mobilization, and clinical translation.


Or not.


Instead, let’s debate the merits of ratcheting up the emphasis on knowledge translation in public health education in the United States.


There are fragments of KT resource materials available at such disparate places as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Almost all of this is aimed at people working on the front line, executing programs in the real world.


Even the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Systems and Services Research, housed at the University of Kentucky, focuses primarily on studies in real-world settings.


For a subject that’s getting this much attention on the front line, there seems to be very little focus on the academic preparation of our public health professionals. Which public health schools in the United States have built a knowledge translation curriculum that meets this growing need?

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Comments (2) -

Melanie Barwick
Melanie Barwick Canada
9/26/2013 5:16:18 PM

Not so in Canada, Rick.  SickKids Hospital has been providing professional development in KT since 2006 through the Scientist Knowledge Translation Training (SKTT) course, and more recently through a week-long institute type course for KT practitioners called the Knowledge Translation Professional Certificate (KTPC).  More information on these can be found on the web here: www.sickkids.ca/.../index.html.  We have trained over 1300 people across Canada on the 2-day SKTT, which is aimed at scientists AND clinician-educators, KT practitioners, and the like.  SKTT is offered twice a year in Toronto, OR we can travel to you!  The KTPC is for KT Practitioners specifically, is only offered in Toronto and runs three times a year, pulling in folks from as far away as Australia! In fact, the KTPC was just last week recognized as a Leading Practice by Accreditation Canada!

Rick Austin
Rick Austin United States
10/28/2013 3:12:00 PM

Melanie: Quite so. As I've groused about many times, Canada is far ahead of the US in the development of KT curricula. What I'm hoping for, however, has not surfaced in Canada or the US so far. That's a greater emphasis in both undergraduate and graduate school curricula on the importance of KT.

How do we make that one a reality?

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