Donald Buchanan

Knowledge Network Facilitator, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board


Why is knowledge mobilization so hard?

Knowledge mobilization (or knowledge translation) is often described as the process of moving research evidence or research findings into everyday practice. Studying and understanding the research to practice process in education is an endeavor which has attracted much attention and some considerable research over the past decade.
This presentation will begin by reviewing first-hand experiences in mobilizing evidence to practice in a large urban school board in Ontario, and will then ground those experiences in research and theory from several relevant fields. We will present findings from several recent studies that examine educators’ preferences for receiving information. We will also review relevant models and theories from knowledge mobilization in other fields, as well as findings from cognitive psychology that help us understand why knowledge mobilization is difficult to achieve.
There will be plenty of time for discussion, debate, and lively conversation!


Don Buchanan is the Knowledge Network Facilitator for the Knowledge Network for Student Well-Being. Before he began this role in November 2016, he was the Knowledge Mobilization Officer, in the Evidence-Based Education and Services Team (E-BEST), Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, and an Associate Member, Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University.
Before becoming the first-ever Knowledge Mobilization Officer at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, he spent 30+ years at McMaster Children’s Hospital and the McMaster Child Health Research Institute. In those roles he led the development of several innovative services, including the Family Resource Centre, the Community Education Service, and the Child Health Network