KTTC’s first virutal seminar _ on ‘the nature of evidence’, part 1 of 3.

FINALLY! We held our first Virtual Seminar Series today and (i can’t help but feel) it was a smashing success! Participants included one post-doc and 3 doctoral candidates with KT-focused interests, and one community practitioner (a clinical nurse specialist from Oregon) with a burgeoning interest in KT. There were no “ground rules” to shape our dynamics, but instead just a couple of facilitative mechanisms: (i) the google-doc that houses some of the previously prepared commentary that served as a point of departure for our seminar, and (ii) an attempt to establish an atmosphere in which we could “pit & pursue” each others’ ideas and assumptions.

If you’re interested, feel free to take a gander at the google-doc at this link:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AoSDW6sHWvmEdE83b1BWY3k2NDl2RUliamRYVzhLN3c&hl=en_US#gid=1

You’ll find (in row 2 of the Jan 19 2012 worksheet) what is essentially an annotated bibliography for the two articles we read/discussed, plus a brief summary of the topics of discussion that emerged (in row 3). Perhaps, over time, this google-doc will evolve into something of a living document as we/you/anyone adds to or builds upon some of the ideas shared today. (Feel free to leave a post-seminar Comment somewhere on the google-doc and/or by replying to this thread :-)

FYI, the two readings for today were:

Raphael, D. (2000). The question of evidence in health promotion. Health Promotion International, 15 (4), 355-368

and

Rycroft-Malone et al. (2004). What counts as evidence in evidence-based practice? Journal of Advanced Nursing, 47 (1), 81-90.

Some of the topics we landed on during the seminar include: additions to / variations of the principles of evidence-based practice (a la Sackett); the merits and (im)possibilities of methodological and theoretical (and even epistemological) pluralism; notions of ‘KT as bricolage’ (see Levis-Stauss 1966, Kincheloe 2001, Denzin & Lincoln 2005, but you’ll not find anything, i don’t think, about bricolage & KT per se); the notion of ‘crystallization’ (see Richardson1997; Ellingson 2009); we also spoke of the growing acceptance and apparent appropriateness of mixed methods research in KT (fitting indeed with notions of science from the viewpoints of epistemological pluralism);

… and in an unexpected and most refreshing sense, storied for us were some of the experiences of a KTTC member from the US, a clinical nurse specialist working with Veterans — it’s exciting to bear witness to the growth and inclusiveness of & with/in the KTTC; moreover, these real-world experiences helped (re)ground our discussion in the ‘swampy lowlands’ (Schon, 1996) of clinical practice — ivory-tower-speak seems to tend toward the abstract at times, don’t you think?

That’s not to apologize though for this seminar topic: the ‘nature of evidence’ is akin to considerations of the nature of knowledge, and so it seems venturing into and getting a feel for some philosophical conventions and apparatuses is necessary, productive, and rewarding. Doubly so, i’d say, when our shared thoughts remain meaningful to all knowledge users’n'producers.

And/so/also FYI, the two readings for NEXT week (ie, Jan 26, 12 noon eastern) are:

Straus, S. & Haynes, B. (2009). Managing evidence-based knowledge: the need for reliable, relevant and readable resources. CMAJ, 180 (9), 942-945

and

Bluhm, R. (2005). From hierarchy to network – a richer view of evidence for evidence-based medicine. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 48 (4), 535-547.

Thanks for your consideration and time — we look forward to more rich participation and collaborative learning next week!

Take care all,
Ryan