Going for broke: a multiple case study of brokerage in education

Joel Malin, Christopher David Brown, Angela Trubceac

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Though the central role of educational intermediaries that can connect research and practice is increasingly appreciated, our present understanding of their motivations, products, and processes is inadequate. SpecificallyIn response OR to fill this knowledge gap?, this multiple case study asks how and why three large-scale intermediaries—Edutopia, the Marshall Memo, and Usable Knowledge—are engaging in brokerage activities, and compares the features of the knowledge they seek to share and mobilize. These entities were deliberately chosen and anticipated to reveal diversity. Multiple data sources were analyzed based primarily upon Ward’s (2017) knowledge mobilization framework. These entities contrasted widely, especially in relation to core knowledge dimensions, and enable us to identify two distinct brokerage types emerged. To conclude, theoretical (how to conceptualize brokerage) and practical (how to foster interactive knowledge exchange) implications are presented. This study also reveals certain innovative mobilization approaches, including skillful use of social media and the production of videos depicting how and why to adopt particular strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalAERA Open
Early online date2 Apr 2018
Publication statusEarly online - 2 Apr 2018


  • knowledge mobilzation
  • brokerage
  • boundary crossing
  • boundary objects


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