How knowledge works

Many different subjects are taught in primary and secondary schools, but how these subjects and disciplines relate to each other is seldom discussed in classrooms.

Translating research into policy and practice is rarely a simple process. There are multiple challenges to encouraging the adoption of ‘How Knowledge Works’ (HKW) approaches in England, including lack of familiarity with the terminology, the lack of an established evidence base, and the structural complexity of the education system. However, a richness of the stakeholder system around education and the increasing devolution of decision-making in England offer significant opportunities use research evidence, partnership building and stakeholder convening to leverage influence around a compelling narrative for change.

This report maps the opportunities for adopting HKW, based on qualitative research and consultation with teachers, education policy professionals and academic experts, and a literature review. We offer six key recommendations to support the uptake of HKW. It is important to note that these recommendations do not form a linear plan for action, but instead are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.


Six ways to encourage adoption of How Knowledge Works in education


This report was written for the Templeton World Charity Foundation, an independent grant-making foundation which aims to support scientific breakthroughs and practical tools relating to the search for meaning, purpose, and truth. TWCF supports some of the world’s best minds and promotes open-minded inquiries in a wide range of fields, working with top academic institutions and leading experts from around the world.