Weaving a Knowledge Web

In the presence and in the aftermath of violence, many people believe they cannot learn. This project will build a broad-based partnership that promotes and extends knowledge exchange about addressing the impacts of violence on learning through an innovative, interactive website (www.learningandviolence.net).

This website is a multi-media resource to support literacy learning. The site is currently in use in a pilot stage (details below). Further development is planned to enhance its capacity as a hub for relevant knowledge on all aspects of the impact of violence on learning. The website will provide interdisciplinary research-based evidence on how to recognise and address the impacts of violence. It also offers a dynamic environment for practice-based knowledge exchange within, and beyond, the adult literacy field amongst researchers, educators, learners, health professionals, counsellors, healers and others. As such, it will enable all learning stakeholders to benefit from existing knowledge and enhance learning outcomes.

The primary objectives of this project are to develop the recently launched website into:

* An ongoing knowledge exchange mechanism on the impact of violence on learning for researchers, educators, policy-makers, tutors and learners in the Canadian adult literacy field by inviting input and participation into the creation of a sustainable virtual network.
* An interactive tool that brings stakeholders together to form a community of interest to establish common priorities and areas of concern for 2006-7 and beyond.
* An exciting educational tool by identifying and adapting priority content for the website.
* A useful model for adapting research into accessible formats and for sharing innovative programming so that it becomes useable to a much broader community.
* A vehicle for bringing in and sharing the expertise of related and relevant communities, such as the violence prevention, therapeutic, artistic and holistic communities.

Funder / Funding Information:
Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)

Partner Name: Sprial Community Resource Group
Partner Website: http://www.learningandviolence.net/
History / Description of Partners:
Springtide Resources will be the lead organization for this project because it has a proven track record as an organization focused on anti-violence education leading strong partnerships with university based researchers, educators in diverse settings, and activists located in community-based organizations. The organization has also made an exceptional commitment to working across all forms of diversity and ensuring that Deaf women, and women with intellectual and physical disabilities are integrated into all their work. They have been in the forefront of organizations addressing violence against women and have been the primary organization providing resources and educational tools in print and online. A recent partnership with Atkinson School of Continuing Education at York University has enabled Springtide Resources to build on this history and is wellpositioned to become a leader in online professional development and training. Springtide Resources has the capacity both in house and through their partnerships to take the lead on this new knowledge exchange project. This project will further their goals of education, solutions to violence against women that include everyone, and partnership and collaboration. Their commitment to reaching all women makes this partnership intended to reach the adult literacy community particularly appropriate to their mandate.

Although the project is not limited to women’s learning needs alone, the issue of men’s learning in the aftermath of trauma will also be addressed and is included within the mandate of many of the partner organizations.

Jenny Horsman of Spiral Community Resource Group will coordinate the project. The project is founded on her long history of close to thirty years in the adult literacy field as a researcher and practitioner and her groundbreaking research and innovative practice on issues of violence and learning. She has written extensively in this area and presented her work across Canada and internationally. The project also extends and builds on the strong networks and the numerous
collaborations and strong relationships she has formed over the past ten years in literacy, therapeutic, anti-violence and academic fields. As a consequence she is the obvious person to lead this project. She is committed to this work, to genuine collaboration, and to the development and timely completion of this project.

Associated Staff: Marsha Sfeir

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