The Four Capitals
Introducing the key components of effective knowledge management
From our experiences we know that there are excellent solutions in the school system to all the issues faced by teachers, non-teaching staff, school leaders, and governors. However, as is often common in the education sector, these solutions do not reside with those who need them because methods for their transfer are often ineffective.
Our solution to this is to adopt a knowledge management approach. By effectively managing the knowledge we have at this point in time about outstanding practice we are in the position of improving the life chances of the young people we serve. This is our moral purpose and underpins everything we do. Our belief, supported by practice over the past twelve years, is that to achieve this, our theory of action needs to:
- Create the moral climate for knowledge sharing between staff and schools (Moral Capital)
- Identify those that have the knowledge of effective school practice and capture it (Knowledge Capital)
- Equip the staff and schools with the social skills to share their knowledge effectively (Social Capital).
- Set up the organisational systems for them to share this knowledge with those who need to learn (Organisational Capital).
It was these four foundations of effective knowledge management, based on George Berwick’s depiction of the ‘capitals’ – moral knowledge, social and organisational, which drove the school-to-school approach to the London Challenge, and now underpins the work of Teaching School Alliances and Challenge Partners.