The quote below is from the report written by the International Commission on the Futures of Education established by UNESCO (p. 123-124), and speaks to co-creation and partnerships.

Practitioner research, action research, historical archival research, case study research, ethnography, etc. are among the many methods that have proven fruitful for use by those within the field. In this way, education must be understood not merely as a field for the application of external experimentation and study, but as a field of inquiry and analysis itself.

The affirmation of schools as places where knowledge is produced and of teachers as knowers, depends deeply on how universities, organizations and researchers interact and collaborate with those embedded in education and draw on their rich insights, reflections and experiences. Universities play pivotal roles in promoting educational research, both for their expertise in advancing disciplinary knowledge and transcending different disciplines. Teachers will always be among the central authors of knowledge on their profession, as it results from shared reflection on that experience and, in this, they should be supported in publishing their research and reflections. Students are also important sources of knowledge and understanding about their own educational experiences, aspirations, achievements, and reflections.

Universities and researchers can extend support by being always in dialogue (emphasis mine) with schools, teachers and students. Participatory evaluation, collaborative research, youth-led research, and practitioner inquiry are among the many methodological traditions that can be drawn on to further systematize the learning between those researching within and externally to education. Educational research will be a key tool to project and monitor the transformations necessary to engage with a new social contract for education.

Page 125 speaks further to this.

Research partnerships that are interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral and cross-cultural, that span academic, civil society and educational milieus, and that foster shared communication and mutual learning, offer tremendous potential to advance the priorities and proposals put forward in this Report.

Not all research partnerships are fair and equitable, and partners with greater resources or institutional power can exert undue influence on the course and outcomes of a partnership even if inadvertently. Epistemic humility is needed to challenge assumptions in and around education, many of which are deeply embedded in our conception of the nature of human beings, of society, and of the more-than-human world. Our operating paradigm will need to shift away from simplistic categorizations of knowledge relationships such as ‘North/South’ or ‘Western/non-Western,’ towards complex and relational ecologies of knowledge.

And page 127

Successful knowledge production for the futures of education will need to become consciously inclusive, socially and culturally diverse, inter-disciplinary and inter-professional, and able to foster communication, collaboration, ownership and mutual learning.

Page 130

Universities, research institutions and their partners are called on to put a special focus on research and innovation to support the renewal of education as a common good and the co-construction of a new social contract for education. They can become most effective, however, when they position themselves in relationship and in dialogue with those already working, thinking, reflecting in education – with teachers, students, schools, families, communities. As mentioned in earlier chapters, this will require a renewal of the public mission of universities towards the generation of an open and accessible knowledge commons, and the education of new generations of researchers and professionals who are committed to the advancement of knowledge for the benefit of themselves and humanity.