Educational researchers, policy-makers and practitioners are increasingly focusing their attention on Professional Learning Networks in order to facilitate teacher development and encourage school and school system improvement. However, despite the understanding that PLNs can contribute significantly to improving teaching practice and student achievement, there are key challenges regarding their use. These challenges include:
- ensuring PLNs can provide opportunities for generating and sharing knowledge within schools
- enabling teachers and professionals to direct their own development
- helping individuals change their practices through inquiry-led approaches
- facilitating partnerships which work across a variety of stakeholders
In this new edited volume, Brown and Poortman evaluate these challenges from both a theoretical and practical approach. A multitude of perspectives from a team of international contributors covers:
- the importance of Professional Learning Networks
- the use of evidence within PLNs
- the impact of inter-school networks
- international cases of networks and communities
- the promotion and sustainability of PLNs
Also featuring case studies and exemplars to contextualise sustainable learning networks, Networks For Learning is an accessible and thoroughly-researched book, which will be essential reading and a valuable resource for researchers, teachers and school leaders who are interested in developing professional learning networks.
Table of Contents
List of Contributors Acknowledgements Foreword Introduction 1. The importance of professional learning networks Cindy L. Poortman, Chris Brown 2. Balancing top-down and shared leadership: a case study of a Teacher Design Team in transition to a new approach Floor Binkhorst 3. Research Learning Networks - a case study in using networks to increase knowledge mobilization at scale Chris Brown 4. Developing Communities of Pedagogical Inquiry in British Columbia Leyton Schnellert, Paige Fisher, Kathy Sanford 5. From data to learning: a data team professional learning network Kim Schildkamp, Jaana Nehez, Ulf Blossing 6. Austria’s Lerndesigner Network: the Dynamics of Virtual Professional Learning in Interschool Networks Livia Roessler, Tanja Westfall-Greiter 7. A professional learning network for the entire local education system – educational landscapes in Germany Pierre Tulowitzki, Anika Duveneck, Michael Krüger 8. A lesson study professional learning network in secondary education Siebrich de Vries, Rilana Prenger 9. Learning networks for sustainable literacy achievement Mei Kuin Lai, Stuart McNaughton 10. Getting Beneath the Surface: Examining the Social Side of Professional Learning Networks Joelle Rodway 11. Establishing Sustainable School Improvement through Professional Learning Networks Mireille D. Hubers, Cindy L. Poortman 12. Looking Back and Moving Forward: where to Next for Networks of Learning? Alan J. Daly, Louise Stoll
Chris Brown is Professor of Education at the School of Education and Childhood Studies, University of Portsmouth (UK). Chris has extensive experience of leading a range of funded projects, many of which seek to help practitioners use networks to identify and scale up best practice, and was recently awarded a significant grant by the Education Endowment Foundation to work with 100+ primary schools in England to increase their use of research.
Cindy L. Poortman is Assistant Professor in the professional development of teachers in teams at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. She is also Project Leader of the Dutch national project ‘Pilots for the development of professional learning communities’, and Founder and Co-Project Leader of the Datateam Projects, the Netherlands.