Researching and Understanding Educational Networks

By Robert McCormick, Alison Fox, Patrick Carmichael, Richard Procter

© 2011 – Routledge

282 pages | 36 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415494830
pub: 2010-06-21
US Dollars$55.95
Hardback: 9780415494823
pub: 2010-06-18
US Dollars$170.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

In the twenty-first century, what could be more important than networks? Such is the power of their influence and attendant technologies that it is unsurprising that our thinking about networks is permeated with images and metaphors from electronic networks. This orientation may equally influence thinking about education, whether that is of students or teachers.

Researching and Understanding Educational Networks extends the discussion of educational networks in a unique and novel way by relating it to teacher learning. Following an investigation of teacher and school networks in the UK, the authors found that theoretical perspectives taken from existing work on such networks were not adequate to provide an understanding of their potential, nor to provide the basis for researching them in ways that reflected the variety of teacher experience.

This book presents analyses of the problems with existing theories of teacher learning, which for example draw on ideas of 'communities of practice', and explores what network theories can be brought to the problem of how teachers and schools create and share new knowledge about practice. Innovative networking theories discussed include:

  • social network analysis
  • social capital theories
  • actor-network theory
  • investigations of electronic networks including computer-meditated conferencing
  • how people learn at events such as conferences.

Researching and Understanding Educational Networks explores a new application of networks theories derived from quite different fields of work, and extends it both by being concerned about networks beyond organisations and specifically about educational networks. Their application to educational networks, and to teacher learning in particular, is a unique contribution of the book. This enables it to be of interest to both researchers and those studying for higher degrees, including students who are professionals working in schools.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Educational Policy and Technological Contexts Chapter 2. Theorising Networks Chapter 3. Teacher Learning Chapter 4. Mapping Networks Chapter 5. Network Nodes: entities or relationships? Chapter 6. Network Links: interactions or transactions? Chapter 7. Network Traffic: creation and sharing Chapter 8. Networks in Context: spatial and temporal issues Chapter 9. Case Studies Chapter 10. Electronic Networks and Teacher Learning Chapter 11. Implications

About the Authors

Robert McCormick is Professor of Education at the Department of Education, The Open University.

Alison Fox is at the Department of Education, University of Cambridge.

Patrick Carmichael is Professor of Educational Research at the Faculty of Education, Community and Leisure, Liverpool John Moores University.

Richard Procter is a research student at the Institute of Education, London.

About the Series

New Perspectives on Learning and Instruction

New Perspectives on Learning and Instruction is published by Routledge in conjunction with EARLI (European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction). The series publishes cutting edge international research focusing on all aspects of learning and instruction in both traditional and non-traditional educational settings. Titles published within the series take a broad and innovative approach to topical areas of research, are written by leading international researchers and are aimed at a research and post-graduate student audience.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / General
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
EDUCATION / Research