Social networks in (slow) motion: A complexity perspective on network change in the context of educational reform

Nienke Moolenaar

Research output: Working paper

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Abstract

This paper highlights key elements of the research proposal for which I received a Rubicon grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). With this grant, I will be conducting a 2-year study at the University of California, San Diego. The study is aimed at exploring how changes in teachers' social networks support or constrain the implementation of educational reform. Social networks change over time. In schools, social networks among teachers reflect a web of relationships through which teachers exchange valuable resources, such as instructional materials, information, knowledge, and social support. Availability of these resources, or a lack thereof, can support or hinder both teachers’ instructional practice and student achievement, especially in times of educational reform (for instance, the implementation of a new reading curriculum). However, empirical knowledge on social network change during educational reform and its association with educational outcomes is limited. Drawing on complexity theory, and using a mixed method longitudinal design, this study aims to understand how teachers’ social networks change during educational reform and how this network change enhances school improvement in terms of teachers’ instructional practice and student achievement. Understanding the dynamics of social networks in the context of educational reform promises valuable insights for educational theory and practice as these networks may be leveraged to better create, use, and diffuse resources in support of school improvement. Rubicon grant awarded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (grant # 446-10-023).
Original languageUndefined
Place of PublicationEnschede, the Netherlands
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

Name
PublisherUniversity of Twente

Keywords

  • Systems Thinking
  • Social Networking
  • IR-104319
  • Network Analysis
  • Complexity Theory
  • Complexity
  • Social Networks

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