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A networked learning perspective on teacher professional development

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Eapril Keynote Maarten De Laat 2009

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A networked learning perspective on teacher professional development

  1. 1. A networked learning perspective on teacher professional development Maarten de Laat [email_address] Keynote presentation EAPRIL, 18-20 November, Trier, Germany
  2. 3. <ul><li>Learning is a social network relation </li></ul><ul><li>(Haythornthwaite, 2008) </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>Learning is a social network relation </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>Learning is social interaction </li></ul>exchange community working together feedback questioning reflection transfer networking sharing experiences
  5. 6. What is social networking?
  6. 7. Network characteristics <ul><li>Have a shared purpose and focus </li></ul><ul><li>Match between demand and supply </li></ul><ul><li>Are interactive and adapt to changes (internal and external sources) </li></ul><ul><li>Are self-governing and have their own rules and goals </li></ul><ul><li>Come and go </li></ul><ul><li>A culture of trust, openness and safety are essential </li></ul><ul><li>Productive networks are small </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic tools can support them but they are based on social interactions </li></ul>
  7. 8. Network competencies <ul><li>Spanning structural boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Making transitions </li></ul><ul><li>Communication skills </li></ul><ul><li>Problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>Power relationships </li></ul><ul><li>(Walton, 1999) </li></ul>
  8. 9. How can social networking support learning? <ul><li>Networked learning is about something! </li></ul><ul><li>A central theme or object that connects </li></ul><ul><li>networked relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking can bring people together </li></ul><ul><li>Identify shared interests </li></ul><ul><li>Developing learning friendships </li></ul><ul><li>Share experiences and build new knowledge </li></ul>
  9. 10. http://www.networkedlearningconference.org.uk/ hotseats social networking site
  10. 11. What is networked learning?
  11. 12. What is networked learning? <ul><li>Early definition of networked learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The use of ICT to promote collaborative or cooperative connections between learners, their tutors and learning resources (Steeple and Jones, 2002) </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. What is networked learning ? Around the task Technical affordances of NL On the task
  13. 14. What is networked learning? <ul><li>Social aspects of NL </li></ul><ul><li>How do people engage in NL activity? </li></ul><ul><li>What constitutes a learning connection? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the quality of NL? </li></ul><ul><li>What are NL competencies? </li></ul><ul><li>Explore issues around </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-membership, multi-identiy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Coping’ with multiple perspectives </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>The use of ‘ ICT ’ to promote collaborative or cooperative connections between learners, their tutors and learning resources </li></ul>What is networked learning? <ul><li>The use of ‘ social relationships ’ to promote collaborative or cooperative connections between learners, their tutors and learning resources </li></ul>
  15. 16. What is networked learning? <ul><li>Networked learning views learning as a social network connection aimed at creating and maintaining a ‘web’ of social relationships for sharing, building and renegotiating knowledge together. </li></ul>Quote from a learning friend in the networked learning site: “ Let me emphasize the word networked, which translation to Spanish and Italian represent the kernel of intercultural dialogue: to see reality from several points of view, to ‘build reality’ ”
  16. 17. What is networked learning <ul><li>Underpinning assumptions </li></ul><ul><li>Networked learning is based on the idea that people have a lot of experiences and knowledge and that professionalization is a process of peer learning connected with daily practice around shared work related problems (Leenheer, 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Networks facilitate individual collaboration and leave it to the individuals to determine the content and form of knowledge sharing (Walton, 1999). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In such a network, power is distributed; everyone owns their own situation; those who can make continuous adaptations to discontinuous change survive and flourish. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People create through their network new shared meaning; they legitimise new ways of behaving; they provide systemic (as opposed to programmatic) solutions; and they provide a framework in which focused improvement efforts can be launched. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Why networked learning? <ul><li>Networked learning has a broad focus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crosses into many sectors: education, workplace, society, life long learning (as opposite to CSCL, CSCW) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ranges from individual – collective learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Egotistical to communal learning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combines informal and formal learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combines social and technical aspects of learning </li></ul></ul>
  18. 19. ego-network whole-network
  19. 20. Why networked learning? <ul><li>Networked learning has a broad focus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crosses into many sectors: education, workplace, societal, life long learning (as opposite to CSCL, CSCW) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ranges from individual – collective learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Egotistical to communal learning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applies to informal and formal learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combines social and technical aspects of learning </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Literature on teacher networks for professional development
  21. 22. Literature on teacher networks for professional development <ul><li>Networks provide a social infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher networks provides a social structure and context to support professional development (Stijnen, 2003). </li></ul><ul><li>Networks promote collaborations among members. They provide authentic examples of professional community built around shared work, shared interest, and shared struggle (Lieberman & Wood, 2002a). </li></ul><ul><li>Professionalization is most successful when embedded in communities and networks where experienced teachers, researchers and novice teachers work closely together (Ponte et al., 2002). </li></ul>
  22. 23. Literature on teacher networks for professional development <ul><li>Networks provide a social infrastructure (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>Networks to ‘prevent’ teacher drop-out </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online teacher networks to support beginning teachers during workplace learning (Poelmans, 2005; Smits, Dang, Dewinkele & Dhert, 2005; Fulton, Burns & Goldenberg, 2005; Pittinsky, 2005) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recognition based on shared questions and work challenges </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect on daily practice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop mutual relationships </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Teachers learn a lot more from what they tell each other than what they are told by an expert (Dang 2005): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Important to reflect on (shared) practical knowedge and expereinced work related problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refltion through dialogue with colleagues </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. Literature on teacher networks for professional development <ul><li>Networks facilitate sharing and developing knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher networks provide numerous opportunities to recognize, articulate and share their own tacit knowledge with each other. (Lieberman & Wood, 2002a). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exchange of ideas bind them together as professionals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Networks help ‘like-minded’ teachers with solving work-related problems through sharing experiences, discuss each other questions and provide feedback (Vandeberghe, 2001). </li></ul>
  24. 25. Literature on teacher networks for professional development <ul><li>Networks help in realising change </li></ul><ul><li>When working outside of the traditional framework / comfort zone it is valuable to connect with others going through a similar transition (Dresner & Starvel, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher networks are powerful when it comes to learn and implement school innovations (Lieberman & Wood, 2002b). </li></ul><ul><li>Link professionalization with experiences of daily practice – focus networks on real change of this daily practice (Tytler, 2007). </li></ul>
  25. 26. Literature on teacher networks for professional development <ul><li>Networks assert influence </li></ul><ul><li>Networks have the ability to organise activities first, they develop support structures, recognise and est innovations before policy (Lieberman & Wood, 2002a) </li></ul><ul><li>Networks are characterised by shared / distributed leadership, which is a powerful lever for spreading the work of networks Earl & Katz, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Networks of teachers have the ability to influence and develop school policy (Stijnen, 2003) </li></ul>
  26. 27. Two inspiring examples <ul><li>Teacher in the Woods : a collaboration between science teachers and ecological researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Network project on professional development on real world ecological research (Dresner & Worley, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Science learning & innovating science teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Short term effects: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engaging teachers in real world field science research is an effective way of learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collegiality among teachers and scientists developed during the project enhances science learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collegiality among teachers provides opportunities to discuss pedagogy-related issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Long term effects: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collegiality provided confidence to implement innovation in the classroom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networks continued to exist (voluntary) after the project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>peer support, implementation and exchange materials </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networks spread to other science teachers </li></ul></ul>
  27. 28. Two inspiring examples <ul><li>National Writing Project : a programme aimed at developing professional development networks Lieberman & Wood (2002a). </li></ul><ul><li>2 founding principles: </li></ul><ul><li>-Deep understanding arises from practice </li></ul><ul><li>-Teachers are the best teachers for other teachers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Summer school aimed at becoming a member of the network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creating forums for teachers to teach best practices </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Providing opportunities for teachers to write and read stories in response groups </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Several roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Become colleagues when giving teaching demonstrations and feedback </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learners ; by listening to presentations and receiving feedback </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Researchers through engagement in joint research and professional discussion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Households as they rotate community facilitating jobs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outcome </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strong sense of membership and shared leadership </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Familiarity with the goals and shared ownership </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Commitment to developing a shared learning agenda </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Outgoing – trying to grow the network in their own local region. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 29. Researching teacher networks
  29. 30. Researching teacher networks <ul><li>Focus on practice-based research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research in and with practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use a design team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpret findings and develop interventions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interventions should be meaningful for professional development in daily practice as well as data collection </li></ul>
  30. 31. Two perspectives ego-network whole-network
  31. 32. Researching teacher networks <ul><li>(De Laat, 2006) </li></ul>
  32. 33. Researching teacher networks <ul><li>General questions </li></ul><ul><li>How they build connections? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Latent, weak, strong network ties </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand how they utilize these connections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Successful NL activities, competencies, roles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand what they ‘produce’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What constitutes a learning tie? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What value do they create? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does this benefit professional development? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>See how they develop over time and what they can be supported </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitation, organisation backing </li></ul></ul>
  33. 34. Research programme Ruud de moor Centrum <ul><li>School-based projects on professional development: a networked learning approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aimed at teachers / groups of teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building, supporting and evaluating teacher networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing instruments and tools </li></ul></ul>Social Technical Organisational
  34. 35. Research programme Ruud de moor Centrum <ul><li>3 Distinct phases </li></ul><ul><li>1 Feasibility – network scan, </li></ul><ul><li>2 Facilitation – network mirror & the brain </li></ul><ul><li>3 Evaluation – barometer, (pre post test) evaluation studies </li></ul><ul><li>Overview of the instruments: </li></ul><ul><li>presentations on findings with teachers networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hindering/success factors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to facilitate networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using the Network Mirror </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluating networked learning communities </li></ul></ul>
  35. 36. 1 Feasibility – Network scan
  36. 37. 2 Facilitation – Network mirror 1 Visualise (informal) networks: - Who is talking to whom? 2 Feedback and an online generative dialogue with the entire population. - What are they talking about? - Why are they talking in such a way? 3 Interventions for facilitating and securing networked learning within organizations (Based on Homan, 2007)
  37. 38. 2 Facilitation – Network mirror <ul><li>Step 1 Detecting social networks on a particular topic </li></ul>Each color is a cluster of schools in a particular region Each cluster consists of school spread over different locations with that region
  38. 39. 2 Facilitation – Network mirror <ul><li>Step 2 online </li></ul><ul><li>generative dialogue and </li></ul><ul><li>group thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Some illustrative outcomes: </li></ul><ul><li>it’s important to start sharing practice / experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Desire to share products, methods, and lesson materials </li></ul><ul><li>Preference to focus on collaboration on the regional clusters first </li></ul>
  39. 40. 2 Facilitation – Network mirror <ul><li>Step 3 Matching step 1 & 2. </li></ul>Design interventions with design team
  40. 41. 2 Facilitation – The brain Knowledge market of supply and demand ‘ Ebay’ for teachers
  41. 42. 3 Evaluation <ul><li>Barometer </li></ul>(Smith & Coenders, 2002) Design team Design team Evaluation
  42. 43. … concluding remarks <ul><li>Networked learning: You can’t get it by definition, you have to experience it </li></ul><ul><li>- Workshop - instruments </li></ul><ul><li>- Hotseats @ Networked learning Conference </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7 dec Charalambos Vrasidas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>18 jan Grainne Conole </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15 feb Gavriel Salomon & Rupert Wegerif </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>+ Etienne Wenger & Yrjo Engestrom </li></ul></ul><ul><li>- Cloudworks.ac.uk </li></ul>

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