Networked Learning 3 Sept Maarten De Laat

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Networked learning and teacher professional development

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Networked Learning 3 Sept Maarten De Laat

  1. 1. Feasibility of networked learning for teacher professional development: findings from a literature study Maarten de Laat
  2. 2. Communities in the context of Networks
  3. 6. So…How valuable is our network for professional development? Networks provide access to information Networks provide access to resources Networks provide access to shared practices (Onderwijsraad, 2001) Network characteristics: -Non hierarchical -Match between questions and answers -Evolve and adapt  response to change -Come and go -Have strong and weak ties
  4. 7. <ul><li>Feasibility of networked learning for teacher professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Societal trends </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Rise of’ the network society (Castells, 1996) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-Knowledge economy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Strong focus on innovation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Globalization – everybody can be involved, everybody can have a say </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Network relations are becoming the main drivers instead of hierarchical structures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(peer-to-peer connections) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The network society refers more to learning than education. Learning is linked to innovation and </li></ul><ul><li>results accomplished by groups in dialogue with their ‘customers’ (Onderwijsraad, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Consequence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decentralization of structures and organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation and involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuous access to information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Power to adapt and innovate </li></ul></ul>
  5. 8. <ul><li>Feasibility of networked learning for teacher professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Educational trends </li></ul><ul><li>National initiatives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-’Wet BIO’ and integral HRD (Personeels Beleid: IBP)  new demands on teacher competencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and professional development / lifelong learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Governance report (OCW, 2005) stimulate teacher involvement with policy development and evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>of their own schools </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Modern school (Coonen, 2005) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-Subject to market principles –need to distinguish or target an audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Reward structures for successful schools (more budget) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Reward initiatives for teachers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-appeal to their profession </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Schools decide and develop their own policies in dialogue with a ‘decentralizing’ government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Schools become a learning organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-External training doesn’t match or suffice  attention to workplace learning and collaborations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Increasing acknowledgement for personal and implicit knowledge of the employees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Strong focus on sharing knowledge and knowledge creation (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1997) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Importance of external relations / connection (innovation) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 9. <ul><li>Feasibility of networked learning for teacher professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Professional trends </li></ul><ul><li>Modern teacher </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-Let go of traditional teacher autonomy  hinders professional development. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teams and peer networks increase realization of ambitions and innovative projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Coonen, 2005; Park Rogers, 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Teacher are expected to collaborate with teachers and experts to develop new learning materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Teachers are expected to act as lifelong learners during their career and invest in their own professional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Teachers should actively involve themselves in current debates and take charge of the agenda on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>educational reform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Teachers from consumers  active producers of change </li></ul></ul>
  7. 10. <ul><li>Feasibility of networked learning for teacher professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of networked learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-Teachers participate in communities and networks: local, regional, national and international </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Van der Neut, et al., 2007) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Participation provides teachers with a social structure and context to support professinal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>development (Stijnen, 2003). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Professionalization is most successful when embedded in communities and networks where </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>experienced teachers, researchers and novice teachers work closely together (Ponte et al., 2002) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Link professionalization with experiences of daily practice – focused on real change of this </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>daily practice (Tytler, 2007) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 11. <ul><li>Feasibility of networked learning for teacher professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Some inspiring examples </li></ul><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>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 focused on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>peer support, implementation and exchange of teacher materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Networks spread to other science teachers not originally involved in the project </li></ul></ul>
  9. 12. <ul><li>Feasibility of networked learning for teacher professional development </li></ul><ul><li>National Writing Project : a programme aimed at developing professional development networks </li></ul><ul><li>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 one-another their best practice </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><ul><li>-Engage teachers in reading and discussing relevant literature </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 ; as they play audience to presentations and receiving feedback </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- Researchers through engagement in 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 of this writing network </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>
  10. 13. <ul><li>Feasibility of networked learning for teacher professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher drop-out : projects aimed at developing teacher communities to support novice teachers </li></ul><ul><li> and job coaching (Poelmans, 2005; Smits, Dang, Dewinkele & Dhert, 2005; </li></ul><ul><li> Fulton, Burns & Goldenberg, 2005; Pittinsky, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Success factors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-Develop mutual relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Recognize and discuss shared problems and questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Collective reflection on daily practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-External moderation and guidance from an experienced teacher / facilitator </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teachers seem to learn more from what they tell each other then from expert advice (Dang 2005): </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons learned: </li></ul><ul><li>-Reflect on implicit practical knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>-This process is best served in dialogue with colleagues </li></ul>
  11. 14. <ul><li>Feasibility of networked learning for teacher professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Lieberman & Wood (2002b) studied 16 ‘educational reform networks’ and found some critical success factors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-Networks provide many opportunities to recognize , articulate and share their tacit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>knowledge with each other. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Exchange of ideas bind them together as professionals  develop a sense of community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Networks promote collaborations among members . T </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide access to authentic examples of professional community built around </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>shared work, shared interest, and shared struggle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Networks have the ability to organise activities first , the develop support structures – recognising/testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>bottom up and trail and error innovations before turning it into new policy </li></ul></ul>
  12. 15. <ul><li>Feasibility of networked learning for teacher professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Trends (societal – professional) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Many developments in our society points to participation in networks and communities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>globalization, accessibility, increased involvement (traditional boundaries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>and hierarchies are fading) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Schools are transforming into learning organizations – room for creativity, teacher involvement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>and peer-to-peer learning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Internet facilitates networked learning and participation in online communities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(surfgroepen, digitale school) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Increasing recognition for workplace learning and implicit knowledge </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Feasibility and findings from research </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Learning networks are quite general but found in the periphery of the school </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>rather than a central activity (Onderwijsraad, 2001) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Peer learning from shared practices is powerful </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Networks are formed through personal connections developing trust and deep understanding </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Networks facilitate participation and membership in multiple communities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Finally a word of caution </li></ul><ul><li>-Teacher networks are feasible and nothing new BUT we have to make them more explicit </li></ul><ul><li> make the valuable to teachers and facilitate them as drivers for learning and change </li></ul><ul><li> in school organizations </li></ul>

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