Master Education Essay

Question

Analyze the impact of social network on teacher development

Answer

Title: Analyzing the impact of social network on teacher development

Contents

Introduction. 2

Challenges of teacher development in the contemporary school setting. 2

The role of social networks in dealing with the challenges of the teaching profession. 4

Social network and teacher’s professional development 9

The role of school leadership in a social network. 11

Distributed leadership for open innovation and knowledge creation. 13

The role of communication in teacher development 16

Social networks as tools of educational reform.. 18

Conclusion. 20

References. 21

 

Introduction

For school performance to be sustained, teacher development is necessary. Many factors contribute to effectiveness in the process of teacher development. According to Gu & Johansson (2013), one of these factors is social network. Gu & Johansson (2013) point out that social context matters in influencing the social networks that teachers enter into during the process of professional development. The networks greatly influence the leadership skills that teachers will acquire during their careers.

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When success is achieved in terms of teacher development, this may be reflected in overall school improvement. The ability by teachers to maintain resilience in the context of dynamism in relationships within specific networks is critical to overall improvement in school performance over time. One of the main benefits of a good social network in school contexts is that it can mould a teacher into a better leader. The aim of this paper is to discuss the impact of social network on teacher development. The conceptual framework relied upon in this paper emphasizes on how social network creates an ideal environment for teacher development especially with regard to the teachers’ leadership abilities. The thesis of this paper is that social network enables teachers to become more resilient throughout the teacher development process, thereby affording them numerous opportunities to build on their leadership abilities with a view to contribute to improvement in school performance.

Challenges of teacher development in the contemporary school setting

In the contemporary school environment, the process of teacher development is fraught with numerous challenges. Today, the way teachers work and live continues to be subjected to variations, hence the need for resilience, diligence, and determination. The uncertainties in the environment in which teachers operate may easily create problems for efforts towards teacher development. The goal of development is said to have been achieved when teachers are able to sustain all their educational purposes as well as manage all the unavoidable instabilities and uncertainties that come with the practice of the teaching profession.

As teachers seek to develop their abilities, they are faced with personal, organizational, and relational challenges. These challenges are also evident in the professional development programs into which the teachers enrol. They also tend to occur in school leadership, thereby impacting on the extent to which teachers are retained in the profession. To sail through each stage of the teacher’s professional life, social network plays a critical role. Such a network enables the teacher enjoy working with colleagues as well as pupils. It enhances their sense of emotional commitment and intrinsic motivation to give the best service to learners in terms of both educational needs and overall wellbeing.

The task of maintaining emotional and intellectual commitment to a profession is a challenging one. In the case of the teaching profession, the challenge is even greater because the teacher must always be willing to learn new things in the course of his day-to-day work. He must also cultivate an inner desire to help pupils learn, guide their emotions and their feelings, as well as promote relationships with and among them.  Therefore, the teacher must constantly navigate an inner terrain of intrinsic motivation and always maintain a sense of purpose in every task relating to the teaching activity. According to Sachs (2001), this is one of the reasons why the teaching profession is sometimes viewed not just as a profession but also a “calling”.

The teacher must be keen to develop himself both intellectually and morally. This calls for a lot of enthusiasm and commitment. Moreover, the love for children and the desire to see them grow physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually must also exist within the inner being of the teacher. Such a professional passion may not thrive if the teacher has problems maintaining work-life balance. The vocational drive may also be influenced negatively by complexities in the profession, problems with the school administration, and leadership challenges.

The role of social networks in dealing with the challenges of the teaching profession

Today, many teachers look up to team spirit and peer support to enable them to continue developing professionally. They share insights on good practice, positive professional outlook, and ways of dealing with work-related pressure as well as work-life tension. Gu & Day (2013) observe that for teachers who maintain strong networks, personal circumstances do not emerge as a destabilizing factor in their profession. Less experienced teachers get an opportunity to get guidance from their more experienced colleagues. They also get guidance on ways maintaining efficacy in interactions as well as professional demeanour in interactions with pupils, colleagues, parents, and school administrators.

A supportive school culture plays a critical role in nurturing professional growth, maturity, and character. It creates a positive social environment and a learning community that provides all teachers with an incentive to impart knowledge to pupils, thereby contributing to overall wellbeing of society. This becomes possible because teachers are able to make sense of the complexities surrounding their profession. They are also able to understand that social and economic circumstances are always changing, not just in the teaching profession but also in the world at large. In this situation, teachers are more likely to spend most of their time seeking opportunities for professional growth than lamenting about their day-to-day challenges.

According to Hargreaves & Fink (2005), the need for social network is supported by the views expressed in positive psychology. In positive psychology, a lot of emphasis is on relation-based assets in terms of enabling individuals achieve personal and professional growth (Hargreaves & Fink, 2005). They achieve this growth by being able to surmount serious day-to-day challenges. The idea is that on is likely to withstand pressure and tension if he sees himself as just one of the participant operating in a large network. This creates the impression that the tensions and pressures constitute a problem to be solved in the context of the entire network (Hargreaves & Fink, 2005).

Bush (2008) states that a social network increases the pool of ideas that is available for any member to draw from. Moreover, networks enlarge and extend the communities of practice, thereby bringing about enormous potential benefits. Such networks are breeding grounds for knowledge creation. The knowledge created in this manner ultimately exerts a positive influence on instructional processes. During network-based interactions, implicit knowledge is generated, which is then made explicit during actual instructional processes.

In the context of a social network, efforts are normally made to construct and negotiate the meaning of problems, objects, artefacts, and events. In this activity, knowledge gradually moves from the individual realm to the organizational realm, and so do the problems and challenges being encountered by members of the network. Ultimately, the social networks influence the leadership practices of members.

According to Coleman & Earley (2005), social networks normally lead to the emergence of the phenomenon of distributed leadership. However, Coleman & Earley (2005) reiterates that efforts should be made to create more awareness on the nature, processes, as well as the effects of distributed leadership. A major concern is on the sustainability of aspects of distributed leadership in the context of the teaching profession. This concern normally emerges because of the way networks connect with each other and the impact they tend to have on the so-called “macro-economies of practice” (Coleman & Earley, 2005).

By bringing teachers together, social networks seem to cure the problem of the fragmented, differentiated, and complex nature of school settings. In many schools, differentiation (both horizontal and vertical) tends to alienate many teachers from interactional and administrative systems. Vertical differentiation occurs when hierarchical processes increase in relation to the size of the school. In contrast, horizontal differentiation occurs in the form of an increase in the number of departmental divisions within an institution.

Schools that undergo this complexity are compelled to redefine leadership roles, restructure leadership functions, and rearrange leadership responsibilities (Davies, Davies, & Ellison, 2005). The rationale for this course of action is to create new opportunities, spaces, and platforms for the process of creating knowledge to occur. However, in many cases, this approach is a risky one because of the inherent risk of counter-productivity. This risk arises because the school administration is likely to focus on structures and systems at the expense of teacher development needs. The school may end up enhancing and extending its leadership density only to neglect the social and professional wellbeing of teachers.

The danger is likely to be even graver if school managers opt to undertake superficial changes while leaving deep-rooted problems intact. This is likely to undermine not only the transformational process but also the process of teacher development. Nevertheless, through social networks, this risk is minimized. Teachers are accorded an opportunity to promote the values of distributed leadership. For example, in today’s technological era, teachers can benefit from networks by creating a platform through which alternative leadership approaches are suggested with the aim of spearheading short- and medium-term curriculum changes to accommodate emerging technological changes (Brundrett & Crawford, 2008).

According to Leithwood, Mascall, & Strauss (2009), close relationships provide “social glue” that enables people address the uncertainties of a changing world. Human beings are naturally inclined to connect with one another through social interactions and networks. When relationships of high quality are forged, individuals gain a sense of wellbeing, positive identity, and efficiency in their day-to-day activities. When an individual gains the perception of wellbeing, he gets the impression that life is worth living. The resulting sense of achievement enables people look forward to being able to address various challenges in their work and lives. When such challenges are finally surmounted, a sense of fulfilment is achieved.

MacGilchrist, Myers, & Reed (2004) point out that high-quality relationships and networks have a critical role to play in sustaining teachers through times during their careers through daily nourishment. Supportive relationships with colleagues tend to have a positive impact on teachers’ ability to remain on course in terms of their calling to the teaching profession (MacGilchrist, Myers, & Reed, 2004). They enable the teacher to perform in an effective manner even when they anticipate encountering crises, tensions, challenges, and conflict as part of their everyday life at school. The teacher gets a range of opportunities to create an environment of shared values, visions, and trust with other teachers. These opportunities are a great source of strength through collective capacity.

Indeed, the value of collective strength in social networks in the teaching profession should not be underestimated. It creates strong communities of teachers who interact in a knowledgeable and assertive manner. This resulting element of confidence enables teachers to spearhead change within the existing professional networks. They amass social capital that enables them to have a strong sense of belonging whenever they are in the school community. Furthermore, it provides them with the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual resources required for professional development.

According to O’Donoghue & Clarke (2010), the different contexts in which teachers operate call for the establishment of different social networks. They are compelled to maintain different interpersonal relationships, each with its distinct sets of roles. For example, the relationship that a teacher enters into with students differs remarkably with the one he enters into with teachers, the school principal, and parents. Of all these, a trusting relationship with other teachers seems to be of the greatest relevance. This is simply because one’s colleagues are the ones that can best understand the sense of resilience required to surmount the challenges of the profession. Without this social support from colleagues, the teacher may not succeed in maintaining positive relationships with students, the school principal, and parents. In Boisot’s (2003) view, a teacher who lacks this kind of support is also likely to face the problems of depersonalization and emotional exhaustion.

Some teachers work in schools where circumstances are challenging especially in socio-economically disadvantaged communities. To sustain a sense of efficacy, these teachers need social networks. A positive social network not only boosts morale but also creates an atmosphere of effectiveness in day-to-day professional activities. The teachers may even lack parental supporting, thereby creating a high risk of a culture of low morale across the school community. The external challenge may sometimes be overwhelming to the enthusiastic teacher. One of the best solutions for such a teacher is to form positive relational bonds with colleagues and pupils alike. Such bonds create sustained engagement both teachers and pupils throughout the learning process. In this way, the teachers build a strong spirit of collective efficacy and teamwork that ultimately becomes noticeable to pupils.

Davies & Ellison (2003) argue that the robustness that comes with a sense of capability in a social network creates positive expectations and cultural norms for success. These expectations and norms encourage members of the network to demonstrate sustained resilience towards desired ends. In the school settings, these ends should be related to the progress of students in terms of achievement. Improvement in school performance is one of the indicators of a robust social network that brings together teachers, the school principal, pupils, and parents.

Social network and teacher’s professional development

            Social networks are of utmost relevance in enabling teachers achieve their goals in terms of professional development. For example, the discussions that take place in a social network provide teachers with a platform where they can share information on the legislative changes that impact upon their work. Some of the issues that can be discussed within a social network include assessment, national curriculum, performance management, and inspection.

Teachers need to pursue professional development to be effective in the classroom. Just like pupils, teachers have continuous learning needs whose objective is to enable them contribute to issues affecting the whole school as well as improvement in classroom practice. The new insights obtained also enable them manage change, take new responsibilities, and acquire new skills.

In the context of a social network, a teacher endeavours to stay up to date not because they have to, but because they feel the need to do their job better and appreciate the difference they can make. The teachers who pursue professional development start by acknowledging that effective learning is about adapting to the needs of the learner and not the acquisition of a fixed set of skills. When teachers understand their own learning processes, they increase their chances of enabling pupils adhere to the same processes.

The need for professional development is not restricted to teachers. It also extends to head teachers, lecturers, para-professional staff, and inspectors. Whenever teachers and administrators come together in the pursuit of professional development, the importance of a social network becomes evident. In the context of a social network, teachers, administrators, inspectors, and para-professional staff members are likely to find numerous areas of similarity as far as learning needs are concerned.

Most of the on-the-job professional development opportunities for teachers exist in social-network contexts. Through social relations with colleagues, a teacher in pursuit of learning opportunities which are easy to access and are of high quality. The opportunities are available through case study meetings, coaching from a colleague, collaborative planning with other teachers, as well as collaborative projects that bring together colleagues from the same school or neighbouring schools. A teacher may also gain valuable insights from a critical friend who demonstrates the keenness to pursue improvement in the operations of the department or school.

It is also common for teachers to highlight certain topics and to discuss them with their colleagues, other professionals, parents, education social workers, and pupils in a formal environment (Gewirtz, Ball, & Bowe, 1995). In just the same way, teachers who share the same interest may come together to pursue e-learning activities. Similarity of interest may also drive a teacher into swapping his job with a colleague within the school or in another school. This creates exposure to new areas of professional development. An alternative to job swapping is the practice of observing the lesson of a colleague or inviting a colleague to observe one’s lesson (Gewirtz, Ball, & Bowe, 1995).

Hargreaves & Fink (2005) argue that through social interactions, teachers clarify their values, engage in personal development planning, lead development, and promote strategic action planning. In other words, they promote a culture of reflection and enquiry. In such a culture, the contributions of groups of teachers is often compared with that of department teams, thereby creating a cohesive network based on sharing of ideas in the school. With time, the positive impact of social networks becomes evident through behavioural and attitudinal changes among teachers.

The role of school leadership in a social network

School leadership plays a critical role in determining the way social networks are formed, perceptions of teachers towards them, and their efficacy. In most cases, the strongest networks are established in schools where “exceptional” leadership is demonstrated (Gewirtz, et al, 2009). Moreover, most teachers tend to have an “easier beginning” during their careers because of the recognition and support that they receive from school leaders. Moreover, teachers who are promoted to senior leadership positions tend to gain a new sense of commitment to their professional development.

When a collaborative school culture exists, teachers who have been promoted to leadership positions tend to gain ideas from numerous quarters regarding ways of become more efficacious in their work and how to improve their sense of professionalism. For teachers, strong leadership support is a great source of a sense of belonging and confidence. It gives teachers the motivation to recover from work-related setbacks and to gather the courage to continue making a difference to the learning outcomes and levels of achievement for pupils.

School leadership greatly influences organizational culture, and by extension, the way roles and responsibilities of teachers are defined. Some organizational cultures facilitate the flow of information while others hinder it. Teachers who would like to belong to as many social networks as possible within the school may have a difficult time trying to adjust to an organizational culture that hinders the free flow of information. Such teachers may not succeed in managing the tensions and complexities of the day professional life of a teacher.

Day & Leithwood (2007) conducted an international longitudinal study aimed at investigating the impact of strong leadership on successful teachers and school principals. Day & Leithwood (2007) found out that the principals’ leadership qualities as well as their contextually sensitive strategies played a critical role in building collective loyalty, commitment, and engagement among teachers.

Strong school leadership creates room for what Hargreaves & Fink (2005) refer to as “waves of standardized reform”. This standardized reform is made possible by the organizational conditions nurtured by school leaders. The reform process tends to be enhanced when the ideal personal and group conditions are promoted. According to Hargreaves & Fink (2005), the best way through which leaders can create the ideal personal and group conditions is by buffering the impact of external changes. Teachers tend to acquire a sense of renewal when internal conditions favour the establishment of social networks.

For school leadership to contribute to teacher development in an effective manner, it must be based on an appropriate policy framework. Those who are involved in the creation of such a framework must also know how to maintain a balance between practical and theoretical aspects (Harris, 2004). Leadership development efforts should be informed as much by research as by real-life practices. Consequently, it is important to ensure that those who are in charge of leadership development not only have the appropriate accreditation but also have the necessary experience as far as educational leadership is concerned. This experience is important given the increasingly complex world of globalization in which teachers must operate today.

Distributed leadership for open innovation and knowledge creation

Having established a connection between leadership and social network in school network, focus should now be on the notion of distributed leadership and its impact on teacher development. The term “distributed leadership” has been a subject of intense research by scholars interested in teacher development in recent years (Leithwood, Mascall, & Strauss, 2009; O’Donoghue & Clarke, 2010; Hargreaves & Fink 2005; Coleman & Earley, 2005). According to Leithwood, Mascall, & Strauss (2009), the perspective of distributed leadership is based on the view that organizational tools and routines constitute a core element of educational practice. Leadership practice is defined on the basis of interactions between leaders and followers. Over time, these interactions lead to the transformation of leadership once the right routines and tools are chosen.

In some cases, it may not be clear that the patterns adhered to in terms of leadership activity can heavily influence the choice of routines and tools for teachers (Sachs, 2001). This, according to Sachs (2001), implies that proper choice of patterns in the course of all school leadership activities is important in determining the nature of interactions among teachers. In most cases, school leaders have to make a choice between a hierarchical model and a lateral model of organizational architecture. In this case, the bottom line is that one should never view the practice of leadership in isolation from the organizational setting. In other words, the way in which leadership is distributed greatly influences the nature and efficacy of networks that teachers enter into as part of their professional development.

According to Leithwood, Mascall, & Strauss (2009), distributed leadership impacts positively not only on the formation of social networks in school settings but also on improvement in pupil outcomes. In these networks, teachers are able to engage in research and development (R and D), thereby contributing to the process of knowledge creation. However, in the context of social networks, teachers do not confine their knowledge creation activities to the formal boundaries of R and D. To create a distinction in this regard, Leithwood, Mascall, & Strauss (2009), proposes the use of the term “Development and Research” (D and R). In D and R networks, members have a critical role to play in the process of not only creating knowledge but also disseminating it.

D and R networks can also be established in school-to-school contexts (Leithwood, Mascall, & Strauss, 2009). This would essentially involve the formation of social relationships among teachers from neighbouring schools (Leithwood, Mascall, & Strauss, 2009). In today’s internet age, teachers can reach out to their colleagues from different parts of the country through online communication with a view to enlarge their network. Such a practice would be a demonstration of efforts to harness the most efficacious sources of innovation while establishing new networks in the process. Through online interactions, participants can innovate in an “open environment” (Leithwood, Mascall, & Strauss, 2009). This is unlike in traditional R & D settings where strict formal guidelines, procedures, regulations, and structures must be complied with (Leithwood, Mascall, & Strauss, 2009).

Kyriacou (2001) argues that for social networks to lead to knowledge creation while at the same time maintaining the social touch, they must be premised on the ideals of decentralization of structure, distribution, and discipline. In this regard, distribution entails the way the innovation agenda is constructed. On the other hand, discipline is critical because it enables members of the network adhere strictly to a specific framework for organizing innovation. In schools where these ideals are non-existent, the school leadership that is effective in its work may be compelled t impose a requirement for teachers to outline and define clear plans for managing innovation as well as improving on the existing teaching and learning practices.

Through distributed leadership, teacher development efforts are highly to succeed because of the opportunities that teacher get to form social networks (Muijs, 2003). The networks act as excellent platforms for redesigning education in such a way that a culture of co-construction and personalization is entrenched (Muijs, 2003). This enhances the level of commitment to professional development among teachers and school leaders. At the same time, the entire school community benefits from a pool of experience, learning, and support for pupils, thereby contributing to improvement in the overall school performance.

When teachers get a platform for open innovation and knowledge creation, they feel more empowered to maintain a sense of resilience in their careers (Harris, 2003). This is made possible by the quality of leadership provided in the environments in which they operate. Social networks are important in this regard because they create an effective platform through which teachers can consult, share ideas, and obtain information about how the school system functions. The networks can especially be very useful for new teachers as well as those teachers who are at the beginning of their teaching careers. Such teachers get a supportive environment in which as aspects of both social interactions and knowledge creation are promoted. Teachers learn to forge trusting relationships with their colleagues. Moreover, they become aware of each others’ similarities and differences in the academic and social interests. The resulting collective sense of belonging, purpose, resilience, and efficacy contributes positively to the overall personal and professional wellbeing of the teacher.

The role of communication in teacher development

Communication plays a critical role in the social networks that teachers form in efforts to sustain a sense of commitment, motivation, and resilience in their day-to-day work. Social networks provide an excellent channel through which various messages are communicated and ideas exchanged. Robinson (2008) argues that in the absence of communication, chaos is likely to ensure especially when the environment is unstable and is constantly changing. In school settings, teachers are likely to worry, get into arguments, and affirm their strong, sometimes divergent views. Without a long-standing friendship and a common purpose that comes from membership to an informal social network, conflicts are likely to emerge. Social networks enable members enjoy their differences instead of decrying them.

Sachs (2001) indicates that leadership plays a central role in facilitating the process through which a sense of common purpose emerges in a social network. Proper leadership is one that is focused on creating conditions as opposed to giving directions. Such kind of leadership also aims to use its power of authority to empower others. For new knowledge to be created and teacher development fostered, it is imperative for the right conditions to be created. At the outset, an active network that provides a channel of communication should be provided. This network should have multiple feedback loops. These feedback loops lead to the development of a culture that promotes new knowledge. In this network, all members are given an opportunity to continually question and obtain rewards for being innovative. In other words, a culture that value diversity is promoted.

Teachers work in contexts where the level of complexity and unpredictability is very high (Inkpen, 2005). They are called upon to be adaptable to different systems in different times (Inkpen, 2005). To achieve this goal, a stable framework of communication is necessary. Through communication, enduring values and goals are shared. Diversity in skills is also promoted in different social networks. Moreover, interaction is promoted, ideas are shared, and influences are spread throughout the school environment.

Nevertheless, like other institutions, the school is not immune to outside influences (Schlager, 2003). This permeability to influences from external entities compels learning institutions to embrace the emergence of new structures, processes, and ideas (Schlager, 2003). To reconcile the values existing within the school with those from outside, a clear system of values, goals, and purposes is required. School leadership only provides part of the objectives as far as the establishment of a system of values, goals, and purposes is concerned. The rest is achieved through the information communication, most of which occurs in the social networks to which teachers belong. During this communication, teachers discuss candidly the level of adaptability and flexibility needed to respond to changes in the environment. They also reaffirm the need for resilience and commitment in response to adversity and threats.

Education leadership remains one of the best platforms for teachers to use in exercising adaptable and flexible leadership (Coburn, 2008). Interestingly, the lessons learnt in the process of gaining these leadership skills go a long way in promoting teacher development. During this process, teachers learn about the various ways in which institutions and organizations evolve just like living systems. Schools are environments for learning, such that their core product is the educated person. School populations keep changing for different reasons. At the same, new trends keep emerging in today’s globalized world. For example, many school settings are becoming increasingly diverse. In many schools, teachers encounter situations where numerous languages are spoken. Ball, Goodson, & Maguire (2007) argue that if not properly addressed by educational leadership, such massive demographic changes may cause instability within the teaching force.

In such unstable, complex, and volatile environments, effective communication does not happen merely by chance. It is facilitated largely by strong educational leadership. In a society where socio-cultural change continues to occur at an alarming pace, good leadership become more important than ever before. Leaders are needed to steer organizational energy in the right direction by creating avenues through which positive communication can take place. In these efforts, educational leaders ought to appreciate the crucial role of teachers, support personnel, pupils, and support staff members as the fabric of the school; the leaders must weave this fabric with a view to improve the overall level of institutional resilience (Stoll, 2006).

Social networks as tools of educational reform

Teachers have a responsibility of not only promoting their own professional development but also putting in place efforts to contribute to overall educational reform in the schools where they work. After all, their career development goals are best met when the goal of positive change is defined and constantly pursued. The educational leader must appreciate the fact that technology is continually transforming the way people communicate, work and learn in schools, hence the need to adapt to these new circumstances (Lieberman, 2000). Unfortunately, most school systems are organized in a bureaucratic manner and encounter serious difficulties in efforts to embrace change (Lieberman, 2000). The social networks that teachers belong to provide an ideal source of crucial information that school administrators can rely on in their efforts to embrace and actualize technological change in school systems.

The very nature of social networks makes them borderless and innovative, such that collaborative environments are created, efforts are focused on substantive issues, and agendas that promote the interests of all members are chosen (Sachs, 2001). These attributes make social networks the ideal pathways of educational reform for teachers. Through these networks, teachers achieve goals that would otherwise not have been achieved through traditional school bureaucracies (Sachs, 2001).

Some of the partnerships and collaborative initiatives spearheaded by reform-minded networks may embrace ideas from schools that have succeeded in embracing educational reform. The resulting social capital can be tapped into by various communities within the school, thereby enhancing a shared sense of purpose among teachers, pupils, parents, and support staff (De Janasz & Sullivan, 2004). This social capital also gives educational leaders an opportunity to establish strategic alliances that help promote and sustain the core values upon which the school was founded.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the complex and unstable environment in which teachers operate create the need for the established of platform where both social and professional issues are addressed. Through social networks, issues that may not be addressed amicably in formal settings are discussed freely by teachers who come together to develop, promote, and enhance their shared interests. For teachers who are entering the profession or have been transferred to a new school, social networks create a sense of belonging, motivation, and resilience.

In summary, without social networks, teachers may find it difficult to deal with the challenges of the teaching profession. They may also find it difficult to achieve their goals with regard to professional development. When the school leadership embraces a social network, numerous opportunities for innovation, knowledge creation, and career growth are created. Research suggests that it is easier for the goals of open innovation and knowledge creation to be achieved in an environment of distributed leadership. Finally, communication tends to be enhanced in the context of a network, and this ultimately contributes to teacher development. Through communication with pupils, administrators, parents, and support staff, teachers are able to focus not only on professional development but also on educational reform.

 

 

 

 

 

References

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