, Volume 44, Issue 3–4, pp 311–331 | Cite as

Networks in Education: An Analysis of Selected Discourses

  • Sofia Branco Sousa
  • Alexandra Oliveira Doroftei
  • Helena Costa AraújoEmail author


‘Network’ is a fashionable and current term in every field of contemporary society and education is no exception. In this paper, the concept of network (and other associated concepts, such as partnership and collaboration) is reviewed. Such revision regards selected theoretical contributions and is explored in terms of the use of the concepts in legal documents and in the discourses of aldermen and educational officers from Portuguese municipalities, offering a critical and multi-layered perspective. The analysis reveals the various layers of the network concept, often appearing vague and diffuse. It is a floating signifier disputed by different discourses and embodied by different meanings. This, in turn, brings major research problems linked to the use of the concept of network in education.


Networks Education Discourses 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofia Branco Sousa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexandra Oliveira Doroftei
    • 3
  • Helena Costa Araújo
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.CIPES - Centre for Research in Higher Education PoliciesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.CIPES - Centre for Research in Higher Education PoliciesUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  3. 3.CIIE - Centro de Investigação e Intervenção Educativas, Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da EducaçãoUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal

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