Vocations and Learning

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 175–193 | Cite as

Networks as Agents of Innovation: Teacher Networking in the Context of Vocational and Professional Higher Education Reforms

  • Külliki Tafel-ViiaEmail author
  • Krista Loogma
  • Silja Lassur
  • Anne Roosipõld
Original Paper


The effective implementation of educational reform is an issue that confronts both those that plan and sponsor those reforms and those that are affected by them. This article discusses networking processes in the context of reform in vocational and professional higher education. When exploring failures in educational change processes, issues associated with facilitating the adoption, adaptation and implementation of educational change have not been sufficiently addressed. Here, we use the concept of social innovation, which is relatively new in innovation research, to explain the mechanisms that facilitate educational reform, and emphasise the relationship between interaction and the perception of change. In this paper, we examine how networking among teachers is related to their perception of educational change and how the effective implementation of educational reforms can be influenced by such networking. By differentiating the various types of networks we explore the relationship between networking and educational change. The article is based on the findings of a quantitative survey of 228 Estonian teachers in vocational and professional higher educational schools administered in 2010.


Teacher networks Educational change Vocational and professional higher education reforms Social innovation Estonian survey 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Külliki Tafel-Viia
    • 1
    Email author
  • Krista Loogma
    • 1
  • Silja Lassur
    • 2
  • Anne Roosipõld
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre of Educational ResearchTallinn UniversityTallinnEstonia
  2. 2.Estonian Institute for Futures StudiesTallinn UniversityTallinnEstonia
  3. 3.Estonian Entrepreneurship University for Applied SciencesTallinnEstonia

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