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Enhancing use of learning sciences research in planning for and supporting educational change: Leveraging and building social networks

An Erratum to this article was published on 19 April 2016

Abstract

This paper explores practical ways to engage two areas of educational scholarship—research on science learning and research on social networks—to inform efforts to plan and support implementation of new standards. The standards, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS; NGSS Lead States in Next generation science standards: For states, by states. National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2013), have been adopted by U.S. states serving more than one-quarter of all students, and they are grounded in decades of research on how students learn science. In this paper we discuss efforts to leverage recent research on social networks to inform standards implementation across a set of professional associations and school districts. These efforts are being undertaken by the Research + Practice Collaboratory which is testing a set of conjectures related to how the knowledge base from both research and practice can mutually inform STEM education improvement.

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Notes

  1. Formal leaders is a term that refers to people with designated roles in organizations (e.g., states, districts) for carrying out leadership functions, such as allocating resources, making policies, providing coaching and feedback to teachers, and the like. Informal leaders refer to “go-to” people in an organization who are not in formal roles of authority, that is, people to whom others turn for advice or help, particularly on matters of instruction. This definition is consistent with its emerging use within studies of distributed leadership (e.g., Spillane and Coldren 2010) and social networks in education (e.g., Sun et al. 2013a, b).

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Correspondence to William R. Penuel.

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Penuel, W.R., Bell, P., Bevan, B. et al. Enhancing use of learning sciences research in planning for and supporting educational change: Leveraging and building social networks. J Educ Change 17, 251–278 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10833-015-9266-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10833-015-9266-0

Keywords

  • Implementation
  • Research–practice partnerships
  • Research use
  • Social networks
  • Standards