Introduction: Networking in Schools

  • Daniel Muijs
  • Mel Ainscow
  • Chris Chapman
  • Mel West


Traditionally, a network has been defined as a set of actors (individuals or organisations such as schools) connected by a set of ties, which can be of a more or less formal nature (Borgatti & Foster, 2003). The principle of networking and collaboration has become more prevalent and more widely studied in organisations both in the private and public sectors. This move is seen to arise from advances in the understanding of learning and especially the perceived advantages of collaborative learning, and, in the private sector at least, from an increased need for innovation stemming from intensified international competition, that is seen to necessitate flexible networks that can reduce the exposure of firms to risk and uncertainty (Cohen & Levintal, 1990; Borgatti & Foster, 2003). Arguably, this need for increased innovation is also present in the education system, as demands on the system have increased due to a greater political interest in education.


Collaborative Learning School Improvement School Network Collaborative Arrangement Challenging Circumstance 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Muijs
    • 1
  • Mel Ainscow
    • 2
  • Chris Chapman
    • 2
  • Mel West
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Southampton, School of EducationSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.University of Manchester, School of EducationManchesterUK

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