Professional Learning Networks: Harnessing Collaboration to Achieve the Scale-Up of Effective Education Practices
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The emergence of learning networks within education has been driven by the coming together of a number of key factors and trends. First is the interconnected and pervasive nature of the issues facing education today (Díaz-Gibson et al. 2017). For example, the requirement on schools to close attainment gaps between different groups of children (e.g., gaps between affluent and disadvantaged students). Typically the nature of such problems makes them too great and too complex for individual schools to tackle effectively by themselves. At the same time, changes to educational structures have seen the dismantling of old ways of working, such as the provision of top-down support for school improvement, and the introduction of new approaches with an individualized focus. The result is an increased emphasis on education systems that are “self-improving and school-led,” with a concomitant focus on school leaders themselves to drive forward school improvement. Accompanying this...
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