The purpose of this paper is to introduce a social network analysis (SNA) toolkit aiming to enable leaders, educators and researchers work together to deepen their…
The purpose of this paper is to introduce a social network analysis (SNA) toolkit aiming to enable leaders, educators and researchers work together to deepen their understanding of classroom social network dynamics. In doing so, the authors provide both theoretical and practical steps in building a bridge between theory and practice and a step-by-step introduction to designing and implementing SNA to understand socially responsive classrooms. To make the case, the authors present data that were collected through an SNA survey completed by eighth graders in two highly diverse classrooms in Southern California.
Driven by an SNA perspective, the authors highlight the potential value of examining social interdependencies and interconnectedness among students in a classroom network. The SNA toolkit was employed to calculate social network measures and develop network maps for each classroom.
The toolkit has shown to provide a comprehensive platform in gaining important insights into students’ social relationships, particularly those who are underserved and at higher risk of exclusion. The findings have shown that some of the students in the two classrooms were more likely to remain on the periphery of their social networks, particularly those who are traditionally more likely to be marginalized including students with disabilities as well as racially and linguistically diverse students.
The toolkit in the hands of leaders and teachers may provide a powerful tool for personalized professional development and act as a catalyst in bridging the gap between research and practice.
The number of early career teachers leaving the profession continues to be an ongoing issue across the globe. This pressing concern has resulted in increased attention to…
The number of early career teachers leaving the profession continues to be an ongoing issue across the globe. This pressing concern has resulted in increased attention to the instructional and psychological conditions necessary to retain early career educators. However, less formal attention has been paid to the social infrastructure in which early career teachers find themselves. The purpose of this paper is to foreground the role of social capital and its effect on job attitudes and educators’ intention to leave the profession.
Data were collected from 736 teachers within ten secondary schools in Flanders (Belgium). Using social network and multilevel moderated mediation analysis techniques, the relationships between teachers’ social connectedness, job attitudes, and the intention to leave the profession for both novice and experienced teachers were analyzed.
Findings indicate that being socially connected to other educators within the school is associated with a reduction in teachers’ intention to leave the profession, mediated by their job attitudes, for both early career and experienced teachers. However, social connectedness was significantly more important for early career teachers. No significant effects are found for being socially connected to the mentor.
This study provides evidence for the importance of social capital for teachers, particularly early career educators. Moreover, by introducing teachers’ social connectedness as related to intention to leave, this study makes a significant and unique contribution to the literature.
The phenomenon of teachers taking on leadership tasks beyond their classroom duties has become widespread internationally. Although presented as a catalyst for school…
The phenomenon of teachers taking on leadership tasks beyond their classroom duties has become widespread internationally. Although presented as a catalyst for school improvement and professional development, the practices and experiences of teacher leaders are more complex than that. The change in roles blurs the traditional division between teaching and leading and therefore challenges the conventional professional relationships in schools. We conducted semi-structured interviews of 28 ‘teacher leaders’ in Flemish primary and secondary schools. We explored their perceptions and evaluation of their position in schools as well as the way their position and role as teacher leaders affected their professional relations with teacher colleagues and school leaders. The results demonstrate how the introduction of new positions and roles in the school as an organisation affects the professional relationships and collegiality. From a micro-political perspective, we show that the new positions also create emotional labour for the teacher leaders, since they find themselves juggling two different agendas of professional interests: on the one hand, receiving recognition by others of their position as teacher leaders, while on the other hand maintaining their former social–professional relationships as teachers with their former colleagues.
Douwe Beijaard, PhD, is full professor and director of the Eindhoven School of Education, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands. His current research themes are the professional identity, quality and development of (beginning) teachers, as well as teachers’ roles in educational innovations.