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The Power of Professional Learning Networks: Traversing the present; transforming the future

The Power of Professional Learning Networks: Traversing the present; transforming the future

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This book provides a stimulating insight into the current state of the art of professional learning networks and the transformative difference they are poised to make to our educational future. Drawing on a wealth of expertise, each chapter is written by leading thinkers and doers in the field, and covers a range of topics and emerging areas.

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Now, more than ever, it seems that the age of professional learning networks has well and truly arrived. The rise and proliferation of digital communication, coupled with the circumstances enforced during the pandemic experience, have led to a dynamic re-imagining of Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) – both in terms of what they are for and what they can achieve. Set against this context this book provides a stimulating insight into the current state of the art of professional learning networks and the transformative difference they are poised to make to our educational future. Drawing on a wealth of expertise, each chapter is written by leading thinkers and doers in the field, and covers a range of topics and emerging areas. These include: the professional learning vistas opened up through digital opportunities; how these networks have helped to enhance teachers’ identity and sense of well-being: the new sense of practitioner ownership and partnership now at the heart of PLNs; new openings for professionalisation; how PLNs have become vehicles for radically different forms of professional development and learning; and what this all means for school leadership.

About the Authors

Graham Handscomb is Honorary Professor with University College London (UCL) and Visiting Professor at Bolton University. He was Professor of Education and Dean of The College of Teachers. He has an extensive career of senior leadership of local authorities and schools and twenty years’ teaching experience. Graham has made a considerable contribution to the development of school-based practitioner enquiry and pioneered the concept of the Research Engaged School. He wrote the criteria to establish the national Research Mark Award for the National Foundation for Educational Research. Graham was a member of the National College for School Leadership Networked Learning Communities Assessment Panel. He led the creation of the National discipleship training programme for the United Reformed Church.

As an educational consultant he works with schools, Teaching Schools Alliances and Trusts throughout the UK and has also a range of international experience including developing teacher and leadership development programmes in the UAE and in Wuxi and Suzhou, Jiangsu, China. He is a fellow of numerous universities and organisations and was a senior member of Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge. Graham is editor of Professional Development Today and sits on the editorial boards of a number of journals, including Creative Teaching and Learning, and the Journal of Contemporary English Teaching and Learning in Non-English Speaking Countries.

Chris Brown is Professor in Education at Durham University's School of Education. His own interest in networks began with a chance encounter and a leftfield conversation at the age of five, which resulted in a life-changing difference: the idea that after school, there was a thing called 'university'. In addition to his lived experience in this area, Chris’ research activity is also focused on driving forward understanding as to how networks can be used to improve people’s life chances, as well as close the outcomes gaps that exist between the richest and poorest communities. This work has been recognized from its innovative nature. For example, in 2018 Chris received a Siftung Mercator Foundation Senior Fellowship, one of only six awarded annually. Other recent prizes received by Chris include the 2015 American Educational Research Association ‘Emerging Scholar’ award and the 2016 UCEA Jeffrey V. Bennett Outstanding International Research award. Chris was also recently awarded a significant research grant by the German Foundation Bosch 'Stiftung' to examine the effectiveness of area-based reforms: in themselves a specific form network-based approach to improving the outcomes of the most impoverished communities.

Additional Information

Author Graham Handscomb and Chris Brown
ISBN 9781915261274
No of pages 240
Format Paperback
Publication Date 30 Jun 2022

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