Implementing and leading change in schools relies on professional communities in which staff can share knowledge and support, often referred to as a communities of practice (CoPs). Research suggests that collegial networks help teachers engage in innovative practice, especially when they come together to solve problems for students’ learning. My doctoral research project ‘Making Sense of Teachers’ Communities of Practice with Social and Epistemic Network Analysis’ studies the formation of CoPs aiming to understand how knowledge is shared amongst practitioners; and how participation in a community influences individual practice and sense-making. In this presentation I will consider how research could support school change efforts by facilitating collaboration and reflection around issues that matter to staff, and ultimately their students.
Barbara Dzieciatko is a former teacher in Scotland with 5 years of experience. She is a current full-time PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, Moray House School of Education and Sport funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. She is dedicated to educational research and its potential to inform improved experiences for teachers and students.