Somerville, M.M.& Howard,Z. (2010) Information in context: Co- designing workplace structures and systems for organizational learning. Information Research, 15(4).
This paper discusses an ‘information in context’ design project at Auraria Library in Denver, Colorado which aims to collaboratively create organizational structures and communication systems with and for library employees. This project resulted in several of the co-designed knowledge initiatives being implemented within Auraria Library to enhance communication, decision making and planning systems. These included both face to face and technology enabled initiatives such as such as ‘brown bag’ lunches to a new wiki based intranet system. This project advances professional practice through better understanding how to create workplace contexts that cultivate individual and collective learning through situated ‘information in context’ experiences. An appreciative framework was developed which values information sharing and enables knowledge creation through shared leadership.
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Kenneth A Frank, Yong Zhao, Kathryn Borman (2004) Social Capital and the Diffusion of Innovations Within Organizations: The Case of Computer Technology in Schools, Sociology of Education Volume: 77, Issue: 2, Publisher: American Sociological Association, Pages: 148-171
Although the educational community has learned much about better educational practices, less is known about processes for implementing new practices. The standard model of diffusion suggests that people change perceptions about the value of an innovation through communication, and these perceptions then drive implementation. But implementation can be affected by more instrumental forces. In particular, members of a school share the common fate of the organization and affiliate with the common social system of the organization. Thus, they are more able to gain access to each others’ expertise informally and are more likely to respond to social pressure to implement an innovation, regardless of their own perceptions of the value of the innovation. This article characterizes informal access to expertise and responses to social pressure as manifestations of social capital. Using longitudinal and network data in a study of the implementation of computer technology in six schools, the authors found that the effects of perceived social pressure and access to expertise through help and talk were at least as important as the effects of traditional constructs. By implication, change agents should attend to local social capital processes that are related to the implementation of educational innovations or reforms.
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Joan E. Talbert (2009) Professional Learning Communities at the Crossroads: How Systems Hinder or Engender Change, Springer International Handbooks of Education, 2009, Volume 23, Part 3
My observations stem from 10 years of research in the Center for Research on the Context of Teaching (CRC) at Stanford University. Scholars at CRC have been studying initiatives to create teacher PLCs in schools and to change school districts into learning organizations. All are struggling to get it right – to achieve the vision of teachers collaborating to continually improve student achievement. We find that system conditions that support the work of PLCs – such as a comprehensive education plan, integrated learning resources, local knowledge resources, robust data and accountability system, extended time for teacher collaboration, and leaders committed to PLCs – are not sufficient to engender change in professional culture and teachers’ work lives. This chapter addresses the question of why teachers respond negatively to PLC initiatives that aim to increase their professional judgment and accountability. First, I discuss core principles of a PLC and how they challenge typical school culture. Then I describe two paradigmatic approaches to PLC development and how participants typically respond to each approach. And finally, I draw lessons from school district experience with PLCs and identify the obstacles that must be overcome if this approach to improved student learning outcomes is to be successful.
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Feger, S., Arruda, E. (2008) Professional Learning Communities: Key Themes from the Literature, Review conducted by The Education Alliance at Brown University under a subcontract from Hezel Associates, LLC, general evaluation contractor for PBS TeacherLine.
Over the past twenty-five years, the educational literature has devoted considerable attention to the topic of professional learning communities (PLCs). A search of the literature on PLCs reveals a broad range of publications from guidelines for organizing PLCs, to research on their implementation. However, rigorous research and evaluation studies of PLCs are limited in number. Much of the practitioner literature on PLCs has described the processes and stages that occur along their developmental trajectory. As learning communities evolve as a strategy for professional development on a larger scale, there is a small but emerging literature that looks critically at PLC models and their impact on teaching practice and student learning. Collectively, the literature on PLCs is a rich and promising body of work that offers valuable opportunities for further exploration.
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Kitchenham, A. D., (2009) School cultures, teachers, and technology transformation, Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology (2009) 35(2) Spring
This article outlines a recent study on school culture and technology adoption. Adapting Hargreaves’ (2003) model of school cultures, research findings are presented on three schools involved in a study on teacher transformation using educational technology to explain how each school represents a separate school culture and school regime. Each school is profiled to demonstrate, through direct quotes from the participants, how a specific school culture or regime can reflect varying degrees of transformation, and subsequent technology adoption.
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