Network Learning for Educational Change

By Wiel Veugelers; Mary John O'hair | Go to book overview

eight
Networking as a strategy for
restructuring basic and further
teacher education

Tero Autio and Eero Ropo


Introduction

Networking in teacher education can be discussed from at least two different perspectives. First, there is the pre-service perspective and the second perspective relates to in-service teacher education and school development. We will address both perspectives, although our main focus is on the first perspective of networking in pre-service teacher education.

Our starting point in this chapter can be expressed by Fullan's (1993) idea that student learning cannot be improved without improving teacher learning (see also Chapter 1 in this book). We also agree with the belief that teachers need to network in order to cooperate and communicate, share ideas and see different approaches applied in teaching (O'Hair et al. 2000). Our purpose is to review and elaborate theoretical perspectives related to teacher learning in networks. We consider this to be particularly important for enhancing the learning effects of networking for the individual and institutional participants.

The chapter is divided into two parts. We first discuss some of the trends and forces that affect education and curricula in the current societal situation in Western societies. We argue that globalization and individualization, as a result of the processes involved, have permanently changed the arena of education and are also making themselves felt in teacher education. Consequently, networking has become a way of life and living. It is, therefore, important to study the theory related to learning in networks.

We propose an autobiographical approach to thinking about learning, education and the curriculum. This framework offers a way of thinking about learning as an essential part of the life course. We argue that from the

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