Network Learning for Educational Change

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

five
Networking for professional
learning communities:
school-university-community
partnerships enhance student
achievement

Mary John O'Hair, Ulrich C. Reitzug, Jean M. Cate, Randy Averso, Linda Atkinson, Dennis Gentry, Gregg Garn and Gaetane Jean-Marie

Teachers, more than anyone, are expected to build learning commu-
nities, create the knowledge society and develop the capacities for
innovation, flexibility and commitment to change that are essential to
economic prosperity. At the same time, teachers are also expected to
mitigate and counteract many of the immense problems that knowl-
edge societies create, such as excessive consumerism, loss of commu-
nity and widening gaps between rich and poor. Somehow, teachers
must try to achieve these seemingly contradictory goals simulta-
neously. This is their professional paradox.

(Hargreaves 2003: 1)

We believe the best way to address the ‘professional paradox’ is through networking partnerships designed to support and strengthen participants' individual and collective efforts to improve learning while addressing problems created through knowledge societies. The K20 Center for Educational and Community Renewal at the University of Oklahoma is one such effort. The K20 Center is a consortium of school-universitycommunity partnerships committed to improving student learning from kindergarten through graduate education (K20) through the development of professional learning communities. These professional learning

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