Policy Scotland Director Chris Chapman is the co-author of a new book about school improvement networks and how they can support the professional capital of school principals and curriculum coordinators.
The book – School Improvement Networks and Collaborative Inquiry: Fostering Systemic Change in Challenging Contexts – focuses on experiences in Chile.
The co-authors are Mauricio Pino Yancovic, Alvaro González Torres and Luis Ahumada Figueroa, all from the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso in Chile.
In 2015 more than 500 School Improvement Networks were created to support state-funded schools across Chile with the idea of promoting a culture of collaboration. Although schools are expected to work in networks, they are held to account individually through high-stakes standardised testing and external inspections.
This book employs the theoretical framework of collaborative inquiry to guide a mixed method study of 15 in-depth multi-site case studies and descriptive statistical analysis of a questionnaire answered by 400 networks. The analysis provides evidence of the depth and spread of the knowledge and collaborative practices of these networks.
Linking with the literature on professional learning networks, this study highlights how school improvement networks can support the professional capital of principals and curriculum coordinators. The findings of this study are discussed around the issue of network sustainability, stressing the importance of network leadership and conditions of system infrastructure to mobilise network knowledge to schools, increasing the potential impact of school networks to transform schools’ practices.
By providing a unique inquiry, into an under-researched part of the globe in regards to school networks, this book will prove invaluable for academics and practitioners in the areas of mixed method research, educational leadership and comparative education.
Published by Emerald Publishing Limited, School Improvement Networks and Collaborative Inquiry, is out now as an e-book, paperback and hardback.