Social Network Theory and Educational Change

Social Network Theory and Educational Change

Edited by Alan J. Daly, foreword by Judith Warren Little
Pub. Date: December 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-376-9
paper, 344 Pages
Pub. Date: December 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-80-8
Price: $35.00

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Social Network Theory and Educational Change offers a provocative and fascinating exploration of how social networks in schools can impede or facilitate the work of education reform.


This book brilliantly shows that the essence of effective educational reform is not to be found in plans, punishments, or performance incentives, but in professional interactions and relationships. A good idea is only worth something if you can spread it around, and this book shows you just how that’s done. Using leading-edge thinking and solid research techniques, it demonstrates in clear and accessible prose why networks are the core means by which change does or doesn’t happen. It should and will be essential reading for all researchers and reformers eager for effective change that will spread and last. — Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

Alan Daly and his team of scholars are to be commended for bringing social network analysis to bear on pressing issues in education. This powerful new analytic strategy offers a window into the social workings of schools in ways that previous methods have not. The authors in this volume have asked important questions about the role of social networks in school reform, the expansion of teacher professional knowledge, and the diffusion of innovative practices. It will be read with interest by scholars and practitioners alike. — Megan Tschannen-Moran, associate professor, The College of William & Mary

If you’re interested in the rescue of urban school children and wondering why the top-down ‘superhero’ superintendents aren’t having much success with organizational change that stands the test of time, Daly provides many of the answers. This groundbreaking book explores the social networks and relationships that are a critical part of the work in schools, especially those relationships that are meaningful to classroom teachers and principals—the truly heroic people who make a difference in the lives of children on a daily basis . . . A must-read for reformers at all levels. — Carl A. Cohn, professor and codirector, Urban Leadership Program, Claremont Graduate University (former superintendent of the Long Beach and San Diego school systems)

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About the Editor

Alan J. Daly, PhD, is an assistant professor of education at the University of California, San Diego. He earned his PhD in education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In addition to fifteen years’ experience in public education as a teacher, psychologist, and administrator, Daly has also been the program director for the Center for Educational Leadership and Effective Schools at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In this position he collaboratively supported the delivery of high-quality services and research to five school districts, focusing on social networks, trust, and potential of systems for change. Daly has presented and published work in the areas of social network theory and impact of current accountability structures as well as on educational reform and organizational learning.

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