15 SES 07, School Networks, Knowledge Circulation and Educational Change. Insights from current school networks across Europe
ESCXEL Project – School Network for Excellence is a partnership between eight Portuguese local authorities, its public schools and a research team from CICS.NOVA (an Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Social Sciences from Nova University of Lisbon). This network exists since 2008 and has four main axes of intervention: i) elaboration of self-assessment models to promote self-regulation and continuous improvement of schools; ii) development of strategic management tools to improve the definition and intervention in prioritized dimensions; iii) disseminate good practices by providing spaces to share experiences, solutions and instruments; iv) conduct scientific studies on education (Batista, Gonçalves & Santos, 2016). The network has a Coordinator in every municipality which works closely with the Mediators in their municipality; there is one Mediator in each school cluster. Coordinators and Mediators are the links between researchers and school clusters; they have the responsibility to work together in order to share practices and discuss solutions for similar problems, but also to disseminate all products made by the researchers in their schools and maybe adapt and/ or implement some of the ideas and tools created within the network (globally or within their municipality). After ten years of activity, ESCXEL still faces some constraints that restrain the transfer of innovation from the network to schools and their professionals and the production of changes in school and teachers practices. It is difficult, first of all, to build a close relationship among professionals (Mediators) from the 32 school clusters, especially across municipalities, because of their location (some are located more than 200 km apart), but also because of an isolation culture of schools in a (still) highly centralized education system. The main obstacle has been the struggle to create a tool for regular communication, now being fought through the creation of a website which functions as a repository of all the network’s products and as a regular instrument of communication through forums and others open channels. Secondly, Coordinators and Mediators have shown trouble spreading the network’s products within their schools, even though they engage in some common action according to the reports they write every year about their work within ESCXEL network. Nevertheless, some of them were able to motivate their colleagues and reported some kind of change due to the participation in ESCXEL Project; those experiences are worth spreading and will serve as the basis to capacitate other actors to perform this local transfer of knowledge and innovation.
Batista, Susana, Eva Gonçalves e Rui Santos (2016). School Networks, knowledge circulation and school improvement: The ESCXEL Project’s research agenda. Em Gonçalves, E., & Batista, S. (Eds.), Networks, Communities and Partnerships in Education: actors, goals and results. Proceedings of the First International Conference of the ESCXEL Project, Lisbon: ESCXEL Project - School Network for Excellence. ISBN: 978-989-97702-6-3. Retrieved from: http://firstinternationalconference.blogspot.pt/p/online-publication.html
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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