14 SES 16 A, Collaboration and Networks in Education – Promoting Educational Participation and Benefits through Coordinated Action
Networks and digital communication platforms, such as Twitter, play a central role for global education and conviction processes (Junemann et al., 2016; Kolleck et al., 2017). Both state- and non-state actors use social networks as channels for the diffusion of educational innovations and practices (e.g. inclusive education) (True & Mintrom, 2001). Therefore, focusing on educational networks is an innovative approach to the study of global education policy. Although Twitter represents a relatively new form of social networks, it gains increasing importance for the diffusion of information and innovation, also in education policy (Conover et al., 2012; Dubois & Gaffney, 2014). Despite its growing use and the general relevance of this online communication for global education and conviction processes, there is only little knowledge about the formation of issue-specific communication networks to date. In the present paper, we draw on general network theory and policy network theory to examine the Twitter communication network that has formed around the topic of inclusive education. Using exploratory and inferential social network analysis, we show that disabled persons’ organizations and international organizations, such as the United Nations, hold a particularly central position in the network. This position enables them to potentially exert influence on the content and flow of information within the network.
Conover, Michael D., Bruno Goncalves, Alessandro Flammini, and Filippo Menczer. 2012. “Partisan Asymmetries in Online Political Activity.” EPJ Data Science 1 (6): 1–19. doi: 10.1140/epjds6. Dubois, Elizabeth, and Devin Gaffney. 2014. “The Multiple Facets of Influence.” American Behavioral Scientist 58 (10): 1260–77. doi:10.1177/0002764214527088. Junemann, Carolina, Stephen J. Ball, and Diego Santori. 2016. “Joined-up Policy: Network Connectivity and Global Education Governance.” In Mundy, Green, Lingard, and Verger 2016, 535–53. Kolleck, Nina, Mareike Well, Severin Sperzel, and Helge Jörgens. 2017. “The Power of Social Networks: How the UNFCCC Secretariat Creates Momentum for Climate Education.” Global Environmental Politics 17 (4): 106–26. doi:10.1162/GLEP_a_00428. True, Jacqui, and Michael Mintrom. 2001. “Transnational Networks and Policy Diffusion: The Case of Gender Mainstreaming.” International Studies Quarterly 45 (1): 27–57. doi:10.1111/0020-8833.00181.
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