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Is distributed leadership an effective approach for mobilising professional capital across Professional Learning Networks? Exploring a case from England

Brown, Chris; Flood, Jane; Armstrong, Paul; MacGregor, Stephen; Chinas, Christina

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Authors

Chris Brown

Jane Flood

Paul Armstrong

Stephen MacGregor



Abstract

Purpose: There is currently a focus on using networks to drive school and school system improvement. To achieve such benefits, however, requires school leaders actively support the mobilisation of networked-driven innovations. One promising yet under-researched approach to mobilisation is enabling distributed leadership to flourish. To provide further insight in this area, this paper explores how the leaders involved in one professional learning network (the Hampshire Research Learning Network) employed a distributed approach to mobilise networked learning activity in order to build professional capital. Design/methodology/approach: A mixed methods approach was used to develop a case study of the Hampshire RLN . Fieldwork commenced with in-depth semi-structured interviews with all school leaders of schools participating in the network and other key participating teachers (12 interviews in total). A bespoke social network survey was then administered to schools (41 responses). The purpose of the survey was to explore types of RLN-related interaction undertaken by teachers and how teachers were using the innovations emerging from the RLN within their practice. Findings: Data indicate that models of distributed leadership that actively involves staff in decisions about what innovations to adopt and how to adopt them are more successful in ensuring teachers across networks: (1) engage with innovations; (2) explore how new practices can be used to improve teaching and learning and (3) continue to use/refine practices in an ongoing way. Originality/value: Correspondingly we argue these findings point to a promising approach to system improvement and add valuable insight to a relatively understudied area.

Citation

Brown, C., Flood, J., Armstrong, P., MacGregor, S., & Chinas, C. (2021). Is distributed leadership an effective approach for mobilising professional capital across Professional Learning Networks? Exploring a case from England. Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 6(1), 64-78. https://doi.org/10.1108/jpcc-02-2020-0010

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 24, 2020
Online Publication Date Nov 3, 2020
Publication Date Jan 11, 2021
Deposit Date Aug 25, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 3, 2020
Journal Journal of Professional Capital and Community
Print ISSN 2056-9548
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 1
Pages 64-78
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/jpcc-02-2020-0010

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Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Copyright Statement
This article is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial International Licence 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0) and any reuse must be in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence.







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