DescriptionContribution the fund-application for the Erasmus+ project the "NetEduLab":
School Principals around the globe share two big challenges: 1) An initial and overly focused pressure around test scores (Díaz-Gibson et. al 2017;Kelly and Downey 2010), schools are narrowing their work to a range of assessment tools around a core set of subjects including science and especially language and math achievement. 2) Another pressure arises around innovation and change (Daly, 2010). In this sense schools are challenged to provide and updated education and to rethink traditional school and classroom paradigms (UNESCO, 2014). These two factors create a dynamic tension that can pull schools and leaders in different directions rather than attempting to balance these demands (Kelly and Downey 2010).
These two vectors can become contradictory and are difficult to align as both can be understood as a reinforcement of the current system and can stress the whole school culture. A first leadership challenge to align these two forces is to focus on the processes rather than on final results. Schools are much more focused on achievement or on providing innovative practices and pay less attention to the whole process that leads to those results (Díaz-Gibson et al 2017; Daly, 2010; UNESCO, 2015). In this sense, while there are many guidelines and tools that support leaders to measure achievement, there is a global lack of assessment tools that focus on documenting school’s ability to engage with the whole community, empower social relationships between community actors and within the school; as teachers, other professionals, staff, parents and students, and across the wider community, building trust and collaborating towards improving knowledge and innovation capacities and lifting local educational challenges.
The NetEduLab addresses the need of tools that help school leaders to balance this tensions, to measure their collaborative and innovative climate, to learn how to open their schools to the wider community, and to measure their growth progress. And these challenges are conducted for the sake of both science and practice through an Engaged Scholarship (Van de Ven, 2007) between school leaders and researchers; school leaders need reliable tools to spur informed dialogue on how to address local, complex problems of their educational network and researchers need to generate global as well as local data on these ecosystems to uncover and understand the mechanisms of education as a collaborative endeavor. Complex issues as education cannot be immediately observed, therefore research and practice collaboration is relevant, meaning that researchers engage in the field and collaborate with stakeholders to create knowledge about central issues of the study.
In 2015 researchers from 9 countries in the world started to work on the NetEduProject (www.neteduproject.org/en/) as an assessment model that provides school leaders with an assessment tool to measure the health and potential of their educational ecosystem, obtaining a diagnosis of levels of collaboration, trust, empathic communication, innovation and knowledge sharing. In the last years the tool has been tested and used by 200 leaders around Europe and the United States.
The present projects general objective is to build, test and launch the NetEduLab, a platform that becomes a global learning online community of change leaders, strengthening its capacity to guide and support school leaders across Europe and beyond to transform their schools into high performance, inclusive, collaborative and innovative ecosystems to better respond to today’s thrilling educational challenges. The NetEduLab not only supports practitioners to transform their environments, but also creates opportunities for researchers to co-construct, co-design, and co-learn with practitioners. With the NetEduLab we claim to transform the project into a learning community of school leaders and researchers by providing a set of validated tools that increase learning opportunities for leaders and researchers, enhances interactions between them and empower schools across Europe to improve educational outcomes.
The specific goals of the project are:
1) to re-design and validate the NetEdu assessment and formative tool;
2) to design and validate a social network tool that helps school leaders to open their schools to the wider community;
3) to design and validate a citizen science tool that facilitates horizontal interactions through the platform;
4) to engage researchers and school leaders with the NetEduLab in Europe and across the world.
The project is collaboratively supported by an established European team of researchers and change leaders committed to lead and weave the NetEdu community. Besides the consortium, other universities and educational organizations in Europe, North America, South America and Asia are acting as associate partners in the project with their own private funding. We believe that the greater international ecosystem empowers the learning community, provides more interaction opportunities, expands comparison options and enables cross cultural research that in turn, empowers the improvement of the global platform assets.
|Period||4. Jan 2019 → 1. Mar 2019|
- Open schooling
- Educational ecosystems
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