Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Lieberman, A., & McLaughlin, M. W. (1992). Networks for educational change: Powerful and problematic. Phi Delta Kappan, 74, 673-677.

Networks of teachers offer a new way to approach staff development as teachers grow professionally and assume new leadership roles. Networks have a clear focus yet offer a variety of activities. In networks, the knowledge of teachers is respected. Several problems can arise: failure to assess and modify their practices; difficulty in assimilating networks into schools; maintaining stability; uncontrolled growth; threat to outside groups from the powerful ownership by teachers; lack of knowledge about change; lack of new models of leadership and accountability; and goals created outside of the network. Teachers support professional growth that offers challenges and gives them incentives to change their practice. Policy makers must take care not to attempt to exert control over networks, but should take an indirect approach, concentrating on providing a supportive and stimulating environment.

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