Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Leadership and Policies

Sub-Department

Educational Administration

First Advisor

Doyle Stevick

Abstract

Networks and network-centric activity are increasingly prevalent in schools and school districts. In addition to ubiquitous social network tools like Facebook and Twitter, educational leaders deal with a wide variety of network organizational forms that include professional development, advocacy, informational networks and network-centric reforms. Research about networks in educational settings, however, lags far behind other organizational contexts like business, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. As a result, educators, policy-makers, and researchers have limited information about networks and network-centric activity in schools and school districts. One reason for the lack of research is the absence of theories underlying network activity in educational settings. This theory-building dissertation synthesizes research about networks in a variety of organizational settings in order to develop education-specific network theories. The methodology utilizes literature reviews that cover seminal works in general network theory, early (and largely obscure) network research in education, and contemporary network research across multiple organizational settings. The insights from these literature reviews are integrated with the author's personal experience founding and running an educational advocacy network to develop a network theory for educational settings like schools and school districts.

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