OECD Education Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Directorate for Education. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language (English or French) with a short summary available in the other.

English, French

What difference do networks make to teachers’ knowledge?

Literature review and case descriptions

The paper investigates two – often disconnected – policy questions: how can we scale the use of evidence in teaching practice, and how can we generate and scale innovation? Both questions necessitate understanding how teachers and schools connect with each other, and with other organisations and professionals. The paper thus explores the role of networks in scaling evidence and innovation through a review of literature and a number of short case descriptions. Through the lens of networks, the analysis shows how the mobilisation, construction and diffusion of knowledge are of central importance in both policy issues. It suggests that scaling evidence and innovation should be treated as one ecosystem, in which mechanisms that allow effectively blending research and practical knowledge are key. Further, the paper proposes a framework for studying knowledge dynamics in networks to better understand how their context, characteristics and devices can contribute to facilitate these dynamics.


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