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ERIC Number: EJ828881
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 77
ISSN: ISSN-0267-1522
Social Inclusion and Learning Networks: A "Wider Notion of Learning" or Taking Things in a Different Direction?
O'Brien, Mark; Atkinson, Amanda; Burton, Diana; Campbell, Anne; Qualter, Anne; Varga-Atkins, Tunde
Research Papers in Education, v24 n1 p57-75 Mar 2009
This article has been produced from the work of a research project conducted in the context of a city-wide education service in the United Kingdom. This was the Liverpool Learning Networks Research Project, which began in July 2005. The researchers carried out semi-structured interviews with education practitioners--learning network coordinators--who have strategic responsibility for the development of school networks in Liverpool. The role of these practitioners represents a confluence of two significant agendas. The first is that of social inclusion, with "the school" being seen as a key vehicle of policy delivery. The second is that of a shift towards the model of "the school network", aimed at improving pupil learning. What emerges from the interviews is that social inclusion is central to these key practitioners' understanding of the learning networks for which they are responsible. Despite a strong local emphasis on "learning", then, in the presentation of the learning networks, within the city the focus on what happens in the classroom has become blurred by a far wider, social notion of how learning should be understood. The authors argue that this represents a significant tension for how learning networks will actually develop. Whilst in a perfect world a focus upon pupil learning in the classroom on the one hand, and on child social welfare on the other, may complement one another, in reality this is not the case. In the real world of government priority, resource commitment and time-bound policy delivery, one or other focus will win out. The emphasis placed upon social inclusion by these senior education officers suggests that this is what will ultimately shape the direction and destination of these "learning" networks. If so, the legacy of such networks may prove to be government-driven social reform rather than the pioneering of "networked learning" that was their original promise. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United Kingdom (Liverpool)