About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3272-3280
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain

THE ROLE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS IN DEFINING, ACQUIRING, USING, AND DIFFUSING RESEARCH EVIDENCE

K. Finnigan1, A. Daly2, J. Che1

1University of Rochester (UNITED STATES)
2University of California-San Diego (UNITED STATES)
This study examines the way in which low-performing schools and their surrounding local educational agency define, acquire, use, and diffuse research-based evidence. The mixed methods study builds upon the prior research on research evidence and social networks, drawing on social network analyses, survey data and interview data to examine how educators use evidence (including which types and for what purposes), as well as the relationship between network structure and evidence use for school improvement. Educators had narrow definitions of, and skepticism about, evidence, which limited its acquisition and use for school improvement. Our social network analyses indicate a lack of diffusion of evidence within schools and districtwide as a result of sparse connections among and between educators. Evidence was used in an instrumental, yet superficial, manner leading to weak interpretation of evidence and resulting in limited understanding of underlying problems and available solutions. Our study suggests the importance of using social network analyses to examine the diffusion of evidence, as well as the need to better understand how evidence is defined and used at the ground level given the current gaps weak links between research evidence and practice. Greater attention is necessary to how educators acquire evidence as well as the ways in which it is used to impact school-based decisions. Moreover, the work suggests the influence of the local educational agency on school-level reform. The paper contributes to the research on the link between education and research by examining the larger districtwide context and integrates social network, survey, and interview data.
@InProceedings{FINNIGAN2013ROL,
author = {Finnigan, K. and Daly, A. and Che, J.},
title = {THE ROLE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS IN DEFINING, ACQUIRING, USING, AND DIFFUSING RESEARCH EVIDENCE},
series = {7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-2661-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {4-5 March, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {3272-3280}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Finnigan AU - A. Daly AU - J. Che
TI - THE ROLE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS IN DEFINING, ACQUIRING, USING, AND DIFFUSING RESEARCH EVIDENCE
SN - 978-84-616-2661-8/2340-1079
PY - 2013
Y1 - 4-5 March, 2013
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2013 Proceedings
SP - 3272
EP - 3280
ER -
K. Finnigan, A. Daly, J. Che (2013) THE ROLE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS IN DEFINING, ACQUIRING, USING, AND DIFFUSING RESEARCH EVIDENCE, INTED2013 Proceedings, pp. 3272-3280.
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