About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 9599-9609
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0810

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

TEACHERS LEARNING ABOUT TEACHING AND LEARNING ON THE JOB: THE DUAL AND INTERACTING ROLE OF EDUCATIONAL AND ARCHITECTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE

J. Spillane1, M. Hopkins2, M. Shirrell3, T. Sweet4, M. Ortiz1

1Northwestern University (UNITED STATES)
2University of California, San Diego (UNITED STATES)
3George Washington University (UNITED STATES)
4University of Maryland (UNITED STATES)
Scholars have shown how a school’s and/or an individual’s social capital can provide access to resources, such as information, that enable them to develop new knowledge and skills that in turn contribute to improvement in performance. In this paper, we define the construct of educational infrastructure and use it to empirically examine and theorize how educational infrastructure, as designed and implemented by school systems and schools, structures school staff interactions about instruction – a necessary if not sufficient condition for the development of social capital. By educational infrastructure we mean those resources that school systems and schools design and mobilize to guide classroom teaching, maintain teaching quality, and enable instructional improvement (e.g., curricular materials; student assessments; procedures and routines for analyzing evidence of instructional processes and outcomes; professional learning opportunities; and procedures and routines for structuring the work, such as routines for hiring, mentoring, developing, and evaluating teachers). Using longitudinal quantitative and qualitative data from all 14 elementary schools in one local public school system, we explore how the school system’s redesigned educational infrastructure (e.g., organizational routines, leadership positions) with the school building’s physical infrastructure - propinquity - influences school staff interactions about mathematics instruction.

Based on a longitudinal mixed-methods study that examined school staff interactions about instruction in all 14 elementary schools in a mid-sized local school system (Local Educational Agency) we call Auburn Park (AP). In the spring of 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, all elementary school teachers and administrators in AP’s elementary schools were sent a survey that asked them about their day-to-day work, their perceptions of their schools, their backgrounds, their work-related interactions, and their room number. Survey response rates ranged from 81 percent in 2010 (n=331) to 95 percent in 2011 (n=393. We also did semi-structured interviews with a purposeful sample of 33 school staff in five AP schools, selected to maximize variation on dimensions believed important to interactions among school staff about instruction. We used hierarchical latent space models (HLSMs; Sweet, Thomas, and Junker 2013) to analyze the directed networks elicited by our surveys.

We show that propinquity influences school staff interactions about teaching. We also demonstrate that propinquity influences interactions when it is defined either as the walking distance between workspaces or by the overlap of individuals’ functional zones. We also show that grade level assignments moderate the impacts of propinquity on interactions. Finally, we identify two mechanisms through which propinquity enables school staff interactions about instruction by a) decreasing the time and effort required to interact with colleagues, and second, propinquity increases the likelihood of chance encounters between staff. Indeed, informal interactions that propinquity enables may not just extend or compliment those afforded by formal organizational arrangements (e.g., grade level teams), but may also provide a unique opportunity for staff to learn about instructional issues close to the time when teachers are actually grappling with them in their classrooms.
@InProceedings{SPILLANE2017TEA,
author = {Spillane, J. and Hopkins, M. and Shirrell, M. and Sweet, T. and Ortiz, M.},
title = {TEACHERS LEARNING ABOUT TEACHING AND LEARNING ON THE JOB: THE DUAL AND INTERACTING ROLE OF EDUCATIONAL AND ARCHITECTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.0810},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.0810},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {9599-9609}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Spillane AU - M. Hopkins AU - M. Shirrell AU - T. Sweet AU - M. Ortiz
TI - TEACHERS LEARNING ABOUT TEACHING AND LEARNING ON THE JOB: THE DUAL AND INTERACTING ROLE OF EDUCATIONAL AND ARCHITECTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0810
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 9599
EP - 9609
ER -
J. Spillane, M. Hopkins, M. Shirrell, T. Sweet, M. Ortiz (2017) TEACHERS LEARNING ABOUT TEACHING AND LEARNING ON THE JOB: THE DUAL AND INTERACTING ROLE OF EDUCATIONAL AND ARCHITECTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 9599-9609.
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