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Networks and collaboration in Spanish education policy

Networks and collaboration in Spanish education policy
Networks and collaboration in Spanish education policy
Background: Networks play an important role in today's societies. As a
consequence, changes are apparent in the political, economic, cultural,
educational and social agendas.

Purpose: The main goal of this article is to map the situation of school
networks in Spain. The research questions are focused on what forms
collaboration and networking take in the Spanish education system; how
policy and practice are providing a framework for the development of
networks; and what the main barriers to fostering school-to-school
collaboration in this context are.

Methods: A mix of case studies and documentary analysis was used. Two
regions located in the Southwest (Extremadura and the Canary Islands)
were selected to examine their legislation about networks in education. The
following aspects were considered: aims and aspirations, areas of interest,
organizational structure, benefits and incentives, network project, and
evaluation and improvement proposals. In this way, Spain is presented as
an example of a country that is exploring the possibilities offered by
networks.

Findings and conclusions: There is no common state policy to support
networking between schools. Rather, every local educational authority acts
with different purposes and a variable extent of development. This
particular situation offers a diverse map of education networks. The case
studies show that networks are being developed bottom-up, through topics
of interest, such as library, ecology, health-promotion, equality, emotional
intelligence, educational research, enterprise and physical education. The
paper concludes by reflecting on and discussing the current landscape of
educational networks. Some barriers identified are related to: the
networks’ structures that could be more inclusive, the loose culture of
collaboration, the weak mechanisms to link social and professional capital
provided by policy makers, the importance of belief in the network society
and community power by stakeholders, and also to the necessity to
increase incentives for people involved, in terms of working-time conditions
and resources.
0013-1881
273-296
Azorin Abellan, Cecilia, Maria
cb73ce37-a56d-45f7-9368-b14fb89a9223
Muijs, Daniel
62af2eff-0cb5-403b-81cc-7a3bfb3e640e
Azorin Abellan, Cecilia, Maria
cb73ce37-a56d-45f7-9368-b14fb89a9223
Muijs, Daniel
62af2eff-0cb5-403b-81cc-7a3bfb3e640e

Azorin Abellan, Cecilia, Maria and Muijs, Daniel (2017) Networks and collaboration in Spanish education policy. Educational Research, 59 (3), 273-296. (doi:10.1080/00131881.2017.1341817).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Networks play an important role in today's societies. As a
consequence, changes are apparent in the political, economic, cultural,
educational and social agendas.

Purpose: The main goal of this article is to map the situation of school
networks in Spain. The research questions are focused on what forms
collaboration and networking take in the Spanish education system; how
policy and practice are providing a framework for the development of
networks; and what the main barriers to fostering school-to-school
collaboration in this context are.

Methods: A mix of case studies and documentary analysis was used. Two
regions located in the Southwest (Extremadura and the Canary Islands)
were selected to examine their legislation about networks in education. The
following aspects were considered: aims and aspirations, areas of interest,
organizational structure, benefits and incentives, network project, and
evaluation and improvement proposals. In this way, Spain is presented as
an example of a country that is exploring the possibilities offered by
networks.

Findings and conclusions: There is no common state policy to support
networking between schools. Rather, every local educational authority acts
with different purposes and a variable extent of development. This
particular situation offers a diverse map of education networks. The case
studies show that networks are being developed bottom-up, through topics
of interest, such as library, ecology, health-promotion, equality, emotional
intelligence, educational research, enterprise and physical education. The
paper concludes by reflecting on and discussing the current landscape of
educational networks. Some barriers identified are related to: the
networks’ structures that could be more inclusive, the loose culture of
collaboration, the weak mechanisms to link social and professional capital
provided by policy makers, the importance of belief in the network society
and community power by stakeholders, and also to the necessity to
increase incentives for people involved, in terms of working-time conditions
and resources.

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Networks Spain - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 9 June 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 19 June 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 412378
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/412378
ISSN: 0013-1881
PURE UUID: c6653a4c-5720-4a2e-8956-17477a54d0fd
ORCID for Daniel Muijs: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0131-8921

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Date deposited: 17 Jul 2017 13:34
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 05:52

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