- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1660736
- First Name Justin
- Last Name Polizzi
- Institution Middle Tennessee State University
- Role/Position Assistant Professor, Tennessee STEM Education Center
- Workshop Category Track 2: Teaching Fellowships, Track 3: Master Teaching Fellowships, Track 4: Noyce Research
- Workshop Disciplines Audience Chemistry
- Target Audience Evaluators/Education Researchers, Project PIs / Co-PIs / Other Faculty/Staff
- Topics Research, Assessment, and/or Evaluation
- Session Length 45 minutes
- Additional Presenter(s)
Gregory Rushton, firstname.lastname@example.org, Middle Tennessee State University, Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Tennessee STEM Education Center
The workshop has specific learning objectives. At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to:
1. Define network theory, social network analysis, and visual network scales
2. Construct a simple social network activity, survey instrument and network map
3. Compare different network structures
4. Apply network thinking principles to teacher profession development and research
Network-enhanced professional development models have been advocated for in the management sector to empower leadership through an understanding of the formation, strengthening, and capitalization of network relationships (Cullen-Lester et al., 2017). Network-based PD has also been investigated with higher education faculty related to instructional improvement (Van Waes et al., 2016, 2018). We have recently extended this work to high school science teachers engaged in a Noyce Track 2/Track 3 grant, and found that discussing networks is useful in teacher PD and education research. Specifically, we found that teachers could discuss different network shapes along a continuum, or visual network scale, and how they related to personal work settings and desirable outcomes (Polizzi et al., 2019). Further, we highlighted the potential for social network analysis and visual network scales to be used with STEM teachers as professional development, and by education researchers and evaluators.
Cullen-Lester, K. L., Maupin, C. K., & Carter, D. R. (2017). Incorporating social networks into leadership development: A conceptual model and evaluation of research and practice. The Leadership Quarterly, (1)https://doi.org/10.1016/ j.leaqua.2016.10.005.
Van Waes, S., Moolenaar, N. M., Daly, A. J., Heldens, H. H. P. F., Donche, V., Van Petegem, P., et al. (2016). The networked instructor: The quality of networks in different stages of professional development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 59, 295-308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.05.022.
Van Waes, S., De Maeyer, S., Moolenaar, N. M., Van Petegem, P., & Van den Bossche, P. (2018). Strengthening networks: A social network intervention among higher education teachers. Learning and Instruction, 53, 34-49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2017.07.005.
Polizzi, S. J., Ofem, B., Coyle, W., Lundquist, K., & Rushton, G. T. (2019). The use of visual network scales in teacher leader development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 83, 42-53. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2019.03.018
The focus of our workshop is using Social Network Analysis (SNA) as both a professional development activity and a research tool. We demonstrate an interactive SNA activity that we have previously used with early career or experienced teachers to facilitate discussions of the teaching profession and their professional opportunities. In particular, we focus on Visual Network Scales (VNS) as a pedagogical tool for describing and contrasting images from SNA and discussing what they mean. In the process of demonstrating the activity, we cover basic concepts in network thinking that demystify SNA. We also solicit participant feedback related to networks, provide sample responses from previous teacher participants, and discuss implications for using SNA and VNS in education research. BYODevice and internet access encouraged for activity. The relevance of the workshop is related to growing interest in SNA and teacher leadership within the teacher education community. The workshop provides a general overview of network theory and how network data are collected, processed and interpreted through an activity for teachers. The activity was originally designed for use in an NSF Noyce project to develop teacher leaders, and was found to facilitate discourse on the profession and leadership rather than personal classroom issues. The SNA activity may be particularly relevant to STEM teacher education due to that population’s familiarity with measuring, quantifying and modeling systems. VNS provides an opportunity for teachers to model and explain interactions and outcomes.