Stimulating Teachers' Learning in Networks: Awareness, Ability, and Appreciation
Learning in networks is receiving increased attention in Dutch primary education. It is perceived as a way to stimulate teachers' professional development (Meijs, Prinsen, & De Laat, 2013; Vaessen, Beemt, & De Laat, 2014) and to provide teachers with the opportunity to regulate their own professional development in line with their professional needs (De Laat & Schreurs, 2013). In education, such alignment is particularly important since teachers often perceive their professional development as unrelated to their classroom practice (Lieberman & Pointer Mace, 2008). In addition, learning in networks is believed to lead to a more efficient flow of complex knowledge and routine information within the organization (Coburn, Mata, & Choi, 2013; Granovetter, 1973; Hansen, 1999; Reagans & Mcevily, 2003), stimulate innovative behavior (Coburn et al., 2013; Moolenaar, Daly, & Sleegers, 2010; Thurlings, Evers, & Vermeulen, 2014) and result in a higher job satisfaction (Flap & Volker, 2001; Lovett & Cameron, 2011; Stoll, Bolam, McMahon, Wallace, & Thomas, 2006). In this respect, learning in networks can be perceived as an effective approach to both professional and organizational development.