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“20 heads are better than two”: A tiny window into teacher networking in #phillyeducation

“20 heads are better than two”: A tiny window into teacher networking in #phillyeducation

Written by Christina Cantrill
February 13, 2014

Linda Darling Hammond argues in The Flat World and Education that “America’s commitment to equity will determine our future” and outlines a set of recommendations, based on accumulated experiences both nationally and globally, that she describes as “policy for quality and equality” in schooling.

This policy includes having meaningful learning goals connected to intelligent and reciprocal accountability systems along with equitable and adequate resources, strong professional standards and supports as well as schools organize for student and teacher learning (chpt. 9). What I see within her policy descriptions is the need to build collective capacity among schools, communities, and leadership as well as many points of learning and resources for capacity-building to tap into historically and globally.

This topic of collective capacity-building is of interest to me based on my experience at the National Writing Project, a peer-based teachers network bringing together educators across grades, disciplines (and increasingly including educators outside of school; see nwp.org for more). What I have learned through this work is that collective capacity building is possible, and through that capacity building, paths towards equitable change can be fostered. Therefore, I am interested in bringing this knowledge of teacher networking into the context of Philadelphia schooling today to try to understand in what ways teachers are currently networking and then how they feel that this networking is helping to build capacity for equitable change in public education and learning.

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