Teachers’ networked learning communities: Does collective participation matter?

Kimberly Evert, Kristy Cooper Stein, Teachers’ networked learning communities: Does collective participation matter?, Teaching and Teacher Education: Leadership and Professional Development, Volume 1, 2022,100009,
ISSN 2667-3207,


Networked professional learning communities (NLCs) have emerged as a promising structure for effective professional development. Drawing from Garet et al’s (2001) definition of collective participation as groups of teachers from the same school, department, or grade level engaging in professional learning together, this study uses an embedded case study design to investigate the role of collective participation in promoting teacher learning in a mathematics NLC in the United States comprising three separate learning networks. The first network consisted of only teachers from one school district, while the other two networks served isolated teachers attending without any or only a few school-based colleagues. The varying compositions of these networks enabled us to examine how collective and non-collective participation shaped teachers’ learning experiences and later efforts to implement their learning in their classrooms. Drawing from analyses of participant observation and interview data, our findings emphasize the importance of collective participation in professional learning, while also illustrating how some successful teachers with non-collective NLC participation cultivated unique configurations of communities for supporting instructional change.

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