UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A case study of a networked learning community : the "third space" Ryan, Pius


The purpose of this research was to develop a deeper understanding of the formation, operation, and impacts of a networked learning community within a geographically and culturally diverse school district in British Columbia, Canada. The general approach used for this research was case study methodology. As such, the work must be appreciated as a whole and as a narrative of how something came to be the way it is; in other words, to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of the group under study: Who are its members? What are their stable and recurring modes of activity and interaction? How are they related to one another and how is the group related to the rest of the world? The primary data sources for the study were network participant interviews and documents related to the network. The main findings of the study include a deeper understanding of the impact Ministry and School District level policies and practice had on the network’s inception and evolution; the operational details and structure that supported the network in order to create the conditions for learning; and how the perceived success was based upon focused “teacher talk”. Implications for practice include an understanding of how seemingly simple system actions are influenced by a broad array of macro and micro socio-political actions, as well as the historical context of an organization. The research also suggests that networks are not an end in themselves or fit into a prescribed typology but constitute a shifting terrain with impacts beyond the life of the network.

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