Regional Networks and Regional Didactic Centers to foster Science Education
The lecture presents the formation of networks and centres in education using the Austrian IMST (Innovations Make Schools Top) project as illustration. In the wake of systemic school modernization processes, networks in educational contexts have become increasingly attractive in educational systems. To enhance innovative instruction in science education, IMST Regional Networks and Didactic Centres at Universities and Colleges were established in every Austrian federal state. The development of the IMST networks was based on international work in the field of educational networks and social networking theories. Coordinated by a steering group, these networks offer a contact point for schools and teachers, they organize the exchange of experiences and innovations as well as professional development seminars and courses. A cross case analysis of the nine IMST Regional Networks outlines the dynamic development of networks. Networks and centres can be understood as structural attempts to enter new paths in the design of learning and the cooperation of individuals and institutions. The overall challenge might be described as keeping momentum between innovation and stability, to enable the sustainable development of learning. The results will offer hints for practical interventions and lead to hypotheses for further research.
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