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Insights and lessons learned from our work together


A Network Approach to Educator Support: Cultivating Human Systems to Advance Educational Equity

Education support organizations (e.g., professional associations of education professionals) have long been a source of knowledge and support for education professionals, but for many networks, it has been difficult to keep up with the pace of change in the field and ensure their knowledge and resources are reaching those who need it most. To address this challenge, eight education support organizations came together to form a community of practice facilitating knowledge sharing with practitioners to support better outcomes for Black and Latino students and students experiencing poverty. The community of practice provided a space for these organizations to learn from peers, pilot new approaches, inspire further learning and collective action, and share insights with the field.

A core belief of the community of practice is that creating space for members to build community, share knowledge, and pilot new approaches will help educators and administrators adopt new practices in pursuit of educational equity. This ethos can be characterized as a network approach — a method for navigating complex challenges by fostering connection, learning, and collaboration. To explore this approach, we partnered with network consultant Amelia Pape, who shared concepts, frameworks, and tools with participants to help advance their practice. She also authored A Network Approach to Educator Support: Cultivating Human Systems to Advance Educational Equity.

The report lifts up principles that comprise a network approach, offers methods for assessing the health of network, and includes examples from the cohort.

We are grateful to Amelia for her partnership in this work. We also would like to thank Lauri Valerio for authoring the case studies that contributed to this report and Courtney Harris for design services.

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