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Creating a School That Matters: Networking for School-Community Development

Journal of Curriculum Studies Volume 50, Number 3, ISSN 0022-0272


This study of the creation of a new upper secondary school in Iceland focuses on the way in which networking and collaboration across school boundaries contributed to a new form for school practice. The aim is to understand the value of school-community interaction and how the collaboration has expanded both the activities of the school and the local community. A cultural-historical approach is used to analyse how contradictions in practice act as catalysts for development. Data were generated over a three-year period mainly through ethnographic methods. The expansive learning theory provided methods for identifying contradictions and the way in which they were being addressed in developing the school. The interplay of conceptual and material tools was fundamental in dealing with the contradictions. The principal's clear conceptual vision on the role of education for individuals and society supported by the ideology of the national curriculum facilitated the process. Digital applications and the Internet served as material tools for implementing and coordinating the new school. Networking across traditional boundaries widened the object of school learning and made school practice responsive to societal changes. To conclude: Transcending traditional boundaries through school-community collaboration have promoted a qualitative transformation in school learning.


Jóhannsdóttir, T. (2018). Creating a School That Matters: Networking for School-Community Development. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 50(3), 297-314. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from .

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