Phase II - Social Network Analysis (SNA)

Are you and your school interested in being part of the project?
Click here to get in touch.


Brief Overview of the Accompaniment Project:

The LCEEQ is spearheading a two-year pilot project called Accompaniment: Practice and Research. Accompaniment is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of collaborative-based professional development, such as mentoring and coaching. The project examines educators’ collaborative networks and experiences with an aim to improve collaborative professionalism in Quebec’s English educational community. To learn more about the Accompaniment project click here.



Phase 1: Needs Assessment Questionnaire: Highlights

What was learned from the Needs Assessment?
A lot! In June 2021, teachers, consultants, administrators, and directors (n= 504) participated in a mixed-methods Accompaniment Needs Assessment, led by Dr. Julie Corrigan (Concordia). The final report will be available on the LCEEQ website in November. The following are some of the highlights and not an exhaustive list.

Collaboration & professional learning and development (PLD)
The research findings highlight the need to capitalize further on the expertise that exists in the English educational community. Educators noted that they have always supported each other, but more structured and meaningful collaboration was desired. In particular, the study revealed that collaborative professionalism was enhanced by a school and system culture of accompaniment, effective PLD, and job security. Respondents also noted that collaborating with colleagues was the most effective and meaningful source of PLD. Although educators regularly engage in and tend to prefer self-directed PLD (book clubs, social media, graduate courses, etc.), choice, agency, relevance, and sustainability were shown to be key elements in design and development of effective PLD.

Teacher induction
For teachers new to the Quebec English educational community, comprehensive and structured induction programs that include mentoring and/or coaching or working with an experienced colleague were seen as both valuable and needed. A more comprehensive approach across the system was also desired. Leaders were also highlighted as playing a critical role in developing and supporting improved collaborative professionalism and were the key to effective induction programs.

Teaching & Learning in a pandemic
Finally, recognizing the challenges of the current pandemic context, now more than ever educators stated that they considered leaving the profession. However, it was also noted that the pandemic brought new ways of collaborating, meeting, and PLD using digital platforms that should be built upon.

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Phase II: Social Network Approach/Analysis: Overview

What is Phase II?

The questions guiding this phase of the research are: What network structures exist in the English educational community? How do we better support educators new to our schools? What ways can we improve and strengthen our collaborative networks and support structures in all schools?
Dr. Hannah Chestnutt (McGill) and the research team will map the connections between school staff members to help us better understand network structures across the English community.

What is social network analysis (SNA)?

SNA is a research approach that maps the relationships, interactions, and/or flow of resources between individuals, groups, institutions, etc. In this study we will be examining the connections between school staff members. Although the term may sound like it is related to social media, SNA is an innovative research method that pre-dates social media and therefore has nothing to do with it. SNA was used by researchers such as Jacob Moreno as early as the 1930’s as an approach to study and map relationships in educational contexts. SNA has been growing in popularity in international educational research. This inaugural use of SNA in Quebec will help promote and enhance the work of the English educational community.

What will be learned by using SNA?

We know that effective collaboration between teachers, leaders, and school staff can lead to school improvement and better student outcomes. However, we often don’t know much about how and with whom educators collaborate. SNA will enable us to map relationships within schools and see how they develop over the course of a year. By getting a clear picture from across the English educational community, we will be able to make recommendations on how to strengthen communication and support channels, especially for new educators.

Who will be involved in the SNA process?

Two schools from each board (one elementary and one secondary) will be invited to participate in two short (10 minute) questionnaires in late fall and late Spring.

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Phase II: Participant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

What will be expected of me?

Every staff member in your school will be asked to complete a short (10 minute) questionnaire in October/November 2021 and the same questionnaire in May/June 2022.

Does Social Network Analysis have anything to do with Social Media?

Although the term may sound like it is related to social media, SNA is an innovative research method that pre-dates social media and therefore has nothing to do with it. SNA was used by researchers such as Jacob Moreno as early as the 1930’s as an approach to study and map relationships in educational contexts.

What type of questions will be asked?

There will be questions such as “Who do you turn to for professional guidance and/or advice?” To answer, you will select a name(s) from a drop down list of all staff members from your school. This will help us map the relationships across staff members in your school.

Why do I need to enter my name in the questionnaire?

Unlike other surveys, you will need to fill out your name and identify colleagues. Your name is needed so we can link individuals and groups across the data set and see how collaborative networks evolve over time. All names will be kept confidential. Each name will be converted to a code before analysis. This is a common methodological procedure used in SNA studies (e.g., Daly 2010; Scott 2013).

What if I opt-out or don’t want to participate?

SNA works best when all school staff complete the questionnaire. Any missing data will lead to an incomplete network map. If we don’t have full participation, we won’t get a clear picture of the relationships that exist in your school.

Will I have access to my school’s network map?

To keep schools and responses confidential, all school network maps will remain unidentified. The aim is to get a big picture of what is happening across the English educational community. Any presentations of the network maps will include multiple examples across the English system.

Why should I participate? What will my school gain from this research?

First, you will be able to contribute directly to the overall picture of social networks in the English educational community. Second, the findings from this study will lead to recommendations on ways to strengthen and improve collaborative structures in the system. Findings and recommendations will be presented to the Ministry, LCEEQ, school boards, and schools). Third, all participating schools will be offered an independent presentation on the study’s findings and recommendations. Each presentation will include an opportunity for school staff to discuss how the research can be used in their own context.



Are you and your school interested in being part of the project? Click here to get in touch.


Further Readings about SNA

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