PhD Thesis proposal

Collaborative Learning Communities, Knowledge Networks and Institutions: Innovation and Participation towards Educational Change

Supervisor/s: Paulo Peixoto and Cláudia Pato de Carvalho

Doctoral Programme: Human Rights in Contemporary Societies

A remarkable preponderance has been given to the collaborative networks existing among universities, schools, students and communities concerning the creation of innovative learning environments. The results of these networks are based on effective responses to "knowledge society agendas", emphasizing the right to a critical education, and bringing to the spotlight issues regarding sharing responsibility, distributed leadership and collaborative planning in the definition of education. As a result of this process , a broader based knowledge might assume emancipatory characteristics with relation to a renewed procedure for rebuilding contemporary citizenship.

My point of departure will be the projects that are being developed by the Institute for Education and Citizenship. The institute promotes innovative educational practice, organizational design, and scientific praxis that challenges the normative production of knowledge. This process is bound to create emancipatory practices, fostering innovative and inclusive ways of producing knowledge.

A qualitative methodology will be applied to link organizational culture with communities' interpretations and the local/national sociopolitical conditions whereby they emerge and legitimize themselves.

The main goal of this project is to study the strategies, models and organizational structures which have been contributing to creating Collaborative Learning Communities (CLCs) through the optimization of knowledge-sharing networks in educational contexts. I expect to call upon interdisciplinary perspectives concerning the creation of innovative educational settings and equity-driven educational systems.