Abstract: This research article investigates the use of social network analysis (SNA) to unveil descriptive practices in education through the analysis of object-oriented conversations. Descriptive practices, referring to the ways in which educators describe and discuss educational phenomena, play a crucial role in shaping instructional strategies, curriculum design, and educational policy. However, understanding the dynamics and patterns of descriptive practices has been challenging due to the complexity of educational discourse. By employing SNA, this study aims to provide a novel approach to studying descriptive practices within the context of education and uncover the underlying structures and relationships that govern these practices.
The research adopts a mixed-methods design, integrating quantitative SNA techniques with qualitative analysis of object-oriented conversations. The object-oriented approach allows for the identification and analysis of specific objects of discussion, such as educational topics, instructional strategies, or student behaviors. By focusing on these objects, the study aims to explore the social networks that form around them, examining patterns of interaction, influence, and collaboration. Additionally, the study examines how these patterns influence the formation and dissemination of descriptive practices.
The research will be conducted within an educational community comprising teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders. Data will be collected through online platforms where conversations related to educational topics occur. Using a combination of automated data collection and manual coding, the study will analyze conversation transcripts, identifying key actors, their relationships, and the content of their discussions. The SNA will be employed to analyze the network structure, density, centrality, and clustering of these conversations. Qualitative analysis will provide deeper insights into the meanings, nuances, and implications of the identified descriptive practices.
The findings of this research have significant implications for educational practice and policy. By uncovering the descriptive practices within educational communities, the study aims to enhance our understanding of how knowledge and information flow, circulate, and transform within these networks. This knowledge can inform the development of strategies to promote effective communication and collaboration among educators, leading to improved instructional practices and ultimately enhancing student outcomes.
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