Annika HillebrandTanja WebsEva KamarianakisHeinz Günter HoltappelsNina BremmIsabell van Ackeren

School-to-school networks as a strategy for school development

Evidence-based building of networks with schools in challenging circumstances


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International research results point out that in socioeconomically deprived areas schools’ process quality features correlate stronger with students’ achievement than in schools serving high SES communities. Especially schools in challenging circumstances have to invest more time to achieve high school quality and effectiveness to promote students’ learning. Beyond this, recent studies reveal that network strategies (e. g., in terms of school-to-school networks), which conduce an efficient use of resources, can play a crucial role in school development processes in these schools. To be perceived as efficient by their participants, school networks have to be built on a reason to collaborate and on a goal orientation, and have to address schools’ strengths and weaknesses. In this article an evidence-based strategy for building school networks will be presented. The network building is embedded in the project Developing Potentials – Empowering Schools. Selected external and internal school features assessed by teachers, students and their parents of 36 secondary schools in the Ruhr Metropolis are classified using latent profile analysis. The findings show that an evidence-based strategy to connect schools with similar strengths and weaknesses can provide demand-oriented and context-sensitive work in school networks already at the beginning of collaboration.

School-to-school networks; Evidence-based school development; Schools in challenging circumstances