Network possibilities : using network inquiry to investigate processes of social capital acquisition and mobility in an educational context
Svoboda, Sandra Lynn
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While service and support delivery for youth and families has been a priority within education in Saskatchewan for the past thirty years, educators and schools struggle to respond to the changing and often complex needs of students and families today. The primary purpose of this study was to formulate a conceptual framework to explore the construct of social capital and the variables affecting social capital creation, acquisition and mobility. My secondary purpose was to then use network inquiry to investigate how networks of relations in a school community could be invested in and utilized to increase sources of social capital in an educational context for educators, students and families. As both an interpretive qualitative study and a critical qualitative study, this dissertation used focus groups to explore the experiences and sense-making of 16 participants in an educational setting to answer questions regarding social capital. Having used network inquiry to investigate existing levels of social capital in a school community and the opportunities for social capital growth, the findings affirm the potential of network inquiry to contribute to the discourse on service delivery in schools. Furthermore, by identifying the academic and non-academic variables that contributed to successful collaborative partnerships and the determinants for increased capacity, process is emphasized before outcome, which holds potential for promising practices. Finally, because this study was conducted in an educational context, this may help policy makers to provide a framework to investigate processes for optimum service delivery and to frame educational policies for improved outcomes for youth and families.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeWalker, Keith; Wotherspoon, Terry; Kowch, Eugene; Carr-Stewart, Sheila; Ward, Angela; Noonan, Warren; Nicol, Jennifer
Copyright DateApril 2010
improved support and service delivery