Relationships Matter: Putting It All Together

About six months ago, we published a post entitled The Importance Of Relationships In Educational Reform, by Kara S. Finnigan and Alan J. Daly. This post was the first of an ongoing series on the social side of education. In addition to Finnigan and Daly, scholars such as Carrie R. Leana and Frits K. Pil, Kenneth Frank, and William Penuel have joined this effort by writing about their research and sharing their perspective.

If there is one take away about the social side approach, it is the idea that relationships matter in education. Teaching and learning are not solo but rather social endeavors and, as such, they are best achieved by working together. The social side perspective: (1) shifts the focus from the individual to the broader context in which individuals operate; (2) highlights the importance of interdependencies at all levels of the system – e.g., among teachers within a school, leaders across a district, schools and the community; and (3) recognizes that crucial resources (e.g., information, advice, support) are exchanged through interpersonal relationships.

In my previous post I shared a list of resources (e.g., videos, news articles, papers etc.) that I compiled, and which I will periodically update, on the research underpinning the social side lens. Today I want to share two additional materials: First, a short video that I created, which summarizes, in a visual way, the ideas outlined above; second, an interactive image to help you explore our collection of content on this topic.

Click on the boxes in the image below to learn more about these various sets of relationships by reading related posts within the social side series.

Labor-Management District Leaders Research-Practice Teachers Students School-Community System

Feel free to use and share these two resources. Also, stay tuned and register for our upcoming session on the social side of education at the 2015 Teaching & Learning conference in Washington D.C., with Andy Hargreaves, Pasi Sahlberg, Susan Moore Johnson, Carrie R. Leana and John P. Papay.

- Esther Quintero


The one thing that could be mentioned in this presentation is ,early in the show, it has teachers coming and going in the eggcrate model. What is not mentioned is that they come and go from and into the same structure and it still has the same results, for some reason, Hhhmmmm.


I would strongly recommend reading Margaret Wheatley's Leadership and the New Science and much of the work of Richard Elmore, both of whom reinforce these ideas in somewhat different, but powerful, ways.