Raising social capital to improve student learning outcomes in schools
If schooling is to respond effectively to the demands of learning in the knowledge society there must be a shift in where school reform efforts are focused. This proposition is based in the increasing knowledge we have about school effectiveness and leaning, and the fact that high 'input reform efforts over recent decades have not improved student learning outcomes. The paper focuses on what educational researchers now know 'makes a difference for students', the quality of teaching, and then explores what reform mechanisms should be used to improve this in schools. We argue that school reforms can be successful if two types of captial are raised. As financial capital has been the key to industrial projects for over a century, the post-industrial age requires the raising of human, or intellectual capital and social capital. While raising human capital has been the function of professional development initiatives in schools, this paper will argue that raising social capital has been the missing element in school reform agendas. These are matters for exploration in of of the author's doctoral studies.