chapter  9
Developing Teacher Professionalism Through Networking
Pages 16

The revival of interest in networking can be seen as part of a fundamental global movement which the sociologist Manuel Castells calls ‘informationalism’: ‘In the new informational mode of development the source of productivity lies in the technology of knowledge generation, information processing and symbol communication’ (Castells, 1996:17). What is most interesting about Castells s account is the idea that improvements in the technology of information processing help to shape the nature of knowledge generation itself and this clearly spotlights the use of the Internet and related technologies in the field of professional networks. The question is not whether the rapid technological developments driven by the restructuring of capitalism since the 1980s are helping to shape the nature of teacher networking behaviours; it is patently clear that they are; rather the question is whether they are shaping the fundamental nature of the professional discourse engaged in and whether this development is likely to be of benefit to the profession and ultimately to the education of young people in our schools.