Laura Thomas

Laura Thomas
Ghent University | UGhent · Department of Educational Studies

Doctor of Education

About

23
Publications
2,242
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119
Citations
Introduction
I am Laura Thomas. From September 2015 until August 2019 I was a PhD candidate at the Department of Educational Studies at Ghent University. My PhD project focused on the social network of beginning primary school teachers (an interuniversity project in collaboration with KU Leuven, funded by FWO). Currently, I am a post-doctoral researcher at the same department, focusing on professional development of (university) teachers.
Additional affiliations
September 2019 - November 2021
Ghent University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • I work for the 'Masters of Didactics' project (professionalisation of Polish university teachers) and the research group 'Teacher Education and Professional Development' of the Department of Education at Ghent University.
September 2015 - September 2019
Ghent University
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • My PhD aimed to entangle the collegial support ties in primary school teachers’ first years in the profession, using social network analysis. This resulted in five quantitative and mixed methods studies.
Education
September 2015 - August 2019
Ghent University
Field of study
  • Education
September 2013 - June 2015
Ghent University
Field of study
  • Special Education
September 2010 - June 2013
Ghent University
Field of study
  • Special Education

Publications

Publications (23)
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses the potential of mixed-method social network analysis (MMSNA) as a methodology for designing and conducting studies that address questions of interplay between human agency and social structures in educational settings. First, we discuss a rationale for using MMSNA referring to the theoretical calls for better understanding t...
Article
Full-text available
All over Europe, the rapidly increasing number of newly arrived migrant students (NAMS) not only transformed countries into ethnically diverse societies but also led to various challenges for the educational system in general and its schools and teachers in particular. In Flanders, education for NAMS has several limitations, such as an overrepresen...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we present a critical reflection on the concept of social capital. We argue that there is no such idea of an umbrella concept of social capital. Instead, two overarching conceptualizations of social capital exist, namely individual social capital and collective social capital. As these conceptualizations of social capital are complet...
Poster
Full-text available
Poster presented at EARLI 2021.
Article
Full-text available
At the core of architecture education are the design studio classes, where students test ideas, build physical models, and propose design projects in a shared creative environment. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 created a large disruption of this status quo and required a major shift in the whole experience of teaching and learning at design studios...
Chapter
Globally, large numbers of early career teachers (ECTs) drop out of the profession in the first years of practice. This chapter reports about Flemish research focusing on the role of collegial support networks in keeping ECTs in the profession, using mixed-methods social network analysis. Links to Communities of Practice—as the central theme of thi...
Article
Previous research has pointed at the pivotal role of professional collegial support relationships to keep beginning teachers in the profession. In this study, we build on previous research by using follow-up mixed-method social network data to explore (1) to what extent, in what ways and for which reasons beginning teachers’ work-related network (p...
Article
Drawing theoretically from the social network perspective, this article focuses on the collegial support networks of two beginning teachers, and how this is related to their job attitudes. A whole-school survey to investigate the support network structure of their primary school team, and an in-depth interview with the beginning teacher to explore...
Article
In research on teacher induction, scholars have pointed at the pivotal role of collegial support to overcome the challenges inherent to the first years of teaching. In this quantitative study, we extend current work by using a social network perspective to examine characteristics (i.e. network size, frequency and perceived usefulness) of profession...
Article
Teacher attrition is a global concern that is particularly prevalent among beginning teachers. Teachers’ intrinsic motivation to teach, affective organisational commitment and job satisfaction are considered job attitudes that stop them from dropping out of the profession. This study explores the interplay between factors at the school level (i.e....
Article
A considerable amount of beginning teachers leave the profession within the first years of practice. In this research we examine the development of beginning teachers’ social network during their first year in relation to their professional self. Ten beginning secondary teachers are interviewed three times during one school year by using the method...
Article
A considerable amount of beginning teachers leave the profession within the first years of practice. In this research we examine the development of beginning teachers' social network during their first year in relation to their professional self. Ten beginning secondary teachers are interviewed three times during one school year by using the method...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
By request of the Polish ministry of Higher Education, Ghent University (alongside other universities in Europe) designed a professionalization program for Polish university teachers with a focus on innovative teaching and assessment strategies, educational technology, collaborative learning, ...and all of this from a tutor-oriented perspective. In Ghent we designed a course consisting of three parts: (a) 5-day study visit in Ghent, (b) online booster, and (c) Good practice days in Poland. Regarding this professionalization course, currently research is being conducted.
Project
My PhD research is part of the interuniversity FWO-funded project 'Induction of beginning teachers: Professional development in networks'. Together with KU Leuven (Prof. dr. Geert Kelchtermans and Drs. Sarah Marent), my supervisors (Prof. dr. Ruben Vanderlinde, Prof. dr. Geert Devos and Dr. Melissa Tuytens; and Prof. dr. Nienke Moolenaar who is part of my advisory committee) are conducting research on beginning teachers and their social network. In this project both quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods analyses are used, with a specific focus on social network analysis.