Clarke, Beth Marie (2012)
Ed.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
In a profession characterized, in recent years by change, schools and the people they employ have to learn effectively in what Schein (1992) describes as “a perpetual learning system” (p.372). This research considers how head teachers, teachers and teaching assistants learn in three separate primary schools. The research considers the impact of the schools’ climate on the success of organisational learning and is interested in ascertaining the impact of power on the learning experience. The research is informed by a thorough review of the educational and organizational literature and has drawn on the works of Argyris and Schon (1974; 1978; 1996); Lipshitz et al, (2002); MacGilchrist et al, (2004) and West-Burnham and Ireson (2005).
Following an analysis of the findings, a number of preliminary recommendations are made. These recommendations show that organisational learning is multi-faceted and complex, requiring a combination of explicit leadership and individual ownership. It highlights the significance of informal learning with and from colleagues and points to an inequality of access both within and between groups of practitioners. A perpetual learning system emerges in the conclusion and is offered for consideration. This study captures insights which should inform the future research agenda.
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