Factors Inhibiting Organizational Learning in the School and Proposed Plan for Change

Factors Inhibiting Learning

Identifying the factors inhibiting organizational learning in the school is the most critical step towards the change. In fact, change enhances the learning environment, especially if all the stakeholders embrace it. In the case of the Cycle 1 School for Girls case, leadership and communication are the main factors inhibiting individual and collective learning in the school. The authoritarian leadership in the school for the last decade is not conducive to support learning. The model of leadership inhibits learning by dissuading innovativeness and creativity in the development and sharing of knowledge (Argote, 2012). Lack of effective communication channels based on the authoritative environment is another factor that is negatively affecting organizational learning. The flawed channels will not allow for information and knowledge to flow through the organization in any direction effectively.

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Senge’s Disciplines

Organizational learning is primarily about reframing the mind to change the assumptions and beliefs that hinder change and to adopt those that support the learning process (Senge et al., 2012). The most important and priority action is to train the teachers to realize the importance of making the school a learning environment. Planning for the change will involve the efforts to have in place training sessions for the old and new teachers to brief them about the need for change. The training process will prepare the teachers for the change through concerted efforts to reframe the minds of the teachers by challenging the deep-seated mental models; for example, the belief that only the authoritarian leadership can work for the school (Senge, 2014). The process will be followed by the implementation of the change in leadership, which will be followed by evaluation and decision making based on the outcome of the evaluation.

Team learning is another discipline that needs to change in order for the school to become a learning organization. In fact, this can only take place when the teachers learn to think together and work as a team towards improving the school. The environment is effective for learning because the teachers become more creative, sharing skills and knowledge, which promotes learning. It is necessary for the teachers, old and new, to learn how to work in teams through shared change vision (Senge, 2014). The discipline is achievable through implementing models such as “Action-Learning Cycle” and “Dialogue,” which is possible through effective communication.

Systems thinking is also critical as it will tie together the disciplines and allow for the development of workable relationships between the old and new teachers and between the school leaders. Effective interactions will make it possible for the teachers to work as a team and engage with the leaders to effect the required change. Systems Thinking is the discipline that will allow the teachers to question the flawed thinking created by the long reign of autocracy and allow for the development of progressive thinking (Senge, 2014). With the changes, the entire school system will change in a positive way.

Communication and Participative Engagement

Communication and participative engagement are the strategies that will be used to implement the change of the school into a learning environment through modification of the leadership style (Sergiovane, 2001). Communicating with teachers, the old and new, and the leadership of the school is the initial process to addressing any impediment to the change, including resistance. Communication is the most effective strategy as it will indicate the logic for the change and seek support from the school community. Communication will be effective if it moves in all directions, upwards where the teachers can forward their grievances to the leaders, and downward where the leaders can communicate rules and regulations and other decisions to the teachers. Finally, there is the lateral or horizontal where the teachers will effectively communicate amongst themselves to implement the change (Petty & Cacioppo, 2012). Communication will be effective if all the channels are effectively utilized in the school since the information will flow in all directions, allowing learning to occur.

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Communication will be the basis for implementing participative engagement, the strategy that will engage all the teachers throughout the change process. The strategy is effective as it will allow for support and ensure that the teachers feel a sense of ownership of the change process (Argote, 2012). Engaging the teachers makes it possible to identify the issues affecting the change and enact workable measures to deal with them.

 

Work Process and Timeline
1.      Planning (May 15 – June 15, 2017)

 

 

 

 

The phase will involve bringing together teachers and the leaders to communicate the importance of the change of leadership for a better learning environment. Using the Sergiovane (2001) framework, training will be done through communication and participative engagement to change the mental models of the teachers that are hindering learning. 

 

2.      Implementation (June 15 to July 15, 2017).

 

 

Implementation is the stage at which the change process comes into being. Training and team working will be evident at this point where the teachers will continue to learn about the importance of change in leadership for a better learning setting.
 

3.      Evaluation (July 15) 

 

 

Data will be collected to determine the effectiveness of the change process. Different tools will be used to evaluate success in leadership style and the change in the mindset of the teachers following the Senge’s five disciplines of a learning organization.
4.      Decision-making

 

The results of the evaluation will define the next course of action, including maintaining the program if found to be effective, changing, or improving it if not effective.

 

 

References

Argote, L. (2012). Organizational learning: Creating, retaining and transferring knowledge. Springer Science & Business Media.

Petty, R., & Cacioppo, J. (2012). Communication and persuasion: Central and peripheral routes to attitude change. Springer Science & Business Media.

Senge, P. M. (2014). The fifth discipline fieldbook: Strategies and tools for building a learning organization. Crown Business.

Senge, P., Cambron-McCabe, N., Lucas, T., & Smith, B.  (2012). Schools that learn (Updated and Revised): A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education (1st ed., pp. 1-608). New York: Crown Publishing Group.

Sergiovanni, T.J. (2001). Leadership: What’s in it for Schools? Routledge

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