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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Conference Papers and Proceedings
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Author(s): Boreham, Nicholas
Reeves, Jenny
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Title: Strategies for School Improvement: Transferring the Concept of Organizational Learning from an Oil Refinery to a Local Authority Education Department
Citation: Boreham N & Reeves J (2004) Strategies for School Improvement: Transferring the Concept of Organizational Learning from an Oil Refinery to a Local Authority Education Department. Annual Conference of the British Educational Research Association, Manchester, UK, 16.09.2004-16.09.2004.
Issue Date: 2004
Date Deposited: 7-May-2009
Conference Name: Annual Conference of the British Educational Research Association
Conference Dates: 2004-09-16 - 2004-09-16
Conference Location: Manchester, UK
Abstract: In March 2004, Burnham Council, a Local Authority in central Scotland, adopted a new strategy for school improvement which involved transforming the Authority and its 93 schools into a learning organization. Despite the popularity of the concepts of ‘learning organization’, ‘learning community’, ‘learning school’ and the like in the school improvement literature, there are relatively few documented accounts of attempts to create learning organizations in the educational service. The aim of the present paper is to analyze the development and implementation of Burnham’s organizational learning strategy, focusing on its impact on professional practice at all levels within the Authority. In so doing, we hope throw light not only on this approach to school improvement, but also to clarify the concept of organizational learning itself, and examine how comfortably it sits with the values of a public service and a caring profession. Given the origins of the organizational learning concept in the for-profit sector, as well as the continuing concern in some educational quarters about the desirability of importing business methods into education, the present paper pays close attention to the transferability of the learning organization concept across the private-public sector divide. It analyzes the process by which the Authority formed its initial concept of organizational learning and drew up its strategy of school improvement through organizational learning, whilst in a second paper (Reeves and Boreham, 2004) we analyze the way in which the Authority’s 93 schools, its senior management team, its education officers, its educational psychologists and many others worked together to create a shared vision.l
Status: AM - Accepted Manuscript
AM - Accepted Manuscript

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