Organisational learning in Australian high schools - Nature and practices

Year: 1999

Author: Silins, Halia, Mulford, Bill, Zarins, Silja

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The concept of schools as learning organisations has evolved in response to the difficulties experienced in bringing about school reform. Successful restructuring of schools may be dependent on the extent that whole school staff can learn and put learnings to use. This capacity for collaborative learning defines the process of organisational learning in schools. This study examined the nature of organisational learning and the conditions that foster it in Australian high schools. The responses of 2,500 teachers, including principals, from 96 secondary schools drawn from Tasmania and South Australia provided the data for this investigation. A four dimensional model of organisational learning was identified and employed (using path analysis) to identify the conditions fostering organisational learning in schools. The predominant influences of resources, principals' practices, distribution of leadership, and significant teacher effects are discussed.