Towards an Optimistic Future: Schools as Learning Organisations - Effects on Teacher Leadership and Student Outcomes.

Year: 2000

Author: Silins, Halia, Mulford, Prof Bill

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The ARC funded Leadership for Organisational Learning and Student Outcomes (LOLSO) Project is in its final year. Early results from 3,500 year 10 students and 2,500 teachers, including principals, from 96 secondary schools from Tasmania and South Australia were reported at AARE's 1999 conference. A four dimensional model of organisational learning was confirmed and employed (using path analysis) to identify conditions fostering organisational learning in Australian secondary schools. The predominant influences of leadership, organisational learning and significant teacher effects on student participation in and engagement with school were discussed.

This paper examines further the nature of organisational learning and the leadership practices and processes that foster organisational learning and, more importantly, the impact of these variables on teacher leadership. A path model is used to test these school variables as well as school characteristics such as availability of resources and community focus against the impact of students' home environment on students' views of teachers' work in the classroom and student outcomes such as attendance, and participation in and engagement with school. The importance of reconceptualising schools as learning organisations to promote successful school change is discussed.