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Turning schools into learning organizations

by Piet Coppieters
European Journal of Teacher Education ()

Abstract

The concept of life-long learning has become a frequently used term in political and educational parlance. The final aim of schools has to be the development of the self-directed learner by developing the students' life-long learning competences. To realize this goal schools have to change from institutions that transfer knowledge into learning organizations. This paper will show that this transformation needs a new view on change processes and change management. The old view is known as the School Effectiveness, Improvement and Culture (SEIC) movement. We argue in this paper that the overall direction of this movement with its emphasis on factorial, deterministic and simplistic approaches to change and school improvement has little to offer to understand the complex change processes in schools. Therefore, we explore a new view, in which schools are seen as dynamic, unpredictable and complex social organisms the development of which depends on complex adaptation systems based on knowledge management and learning.

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