System learning for organizational change
Improvement requires learning. When we are trying to improve an organization, we need to attend to not just individual learning, but collective learning. This paper presents evidence from a unique reform model that allowed teachers and other educators in a large urban district to collaborate with one another in the development of an innovation meant to improve student ownership and responsibility. In this longitudinal case study, we describe school stakeholders’ learning about the design, the process of knowledge-transfer to school teams, and how school teams shared their ongoing learning with one another. School implementation teams were initially reluctant to share their learning with one another. By engaging in a shared innovation development process with structures for routine sharing, over time, implementation team members were increasingly interested in sharing their learning with one another. We discuss the implications for school improvement efforts.
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