Evidence shows that teachers in schools with the habit of learning for enrichment not only learn more and improve their work but also have greater self-confidence1.
Four factors for institutional change
Most organisations that have attempted to undertake a transformation have encountered serious difficulties in the early stages. Those that have succeeded learn from their experience. Achieving this depends largely on a focus on learning and the capabilities of its members. For schools, nothing is more crucial than teacher training to increase teachers’ capacity to learn.
The four factors that generate capacities for change have their institutional counterparts: 1) Creation of common vision; 2) Organisational structures, norms and research practices; 3) Focus on organisational knowledge and development; and 4) Collaborative work cultures.
- Creation of a common vision. The focus of change must be made clear, and a shared vision of what students should know and be able to do and what educational strategies will be used must be developed. When teachers have a voice, they are more committed.
- Organisational structures, norms and research practices. This involves guaranteeing all teachers are trained, supporting their training for change and creating a research process and a culture of lifelong learning. It is essential to adapt and expand educational strategies, as well as to broaden teacher training with a culture of ‘learning by doing’ and ‘learning from what we do’.
- Focus on organisational knowledge and development. Encourage experimentation and practice in order to be competent through effective support with coaching, co-coaching or shared teaching and collaboratively creating teaching materials.
- Collaborative work cultures. Work in teams at all levels of the school. Reaching agreements on what and how to teach, what and how to assess and how to serve all students effectively so that they participate and progress in their learning. Make decisions about what projects to do, how to help individual students or groups of students progress, etc. Create, apply and improve learning situations collaboratively.
Where are we? Let’s make a SELFI
Just as the SELFI for teachers was organised into the four factors for change, the SELFI for learning organisations also has the same four sections, but this time from the school’s perspective. The self-assessment tool ‘SELFI – The school, a learning organisation’ is designed to assist in a process of continuous improvement in which the school is transformed into an organisation that has an internal culture and dynamics that favour lifelong learning.
Impuls Educació provides a questionnaire with the following 29 questions.
1 “Change forces” (2002). Michael Fullan.