To produce the kind of school in which contemporary school reforms, such as the “No Child Left Behind Act” call for, educational leaders must assist their teachers in becoming accomplished and capable educators that are able to deliver quality education. Educational leaders must consider the best possible methods in which this goal can be accomplished. One of the most prominent ways of accomplishing this goal is through the use of organizational learning. This paper shall discuss how the “learn or else” method affects organizational learning, the “quick fix” method on organizational learning, and how continuous school improvements are possible without hindering organizational learning..
Learn or Else The construction of knowledge is a never ending process. The “learn or else” mind set of educational leaders does very little if anything to bring teacher together for collaborative learning. Reeves (2004) states that the research on the brain and the implication of learning is something that is well defined and not taking this into consideration will halt organizational learning in its track. This mindset does not guarantee success for school improvement. Consequently, it is more possible for it yielding to the educational improvement plans not reaching its maximum potential, the educational gap widening, professions in education are decreasing, and the curriculum narrowing (Reeves, 2004). With educational leaders having this mentality it can cause tension in the school in which make change more difficult to obtain. This mentality has a very corrupt impact on organizational learning do to it cause dissention and not collaboration.
Smith (2001) points out that the construction of knowledge is not something in which educational leaders should look for short term results to fix. When looking for quick-fixes it can fix a problem for the minute but will not have a definite solution for an ongoing or reoccurring problem. As a matter of fact, it causes double working. What is meant by that is just because the problem was put to a halt or band -aid up does not mean that it will not surface again. The whole goal of an educational leader is to lead for the future. With that being said an educational leader should be proactive and not reactive. They should get to the root of the problem and examine it from all angles. This mentality is detrimental to organizational learning do to one is really not learning but covering up.
Through continuous learning both of these mindsets can be overcome. With the leader and all of the stakeholders involved constructing a clear and shared mission, vision, values, and making collective commitments all that are involved are in the process of making and deciding on education improvements needs for their school and/or district. When all have agreed on the mission of the school/district and set forth what they would like to see it become (vision), create common values, and agree on what each individual shall do to assure the success of the plan set forth, there is more likely hood for success than the above two mentalities mentioned. In making school improvements this way all that are involved are able to feel a part of the change and there is less restraints, resentments, and resistance. All are held accountable for making the educational change.
Another way of overcoming ineffective mindsets is the possibility of educational leader reestablishing fragmental interactions while providing and opening doors for opportunities of demonstrating respect for all educators work. The key to transforming schools into continuous learning communities lay in the hands of educational leaders and their behaviors play a major part as well. Fullen (2001) stated that instead of looking for saviors, educational leaders should be one that challenge their members to face the problems for…