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School as a Learning Organisation: Impediments to Its Implementation in Latvia and Abroad

Beata Lavrinoviča1, Inga Linde1, Gunta Siliņa-Jasjukeviča1, Inese Lūsēna-Ezera2
University of Latvia, Latvia
2 Liepaja University, Latvia

Abstract. One after another, European educational systems are applying reforms to transform primary and secondary schools to fit continuously changing and dynamic environments. Reforms require schools to serve as lifelong learning centres for various learners’ groups, including school leaders, teachers and school staff, making them more flexible, collaborative and innovative in what comes to the teaching approaches. Simultaneously, gradual transformations in education are contextualised by the decrease in teaching staff and low motivation to remain in the profession due to a variety of reasons.
‘School as a learning organisation’ concept is introduced to define a school that continuously changes and adapts to new environments and circumstances through individual and collective learning of its staff. This paper aims to review the main impediments to implementations of the ‘school as a learning organisation’ concept, considering its functioning in Latvia and abroad. Literature and document analysis was done to assess the characteristics of learning organisations in the European context. With special focus on Latvia, several focus group interviews were conducted with the education managers and stakeholders to verify the implementation impediments in Latvia and define main risks of schools as learning organisations. Content analysis was applied to draw conclusions.
The results have shown that institutional autonomy and leadership are the keys to positive changes in educational staff perceptions and motivation to take on risks and obtain new knowledge, skills and competence for the individual and organisational growth. However, there are other impediments, such as lack of time, financial resources and insufficient communication and understanding of the whole idea of the school as a learning organisation, that stops schools from being the agents of change. The obtained results will be further applied in the design of the ‘School as a learning organisation’ model and a tool for its measurement in Latvia.

Keywords: autonomy, collaboration, leadership, learning organisation, schools in Latvia, team learning

About the authors

Beata Lavrinoviča, PhD student of Educational Sciences in the Faculty of Pedagogy, Psychology and Art of the University of Latvia.

Gunta Siliņa-Jasjukeviča, Dr. paed, associate professor at the Faculty of Pedagogy, Psychology and Art, senior researcher in Scientific Institute of Pedagogy, University of Latvia.

Inga Linde, PhD student of Educational Sciences at the Faculty of Pedagogy, Psychology and Art of the University of Latvia.

Inese Lūsēna-Ezera, Dr. sc. administr, professor and leading researcher at Liepaja University.

To Be or Not to Be a Great Educator, 2022. Proceedings of ATEE Annual Conference
Riga: University of Latvia Press, 2023. 985 p.
EdL. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-019-0