01 SES 11 A, Improving Schools - Challenging Circumstances And Professional Development Of Teachers
The contribution presents results of six case studies of Swiss compulsory schools which first had to face critical evaluation results concerning aspects of school leadership or school climate and which then received positive evaluation results concerning the turnaround after 30 months. The first step of research included the analysis of evaluation reports and minutes of meetings between school governors and principals with the inspectorate as well as target agreements concerning milestones and goals of school improvement. In a second step, interviews with principals and teachers as well as members of the local school boards, inspectors and involved consultants were conducted. Drawing on the concept of "sensemaking in organizations" (Weick 1993; Weick & Sutcliffe 2001; Weick, Sutcliffe & Obstfeld 2005), the study relates changes in narratives on school leadership and organizational culture to changes in formal structure and the reassignment of managerial responsibilities. The narratives of crisis and turnaround have been scrutinized with regard to the following questions: What caused the crisis? How pertinent was the diagnosis of the evaluation team? Which factors have been decisive for the turnaround? The findings suggest that the success in organization development is linked to a cultural shift from a focus on individual professional autonomy to a professional learning community.
Weick, K. (1993). Sensemaking in Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Weick, K. E., & Sutcliffe, K. M. (2001). Managing the unexpected: assuring high performance in an age of complexity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Weick, K. E., Sutcliffe, K.M. & Obstfeld (2005). Organizing and the Process of Sensemaking. Organization Science 16(4), pp. 409–421.
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