32 SES 02, Organizational Learning: A central topic of Organizational Education
In the current season of complexity, the most rapid developmental rhythms, the extension of the new technological environment, the multiculturalism and the rapid increase in the available information and knowledge led to the development of sciences and the transformation of the social structures, giving a new dimension in the requirements for learning and education, making the educational changes essential for the effectiveness of school.
Educational changes have always been a result and indication of social transformations, provided that the educational system is structurally connected with the all the other surrounding social systems. Consequently, an educational organism conforms to the wider social change and develops adaptive mechanisms, in order to survive in the rapidly changing environment in a process of evolution and simultaneous development. Schools correspond to this challenge reinforcing their ability for organizational learning. This contributes to school improvement and effectiveness as a basic presupposition, as organizational learning encourages the development in all levels of the school (individual, collective and organizational level). The conflation of these levels turns school into a learning one.
It is an undeniable fact that, in Greece, the educational reformations take place either based on European requirements, without having been adapted to the Greek reality, or as an expression of a certain educational policy of the political party being in power. The particularity of the Greek educational reality brings the discussion about the policy of educational reforms in front of a basic question: Can we distinguish some certain dominant tendencies/ perceptions which characterize, to an extent, the procedure of change of the Greek educational system? In Greece, researches and studies have proved that the educational system is centralist and most changes continue to be made by the central bodies or institutions without the opinion of the directly involved in the educational process being taken into consideration. In other words, the educational reforms are attempted in a systemically-organizationally incoherent way. This is justified as there are incompatibility and inconherence in the planning and application of educational changes and reforms, while the systemic autonomy of schools as well as their structural connection with the important surrounding systems, eg. the family, are overlooked.
The educational change itself is an auto-referential and complicated procedure. This means that schools have to manage the demanding environments of multiple innovations/changes and coordinate them, introducing many changes in order to acquire their own distinguishable identity but at the same time selective communication with the other systems surrounding them. Taking for granted that each school constitutes a learning organism, which can evolve from a fragmented sum into an autonomous, auto-referential and autopoetic system through procedures of organizational learning, the present research constitutes an effort to investigate the levels of organizational learning in relation with the changes in Greek school units of secondary education.
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