Managing to learn - learning to change : reflection and refraction in action
This qualitative practitioner research is set in a mixed, rural 11-16 Church of England Comprehensive School. It embraces reflective action enquiry into leadership and management of innovation in a turbulent period of national educational change. It is founded on the belief that if change processes are to be understood widely, practitioners must share experience emanating from reflective and analytical practice. This study is about "managing to learn" It embraces concepts of managing personal learning; managing colleagues' and students' learning; and managing processes leading to the emergence of the school as a "learning organisation" It is also about "learning to change" and espouses learning to promote personal change; learning to facilitate change in others; and learning to establish institutional change as a natural on-going characteristic of organisational life. This study is founded on a process of "reflection", as characterised by Schön (1983). Consequently, it employs a process of personal reflection on leadership roles in managing change and learning processes. It employs processes of reflection on cultural and political aspects of organisational life and resultant manifestations and implications of introducing, implementing, and institutionalising organisational and cultural change. This research utilises "refraction"- that is, convergence and divergence. Firstly, it promotes divergent and creative ways of organising which encourage and facilitate innovative processes. Secondly, it employs processes of converging, focusing, and concentrating on taken-for-granted "critical incidents" in the life of a developing school, to elicit meanings of events as understood by participants. Thirdly, it applies cultural and political prisms to school organisation, together with autocratic, bureaucratic, adhocratic, and reticular-democratic lenses in order to elucidate important cultural, political and organisational data. Finally this research is about "action" It is about doing, intervening, intending, committing, motivating, accomplishing, fulfilling and achieving. The essential concept and understanding of "action" is that it should be informed action.