Friday, 29 April 2011

Learning for Leaders

As a leader, do you continue to learn?  If so, are you learning 'in context'?

Learning in Context

...learning in context over time is essential.  Let us be precise here  because aspects of this lesson are counterintuitive.  Attempting to recruit and reward good people is helpful to organizational performance, but it is not the main point.  Providing a good deal of training is useful, but that too is a limited strategy.  ...  Learning in the setting where you work, or learning in context, is the learning with the greatest payoff because it is more specific (customized to the situation) and because it is social (involves the group).  Learning in context is developing leadership and improving the organization as you go. Such learning changes the individual and the context simultaneously. ... Opportunities to learn through study groups, action research, and the sharing of experiences in support groups create real supports for principals so that the complicated and difficult problems of instructional leadership can be addressed. 

From:  Leading in a Culture of Change by Michael Fullan
Published by: Jossey-Bass


  1. Ilove the idea that both the learner and the context chnage simultaneously. How true and obvious is that! Of course as a person grows in their leadership (both style and philosophy) so will their overall outlook at the way they do things, interact with others, approach problems.

    The trick is to bring others along for the ride. It is not enough to go on a journe by yourslef when there are another 40 people in the building. being able to articulate this "new you" to have others come along is the trick. If your outlook, hence your context, shifts, and their's does not, it could be a recipe for disaster.

  2. Arthur, I think you raise a really good point here. In fact, I think that sometimes this is an issue for leaders. They get opportunities to learn and return to their schools hoping that the staff will adopt the new learning yet the staff didn't take part in it. Therefore, as a leader, as the learning occurs, how do we ensure that we don't leave others out of the picture or expect them to know what we have learned? It makes me think of the value of co-learning so that everyone learns together and/or implements new learning in a shared, co-learning manner.