Teachers learning and innovating together: exploring collective learning and its relationship to individual learning, transformational leadership and team performance in higher vocational education

Nanda Maria Petronella Lodders

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

335 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Educational institutions operating in a knowledge economy are faced with two important challenges: they will need to radically change their educational systems to meet the demands inherent in a knowledge economy and they will need to develop their own adaptive capabilities in order to be able to continuously adjust to their dynamic environments. These challenges may be addressed using a learning strategy, where 'collective learning' plays an essential role. This social type of learning might arise when the members of a collective collaborate and consciously strive for common learning and/or working outcomes. The present study  consisting of a survey study, a case study and a game simulation  focuses on the value of this type of learning for teacher teams in Universities of Applied Sciences. Results of the survey study show that 'collective learning' is positively related to 'social individual learning', a form of learning where an individual interacts with others to improve the quality of his or her work, to realize change, and/or to accomplish personal goals. Likely, the more proficient people in a teacher team are at learning individually through social interaction, the more proficient the team is at learning collectively. As such, collective learning processes might benefit from developing the social individual learning processes taking place within the team. Organizations can facilitate individuals' and teams' learning by providing a structure, a culture, and a leadership style supportive of learning. Results of the survey study and the case study provide support for a positive relationship between a transformational leadership style and the level of 'collective learning' and 'social individual learning' taking place in a team; both types of social learning seem to be fostered by a transformational leadership approach. Furthermore, results suggest a positive relationship between such approach and teams' innovativeness. Overall, results indicate the relevance of a transformational leadership style for stimulating teachers' social learning in the context of educational innovation, as well as for the success of the innovation project itself. Finally, results of the case study and the game simulation support the hypothesized positive relationship between 'collective learning' and teams' innovativeness and performance.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Kessels, J.W.M., Supervisor
  • Kuijpers, M.A.C.T., Supervisor
Award date18 Jan 2013
Place of PublicationEnschede
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-90-365-3495-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2013

Keywords

  • IR-83181
  • METIS-293060

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