Senge (2007) states that ‘The organizations that will truly excel in the future will be the organizations that discover how to tap people’s commitment and capacity to learn at all levels in the organisation.’ (p.4) I think that to have this in mind is important in the TL role. I also believe that schools don’t do this enough. The focus of professional development seems to be very centred on student learning (which is important). However, I think that the teacher as a learner is a very important concept and I believe that teachers who are active learners are more likely to inspire students themselves to learn. I also believe that teachers could learn so much from each other but are often not given the time to do so.
I have been struggling to get my head around the concept of a ‘learning organisation’ as the term is a new one to me. I loved Senge’s (2007) definition ‘…organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.’ (p.3)
To me the above definition is really clear and it certainly makes me want to be a part of such an organisation. I think sometimes I am too busy and forget to pay attention to my own learning as well as the students. I think this definition and concept will also be useful for assignment two as it has helped me understand another part of the broad role of the teacher librarian.
I found Fullan’s (1999) reading made some interesting points about learning organisations and has encouraged me to improve some areas of my current practice. Particularly useful was the point that teachers in a learning organisation examine how well students are doing, relate this to how they are teaching and make continuous refinements individually and collaboratively. I believe that this is very important and certainly does not happen enough at my current school (and I am sure many schools.) It is interesting to note that our most recent staff development day began to attempt to address this issue. I hope this points to promising times ahead!
I found the readings on learning organisations useful and very clear but am still trying to get my head around where the TL fits within the organisation. I also have questions (from my current teaching perspective) as to how the learning organisation concept will affect the way the new national curriculum will be delivered. I suppose it will become clear as the new curriculum is phased in?