SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT AS A RESULT OF EXTERNAL PRESSURE, VERSUS, AS A RESULT OF PERSONAL AWARENESS AND REFLECTION

O.H. Kaldestad

NLA - University College (NORWAY)
This paper examines the school quality issue from an organizational learning perspective. The hypothesis is that school improvement occur more frequently through teachers voluntary development than as a result external pressure. Pressure is often a depressive element in teacher’s work-life, and it could be tempting to do something cosmetically, instead of something of more durable and profound character, if the goal is to document change. In Norway school improvement , the latest years, as in most OECD countries, has been closely linked to better comparable test-results in basic skills. Focus has, in particular, been put on what is tested in the PISA framework. How the results are carried out, and what kind of test-focus there have been in schools daily life is usually under-communicated. Still, is seems to be a common agreement that the quality of the teacher is a vital element when it comes to pupils results.

This paper examines how schools can take care of the ambition of creating a leaning organization within the frames of the public criteria measuring quality in school – built on experiences from a project carried out in a Norwegian municipality.
keywords: quality, improvement.