Schools as learning organisations: assessing the organisational learning practices in West Oromia Secondary Schools of Ethiopia
The purpose of the study is to examine the extent to which schools displayed practices that promoted the notion of schools as learning organisations. The conceptual framework for this study is grounded in the current organisational learning and leadership literature. Cross-sectional survey research design was used to assess and describe the perceptions of respondents on the organisational learning practices. Questionnaire, interview and document analysis were used as data gathering instruments. Twenty seven secondary schools from three Zones were chosen as a data source. Proportional simple random and purposive sampling techniques were employed to include 600 participants in the study. To analyze the data, both descriptive and inferential statistics including percentages, mean scores, standard deviation, t-test, and one-way ANOVA were employed. The qualitative data gathered from open ended items, interview and documents were used to substantiate and triangulate the quantitative data. The findings of the study demonstrated that the schools have low favourable organisational culture and structure required for transformation into a learning organisation. There was a disjuncture between the current leadership practices at schools and leadership approaches favourable for OL and that leadership practices in the school did not play any significant role in supporting collaboration, collective learning, and participation of stakeholders. It is suggested that aspects of teachers' professional development focusing on continuous learning and improvement of instructional practices should be given priority. Similarly, school principals should be consistently exposed to the best theories and practices on school leadership through courses, workshops and seminars. School leaders need to embrace and establish the values of transparency, democracy and participation of stakeholders in the activities of the school.
Keywords: Organisational learning, leadership, professional development, culture, system Thinking