Collective learning in primary schools and teacher education institutes

Jos Castelijns, Marjan Vermeulen, Quinta Kools, Bob Koster

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    Many innovations in education are not completed, even if they are well thought out in advance. One of the main causes is the organization’s lack of learning ability, combined with a shortage of teachers’ and students’ ownership with respect to the renewal of ideas and design. In communities of learners, teachers and students collaborate and learn together in order to shape innovations in their daily practice. Their ability to learn collectively is a key factor in developing a learning organization. So far, insights into how processes of collective learning can be designed effectively, and which critical factors play a role, have been based on limited empirical research. This article’s goal is to contribute to the development of these insights, using the results of a study based on 48 cases of collective learning in communities of learners in primary schools and teacher education institutes. The results suggest that although collective learning rarely takes place in most cases, many outcomes are created that affect all community members. This leads to the conclusion that some participants create outcomes, not only on behalf of themselves but also on behalf of others.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)373-402
    Number of pages30
    JournalJournal of Educational Change
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2013


    • collective learning
    • primary school
    • learning organization
    • communitiy of learners


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