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Ownership and Sustainability of an Innovation in a Professional Learning Community

By H.M. Dethmers


During their teaching career, teachers face several educational innovations. These innovations intervene deeply into the beliefs of teachers about themselves and their work. How sustainable are these innovations and to what extent do teachers feel ownership over these innovations? What is the relation between sustainability and ownership over an innovation? In order to answer these questions a study was conducted. in the context of ten primary schools. In September 2010 they formed a professional learning community named PPP and implemented Needs Based Teaching (NBT). Eleven teachers were twice interviewed: in 2011 and 2014 in order to conclude on the sustainability of the educational innovations: PPP (at macro-level) and NBT (at meso-level). Top-down management and facilitation of the innovation enhanced the sustainability. However, some parts of the innovation were not sustainable and the teachers felt only partly ownership or no ownership over the innovations. The hypothesis of a positive relationship between the sustainability and the sense of ownership of the teachers was rejected. After the four years of implementation the teachers found themselves in the process of getting control over the innovation and internalizing the new knowledge (conditions for feeling ownership). It requires time to turn innovations into sustainable improvements. The effectiveness of the innovation on the students’ improvement motivates teachers to adopt the innovation

Topics: educational innovations; professional learning community; sustainability; ownership
Year: 2014
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