Education under siege: Transcending the industrialisation paradigm

Patrick Bradbery

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The nature of organisations is changing. They no longer sit comfortably in the militarychurch bureaucracy espoused by Weber, and eagerly developed by Taylor and others at the start of the Twentieth Century. Nevertheless, despite the discomfort many organisations cling to these models, while desperately seeking a better one. In the search for new paradigms one common proposal is for the transformation of the organisation into a learning organisation. In the twenty plus years since this concept was popularised by Senge, Argyris and Schön, and Burgoyne, Pedler and Boydell, the debate regarding their appropriateness has raged. Clearly, they have not swept the world with the velocity predicted by Senge in 1990. Although there are numerous success stories, the pathway is strewn with failed attempts to create a learning organisation. In this paper, the conventional wisdom regarding the nature of learning is challenged. It is argued that the approaches to learning in mainstream education systems, as well as in most so-called learning organisations, are contributing to the inability to create organisations more consistent with contemporary demands on them. By integrating research from different disciplines, a model of learning that transcends the industrial paradigm is presented as a key to the changes necessary in education systems and developing organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-256
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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