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International Learning School Project

Goals of the project

The short term goal of the project is to validate the Learning Organizational Behavior Questionnaire and model for primary and secondary educational institutions which put the focus on the core business of the schools: learning and teaching. The model has been validated on a Hungarian sample and now we would like to do it in an international environment. During this process we also want to explore the relations between the organizational culture and the level of autonomy with the characteristics of learning organization.

The long term goal of the project is to serve as firm basis for a new international RDI project which – using the validated model – provides tools and processes for schools and their stakeholders to diagnose the level of learning capacities and make development plans to become learning organization thus providing better learning possibilities for their students. Schools should support the high results, the joy of learning and the equal opportunity to learn.

Lastly, our future network should serve as basis for producing, sharing and using knowledge regarding the personal, team and organizational learning.

The international team


  • Cyprus International Institute of Management (Margarita Christoforidou)

Czech Republic

  • Masaryk University (Mirka Lazarová)
  • Palacky University (Jana Poláchová Vašťatková)


  • University of Hull (Sam Shields)


  • Kevätkumpu School (Markku Antinluoma)


  • University of Szeged, HUNSEM (Tibor Barath; Agnes Muth-Fazekas, Laszlo Horvath)


  • EMD Consultancy (Eileen O’Connor)


  • Unversity of Latvia (Ilze Ivanova)


  • Netherlands School of Educational Management (NSO) (Femke Geijzel)


  • Jagiellonian University (Roman Dorczak)


  • University of Kragujevac (Jelena Teodorovic)
  • Institute for Educational Research (Dejan Stankovic)


  • National School for Leadership in Education (Justina Erculj,  Polona Pecek)


  • University of Uppsala (Kristina Malmberg)


  • Akdeniz University (Mualla Aksu)

International organizations

  • Association for Teacher Education in Europe, Educational Leadership and Management RDC (Esmahan Agaoglu)

Individual experts

  • Eric Verbiest (Netherlands)
  • Huub Friederichs (Netherlands)

Model and tools

Development of the Learning Organizational Behavior Model for educational institutions

From its conception by Peter Senge in 1990 the paradigm of learning organization had a meaningful impact on the world of educational institutions. Several empirical studies explored the concept by linking leadership, organizational learning and student outcomes (for example the Leadership for Organisational Learning and Student Outcomes by Silins, Zarins and Mulford (2002) and the Leadership in the Process of Organizational Learning in Schools research by Pol, Hlousková, Lazarová, Novotny and Sedlácek (2011)).

From 2014 to 2015 in Hungary the Hungarian-Netherlands School of Educational Management had the opportunity to engage in a research and development project which aim was to develop a model for schools as learning organization which would serve as a basis for organizational development. After a thorough literature review and initial organizational diagnosis a large-scale research was conducted in the first phase only in one region of Hungary and in the second phase on the national level. From the regional results (62 principals, 119 deputy-heads, 1192 teachers) we made the first steps toward validating the hypothesized theoretical model of learning organizations. The picture shows the validated model.


In the centre of our model is the core-business of educational institutions, teaching and learning which is reinforced by the continuous professional development of staff. One angle of the model is the human aspect, namely partnership in learning and differentiated learning. The other angle is the organizational aspect of the model, namely responsibility and trust regarding the organizational culture and leadership which is supporting learning. Regarding these dimensions we found a significant difference between highly competitive schools and less competitive schools and also between organizations which are less and more characterized by organizational learning. Regarding leadership we found that mainly the coordinator and facilitator roles are supporting these dimensions the best from Quinn and Rohrbaugh’s Competing Values Framework.

Research and development tools

  • Learning Organizational Behavior Questionnaire (in English): for assessing the dimensions of the Learning School model which is validated on a Hungarian sample. (Under translation)
  • Context questionnaire (in English): for identifying organizational culture of the schools involved and the level of autonomy perceived by the responding teachers and leaders. (Under development)
  • Background questions: first draft prepared by HUNSEM (Under development)
  • Detailed list of characteristics of schools as learning organization: Our approach is based on behavioural science thus we deeply discussed how a learning school behaves. We have a list including about 140 sentences regarding the identified behaviors. (Under translation)
  • Tools for development based on the Learning School Model (Under translation)
  • Case study protocol and case studies of schools as learning organizations (Under translation)

Time table

  • Summer: Finalizing the terms of participations and cooperation agreement
  • August/September: First online meeting for the team to get acquainted
  • September: Workshop at ENIRDELM Conference for correcting and developing the research tools
  • End of September: Finalizing the research tools
  • October-November: Survey data gathering
  • December-January: Analysing the results