Today, we can observe drastic alterations in the way society functions. The rapid development of technologies promoted a significant shift in peoples mentalities towards the extensive use of digital technologies and the reconsideration of traditional approaches to increase their efficiency. At the same time, the availability of information and data related to different spheres of human activity demand enhanced skills from individuals for them to be successful and be able to function regarding new conditions. There are numerous claims to reconsider the approach to educating individuals because of its inability to meet modern requirements and provide learners with the knowledge and skills they might need in the future. Elimination of the bureaucratic approach and the creation of learning organizations/communities is one of the possible ways to solve this problem.
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In fact, the modern learning environment still preserves some approaches and patterns that are outdated because of the need for innovative ideas and methods. That is why a learning organization is one of the alternatives to bureaucratic forms. It can be determined as a unit that creates, acquires, and transfers knowledge in new creative ways that presuppose commitment, the participation of all stakeholders, and improved collaboration to attain success and guarantee appropriate results (Davidson, 2017). One of the basic distinguishing features of the learning organization is the utilization of innovative approaches that cultivate leadership and better collaboration with the primary aim to stimulate learners to generate knowledge in new ways that help to achieve success in the future (Davidson, 2017). Moreover, hierarchical patterns peculiar to traditional learning organizations are disregarded in this approach to create a new beneficial environment.
As for the learning community it is closely related to the previous term. It can be defined as a group of people who share the same academic goals and interests and who meet on the regular basis to collaborate with the primary aim to develop their skills and generate knowledge (DeWitt, 2017). These communities are a crucial part of the innovative approach to education as they contribute to the reconsideration of models that are used by educators and generate improved results (DeWitt, 2017). For this reason, the wide use of this practice is a key factor for the creation of a learning organization that will contribute to the improved results.
When comparing the learning organization and community, there are several aspects that are similar. First, both these modes presuppose the use of collaborative practices to achieve better results. All stakeholders become the active participants of the process with the primary aim to attain better results and ensure that an improved understanding of the material is achieved (DeWitt, 2017). Additionally, both these approaches presuppose that individuals share the same vision of the long and short-term goals and have the desire to improve their skills. At the same time, there are several differences between learning communities and organizations. The first one implies a group of volunteers who are eager to improve their skills, therefore, they collaborate (Jagasia, Baul, & Mallik, 2015). The second mode means that there is a particular set of rules and regulations that should be followed to preserve the desired structure of the organization.
Nevertheless, despite the advantageous character of these two practices, there is still some need for their improvement and introduction of new standards. Comparing them, the learning organization can be considered a mode easier to improve. There are several factors to prove this statement. First of all, the term presupposes that there is a particular structure that regulates the functioning of any organization and introduces ways for its improvement. At the same time, being a voluntary unit, the community lacks a clear structure and aspects that might regulate its functioning (Davidson, 2017). That is why, using the existing structure, certain improvements can be suggested to reconsider the work and role of the group.
Traditional Views Impact
Nevertheless, the creation of the above-mentioned learning organizations and communities still remains a complex task because of the powerful impact of the traditional view of education that preconditions the choice of methods to provide learners with knowledge and skills that might be needed in the future. The fact is that the old approach states that learners should be passive absorbers of data given by educators (Davidson, 2017). This idea predetermines the methodology used in the majority of educational establishments all over the world. Teachers use their authority and power to educate students by explaining to them some facts and trying to attain the high levels of their understanding.
Standards Impact on Quality
The standards mentioned above can be considered an important part of the modern sphere of education. First of all, they precondition the choice of the material that should be learned by students and directly impacts the quality of process and outcomes. The existing standards influence every dimension of the system and are concise lists of what students should do at every stage of their education (Davidson, 2017). In such a way, the quality of the acquired knowledge directly depends on the existing standards as they encompass all aspects crucial for students and their future careers. Alterations in existing needs also result in the reconsideration of standards and the introduction of new elements.
Government and Local Agencies Involvement
At the same time, the standards should be universal. For this reason, differences in curriculums and plans are not admissible. Their absence can be guaranteed by the involvement of the government to regulate the existing standards and ensure that their content will contribute to the gradual improvement of academic achievements and students knowledge (Osborne, 2017). Thus, I am sure that the government should be the central institution that has the right to alter existing standards and change the material provided to students.
As for the state and federal agencies, their opportunities to impact the standards should be limited. First of all, the radical reconsideration of the plan will result in the appearance of divergences across the state and problems in the future. Additionally, some alterations might be too experimental and should be accepted by specialists responsible for the sphere (Davidson, 2017). At the same time, local and state authorities should be provided with the authority to introduce some slight alterations to adapt the existing standards to the local conditions.
Ways to Find Mutual Ground
For this reason, it becomes critical to introduce changes that will help to shift priorities from traditional bureaucratic forms to the innovative ones that presuppose the creation of learning communities and organizations. However, there are opponents of this idea who state that the adherence to the traditional forms is critical for the modern educational system (Osborne, 2017). The central task is to create a wide discussion regarding the given topic and discuss the pros and cons of the new approach will all parties. It will help to find common ground by revealing the most problematic concerns and ways to solve them.
Second, the negative attitude of the opposition can be altered by showing the obvious benefits of the new approach. It can be accomplished by demonstrating the positive statistics collected from the educational establishments that have already implemented the new method and shifted priorities to the cultivation of communication, collaboration, and students participation (Osborne, 2017). Comparing results, educators, or adherers of the old approach will have an opportunity to understand numerous advantages of innovative methods and outcomes they can guarantee.
Finally, the opponents should be provided with an opportunity to work in terms of a learning organization to understand how it functions and what advantages can be acquired if to work in this environment. Some exchange practices can be introduced to ensure that volunteers from the opposite camp have an opportunity to consider whether they contribute to the overall improvement of the educational system or not (Jackson, Stebleton, & Laanan, 2013). It will obviously help to reconsider their attitude to the new method and understand the necessity to engage students in the process.
As for the Marion County School District, there are also some areas that need some improvement. Sometimes, educators and learners face the problem of superficial learning. In other words, students might experience a lack of knowledge in particular spheres because of the drawbacks in the curriculum or problematic teaching. The given problem can be solved by introducing alterations to the existing system. First of all, students should be provided with additional and credible resources for their better individual work and discussion in learning communities. Second, it is crucial to increase the motivation to learn by emphasizing the benefits of extensive knowledge in a future career.
Another problem may have to do with profound learning. When paying much attention to one or more subjects, students may miss essential knowledge from other areas. In order to avoid it, teachers need to instill an interest in different sciences in children and encourage their aspirations to learn something new in those fields that are unfamiliar to them. It will help to make pupils’ outlook wider and will give them an opportunity to learn more about the world. Moreover, such work can also be useful in terms of further education when students may need knowledge of the areas to which they paid insufficient attention.
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Content standards are a topic that also deserves attention. Insufficient quality and comprehensive materials on specific subjects can adversely affect the preparedness of students and their academic performance. The solution to this issue may be found through the acquisition of updated teaching aids. For this purpose, the participation of the county administration is mandatory since it is an authority that is responsible for allocating funds for the purchase of relevant materials. If this issue is resolved, the learning process will be pleasant for both pupils and teachers.
In order to achieve success in the field of education, performance standards may be revised. The evaluation of students’ studies is sometimes purely individual, while mandatory principles for assessing the activities of children exist. Teachers should pay more attention to the self-expression of pupils and encourage any of their educational activities. It can be achieved through enthralling activities when each student is able to show his or her potential and deserve a positive mark. In this case, both adults and children will be satisfied enough.
Altogether, a coherent society has numerous demands for future specialists for them to succeed. For this reason, it is critical to reconsider the existing educational system to eliminate outdated bureaucratic patterns and create learning organizations and communities to guarantee positive outcomes and students participation in the process. It remains a challenging task as there are still numerous opponents of this idea. However, it is critical to find common ground to guarantee the further development of the system and positive results.
Davidson, C. (2017). The new education: How to revolutionize the university to prepare students for a world. New York, NY: Basic Books.
DeWitt, P. (2017). School climate: Leading with collective efficacy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Jackson, D., Stebleton, M., & Laanan, F. (2013). The experience of community college faculty involved in a learning community program. Community College Review, 41(1), 3-19. Web.
Jagasia, J., Baul, U., & Mallik, D. (2015). A framework for communities of practice in learning organizations. Business Perspectives and Research, 3(1), 1-20. Web.
Osborne, D. (2017). Reinventing America’s schools: Creating a 21st century education. New York, NY: Bloomsbury USA.