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ERIC Number: ED535114
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 412
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2670-0874-9
The Organizational Learning Obstacles in Hong Kong Secondary Schools from Teachers' Perspective
Choi, Oi ling
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
A series of educational reforms implemented in recent years had a considerable impact on secondary schools. From principals to teachers; from the school sector to the educational system, all parties had to effect fundamental changes. Facing this new educational era, many scholars suggested schools should have organizational learning so as to have continuous improvement and to pursue excellence. However, according to various studies, there was low level of organizational learning process and organizational learning outcome in the majority of primary and secondary schools. From this, we learn that there must be some obstacles for schools to practice organizational learning. Furthermore, the capability of teachers, the main staff of schools, to learn effectively is often the key factor affecting the success or failure of schools. Unfortunately, according to some studies and some reports concerning teachers' stress, it is found that in facing series of educational reforms, teachers were facing tremendous work pressure. Many teachers are unable to meet the new requirements of the educational environment. Some chose to retire early or even to leave the educational sector. Therefore, a study on the obstacles to organizational learning in schools becomes a must. This study was conducted both quantitatively and qualitatively. First, by reviewing the literature, one could have a deeper understanding of the situation secondary schools were facing. Based on the above information, a study tool for the organizational learning obstacles was developed. Through this tool, the existing situation of Hong Kong secondary school in organizational learning was examined. Then, according to the questionnaire data, schools were divided into three groups: high, middle and low in the degree of learning obstacles. One school from each group was chosen to have the qualitative study. Through the interviews with frontline teachers, more data were collected and this could not only help to improve the research tool, but also to gain a better understanding of the situation of the teachers in having organizational learning and the underlying causes of these obstacles. The findings in the quantitative study showed that the problem of having organizational learning obstacles in Hong Kong secondary schools was not serious. Among all the seven factors concerning organizational learning obstacles, the main one was in the factor of communicating problems. Besides, a major finding of the study indicated that the obstacles at the school level were more serious than those at the personal level. From this, one could learn that teachers regarded support from the school organizational structure, school culture and the principals still have room for improvement while they did not think: that they had great problems with their cognitive abilities and confidence. Only that they did have difficulty in handling the ever-mounting work-load. Other than that, it was found that all the factors concerning the organizational learning obstacles were significantly correlated. The findings in the qualitative study showed that organizational learning obstacles varied among teachers of different subjects. Language and Liberal Studies teachers were having the most problems. Besides, as some of the educational reforms were still in their initial stage, not many teachers were involved and hence the problems of having organizational learning were still not serious and explicit. Other than that, teachers regarded the policies launched by the Education Bureau were too fast and too extensive in scale, the schools did not have the capabilities to make school-based modifications. Based on the findings from the quantitative and qualitative studies, some implications could be drawn. First, teachers should be encouraged to attend more workshops and seminars so as to familiarize themselves with the curriculum reforms. Secondly, schools should utilize the central database to store all the teaching materials for teachers' reference and collaborative lesson preparation should be organized so as to facilitate the co-operation among teachers in order to enhance teaching effectiveness. Of course, schools also should know that all the organizational learning obstacles would together form the unique schools atmosphere while these determine whether the schools can have effective organizational learning. Therefore, the schools should have deep understanding of the atmosphere and then make proper improvement accordingly. Thirdly, the Education Bureau should put in more resources to help the language and liberal studies teachers. Training courses for vice-principals should be strengthened so as to enhance their capabilities to assist principals in leading the teaching staff and carrying out the educational reforms in the school. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A