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ERIC Number: EJ771265
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Double-Loop Learning in Higher Education
Tagg, John
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v39 n4 p36-41 Jul-Aug 2007
The most fundamental problem of colleges is that, in some respects, the people within them don't learn very well. Most faculty, staff, and administrators in higher education genuinely believe in the importance of undergraduate learning and want to improve it. And many colleges innovate a lot, frequently in an effort to make those improvements. But in the domain of its core activities, the college doesn't learn easily. Even experts in learning can't learn in their role as agents of the college. A major part of the explanation concerning learning resides in the nature of colleges and universities as organizations. All organizations, not just educational institutions, operate using a set of tacit assumptions, often invisible even to those within them, about how people in the organization should behave. Organizational theorists Chris Argyris of Harvard University and the late Donald Schon of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, following Ross Ashby, a pioneering theorist in cybernetics and artificial intelligence, made an important distinction between two levels of organizational learning: single-loop learning and double-loop learning. The distinction between single-loop and double-loop learning applies to much that people do in higher education. And it explains why most innovations, even those that produce unambiguously good results, fail to transform institutions: most innovations alter action strategies without moving on to make the second loop and reexamine the governing values. In this article, the author discusses double-loop learning as a possible solution to the problem of learning in higher education. (Contains 9 resources.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts