Advertisement

Language Teacher Associations that Learn

  • Dudley W. ReynoldsEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)

Abstract

Peter Senge’s (1990) description of five disciplines (systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision, and team learning) practiced in a “learning organization” provides a useful rubric for thinking about how Language Teacher Associations (LTAs) can prepare for inevitable changes and challenges. Systems thinking focuses attention on the componential nature of LTAs various subsystems, including interest groups and governance committees, which together generate the LTA’s contribution to a larger educational system. Personal mastery emphasizes the role of LTAs in helping members to actualize their own visions. Surfacing the tacit mental models that shape understandings of what LTAs can accomplish can serve as a tool for removing roadblocks as well as identifying useful directions. Finally, a shared vision cannot be imposed by leadership but rather must be cultivated and achieved through productive team learning practices such as differentiating between dialog and discussion and regular work with potential scenarios. In addition to considering how Senge’s disciplines apply to LTAs, the chapter provides opportunities for reflection that can be used by LTA members hoping to engage in productive change within their association.

References

  1. Bruden, A. (2010, July 23). Vision statements as strategic management tools—Historical overview. Retrieved February 22, 2018 from http://www.performancemagazine.org/vision-statements-as-strategic-management-tools-%e2%80%93-historical-overview/.
  2. Kloss, L. L. (1999). The suitability and application of scenario planning for national professional associations. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 10(1), 71–83.  https://doi.org/10.1002/nml.10106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Lamb, T. (2012). Language associations and collaborative support: Language teacher associations as empowering spaces for professional networks. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 6(3), 287–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Motteram, G. (2016). Membership, belonging, and identity in the twenty-first century. ELT Journal, 70(2), 150–159.  https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccw001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. O’Brien, F., & Meadows, M. (2001). How to develop visions: A literature review, and a revised CHOICES approach for an uncertain world. Systemic Practice and Action Research; New York, 14(4), 495–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Packham, R. (2014). Systems thinking. In D. Coghlan & M. Brydon-Miller (Eds.), The SAGE encyclopedia of action research (pp. 753–754). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd.  https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446294406.n333.
  7. Paran, A. (2016). Language teacher associations: Key themes and future directions. ELT Journal, 70(2), 127–136.  https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccw012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Senge, P. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization (1st ed.). New York: Doubleday/Currency.Google Scholar
  9. Senge, P., Cambron-McCabe, N., Lucas, T., Smith, B., Dutton, J., & Kleiner, A. (2000). Schools that learn: A fifth discipline fieldbook for educators, parents, and everyone who cares about education. New York: Doubleday/Currency.Google Scholar
  10. Senge, P., & Kleiner, A. (2011). The Dance of change: The challenges of sustaining momentum in a learning organization. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carnegie Mellon UniversityDohaQatar

Personalised recommendations