Free online reading
The Organizational Context of Teaching and Learning vs Students’ Learning Achievements.
KAYOMBO, Joel Jonathan
- Valerie E.Lee (2000), School Size and the Organization of Secondary Schools, in Handbook of the Sociology of Education, edited by Maureen T.Hallinan, Kluwer Academic/Plenum, New York
- Adam Gamoran et al (2000) The organizational context of Teaching and Learning: Changing Theoretical Perspectives, in Handbook of the Sociology of Education, edited by Maureen T.Hallinan, Kluwer Academic/Plenum, New York.
- Bonk, C.J. (2000). Chapter 3: E-Demand Around the Globe, in The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education, Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint, San Fransisco.
Creating favorable environment for student’s learning is the fore most goal of any education institution that aims at successful learning for its students. Supportive environment enables learners to develop self-efficacy and self-motivation and finally use learning as a key transformative force. Supportive learning environment goes beyond the physical setting of the school, rather encompasses psychological environment, visionary leadership, and knowledgeable and skilled teachers who can facilitate the interaction between elements of learning namely; teacher, student and learning materials. Enhancing student’s learning has raised concern for educational policy makers, researchers and administrators/leaders. Therefore this paper gives an analytical overview of the above mentioned readings based on research evidences and researchers’ views and experiences as well as author’s views and experiences pertaining to organizational context of teaching and learning with special emphasis on learner’s achievements.
The Readings: An Overview and Discussions
In his paper, Valerie (2000) focused on the size of secondary schools particularly public comprehensive schools in the US context. These public comprehensive high schools had large number of student’s enrollment. Therefore, the concept of optimal size of the school raised concern for educational policy, research and school district staffs. There were two arguments; Economies of scale that support efficiency (potential for savings) that actually were in favor of bigger schools and organizational argument that favors small schools. After undertaking three studies on school size, the author came to conclude that; school size is an important factor in determining students learning in schools and therefore schools should be generally small as it favors more personalized and intimate relationships between and among its members. I agree with the author as far as schools are social institution that need to develop individuals beyond cognitive domain to be productive members in the society.
Another conclusion was that, despite the recognition of the school influence on student’s learning, majority of school did not want to be so small with the implication of declining demand, decline in public confidence, declining population and decline in resources from the government. I think this conclusion shows impression and economical kind of support that is likely to compromise with quality.
Valerie also raised the issue of ‘schools-within-schools’ as one of the solution in dealing with school size problem. Of course this is a viable solution in areas of large population and limited resources particularly classrooms and related teaching/learning resources. More importantly, the strategy is meaningful if the quality of teaching and learning is not compromised.
On the other hand, Adam Gamoran et al (2000) analyzed organizational context of teaching and learning in a sociological perspective by looking at the relationship between organizational resources and learning outcome. After analysis of four models of school organization and school learning, they came to conclude that resources only affects learning when applied in a learning environment. For that, school organizational resources have no direct connection to learning outcomes because their effects depend on how they are used. They also placed the role of teachers as human resources at the upper most part as they initiate student’s learning. Therefore, teacher’s knowledge and instructional skills are important in influencing student’s learning. Basing on that argument, they insisted teacher’s professional development as the engine of change.
 This paper provides an analytical review of the three book chapters pertaining to organizational context of teaching and learning that can foster students’ learning achievement from different authors.
 Assistant Lecturer, Dar-es-Salaam University College of Education (DUCE) P.O. Box 2329 Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.