Theories of Action

An important and underpinning theme for the Centre for Educational Leadership is the Open-to-learning Leadership approach. The origins of Open-to-learning™ Leadership lie in the work of Chris Argyris (Harvard University) and Donald Schőn, (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) (Argyris & Schön, 1974) who are the originators of the well- known concepts of theory of action; single and double loop learning; and model 1 (which Viviane Robinson refers to as closed-to-learning) and model 2 (Open-to-learning™).

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Denmark and Norway

Our academic director, Distinguished Professor Viviane Robinson has been working in Denmark and Norway for several years.  Until now that work has involved keynote addresses to large audiences at conferences or running workshops on Open-to-learning ™ Leadership. At a visit in May 2015, Viviane delivered to approximately 1000 people in two conferences hosted by The University College, Copenhagen (UCC) and Dafolo (a Danish publishing company) in Horsens and Roskilde. These two conferences were focused on student-centred leadership.  At the end of the last session of each of the student-centred leadership conferences Linda introduced the Growing Great Leaders™ programme very briefly. This was a purposeful strategy to link the possibility of running the Growing Great Leaders™ programme in Denmark with the material that Viviane was presenting about student-centred leadership.

Viviane was also a keynote at a conference on trust hosted by the Centre for Public Competence Development along with other Danish speakers.  This conference had 350 attendees and was an opportunity to introduce the Open-to-learning™ Leadership strand of the curriculum. Over 320 indicated they were interested in learning more.

Viviane made her fourth and fifth visits to Norway before and after her trip to Denmark. The first trip began with two presentations to school leaders on student-centred leadership (Molde and Tromso). Most of the participants at these courses had already read her book in either Norwegian or English. Over her various visits she has presented to about 1500 school leaders. She then taught a two-day workshop in Oslo for 15 participants from Norway and Denmark on Understanding and Practising Open-to-learning™ Leadership. She then completed two days of consulting for the Oslo municipality during which she worked with consultants and school leaders on the improvement projects of 15 schools.

The visits have resulted in a contract with UCC and Dafolo to train facilitators to deliver a Danish version of Growing Great Leaders™: Growing Great Student-centred Leaders (GGSCL™). This programme will be delivered in 2016.