Attention: This site looks better in the latest Mozilla or Internet Explorer.

The Learning Conference 2003

Home | Newsletter | Call for Papers | Register

Presentation Details


Creating Institutional Change through Leadership and Learning Communities

Jennifer Jo Olson, Phillip D. Olson, Laurie Rennebohm Danahy.

Educational leaders are called upon to incorporate promising new teaching strategies in schools through in-service training that promotes the transfer new skills to classroom settings (DeJong, 1994). Commitment from both leadership and teachers is critical to effective in-service delivery (Gardner, 1996). Successful in-service also provide teachers with "language to describe their practice" validating their implicit knowledge base (Williamson, 1991). This presentation describes the Building Effective and Successful Teams Model (BEST), an innovative approach for delivering in-service by creating communities of learners. The model insures not only transference of new knowledge but also promotes a change in the culture of schools to sustain new practice through institutional change. Over one hundred teams have participated in several content areas including teaming and early literacy. Statistically significant survey results and qualitative analysis of journals from educational leaders and teaching staff demonstrate the gains made through participation in the BEST model.


Jennifer Jo Olson  (United States)
Associate Professor
College of Education
University of Idaho

Dr. Jennifer Olson has been a faculty member at the University of Idaho for 15 years, teaching coursework in Early Childhood Special Education and Teamwork. She directs numerous federal and state projects and has published widely on the topic of team development and the efficacy of inservice training

Phillip D. Olson  (United States)
College of Business and Economics
University of Idaho

Dr Olson teaches and conducts research in strategy, entrepreneurship, organizational design and teamwork. He is also a trainer and evaluator for the BEST Project.

Laurie Rennebohm Danahy  (United States)
Training Coordinator/CurriculumSpecialist
Center on Disabilities and Human Development
University of Idaho

Laurie Danahy, M.S., has worked in the early childhood field for over 25 years as a teacher, researcher, writer, trainer, and curriculum specialist. She currently develops materials and provides training for a U.S. Dept. of Education grant project focused on meeting the diverse needs of young children in inclusive settings.

  • Institutional Change
  • Leadership and Learning Communities

(60 min Workshop, English)