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Reforming schools: the collective doubting perspective

Chen Schechter (School of Education, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel)
Sherry Ganon-Shilon (School of Education, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 12 January 2015




The ongoing challenge to sustain educational reforms requires a learning process through which doubt is induced as a means of fostering productive school change. The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of doubt as well as the doubting process and its importance to the school community, particularly with regard to educational reforms.


After discussing the notions of doubt and the doubting process in the context of school reform, collective doubting in school administration is presented, accompanied by empirical illustrations.


Whereas existing change management literature acknowledges resistance to change as a negative phenomenon, doubt and doubting – questioning the taken-for-granted need for reform and the way the reform should be carried out – is conceptualized as a positive and constructive phenomenon, a source for collective learning. The paper presents limitations, implications, and avenues for future research regarding the doubting process in the context of school reform.


The collective doubting perspective has been sorely under investigated in the educational context. The constructive reform framework of collective doubting may help schools and policy makers develop and sustain educational reforms to foster continuous growth within students and practitioners alike.



Schechter, C. and Ganon-Shilon, S. (2015), "Reforming schools: the collective doubting perspective", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 62-72.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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