Learning from Success as Leverage for School-wide Learning: A Pilot Program – 2002-2005

The program “Learning from Success as Leverage for School-wide Learning” promotes the development of “ongoing learning” in schools, thereby enabling school communities to develop and fulfill their vision and mission. The program was initiated in 2003 by the Secondary Education Division of the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the Unit for Learning from Success and Ongoing Learning in Human Services of the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute; it was implemented in 45 secondary schools around the country. This program built on what the Unit had learned from other projects it implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The program is founded on three methods, which will be presented in three separate publications. “Learning from Past Success – The Retrospective Method” is the first in the series. It enables those who use it to explicate implicit knowledge – knowledge inherent in the work of professionals in the field of human services – and transforms it into actionable knowledge. This constitutes the first introduction to ongoing learning.

Of the forthcoming reports, the first will be devoted to the method of “From a Learning Question to a Learning Venture – The Prospective Method”, and the second to “Learning on Learning:  Decoding and Developing Patterns of School Learning”.  All three are designed to introduce ongoing learning into schools.

This report describes the conceptual and historical contexts of the development of the Learning from Success method and the following three components:

  • The “learning from success” format of inquiry. A detailed description of the ten stages of the inquiry, and of the strategies underlying their design.
  • Learning through reflective dialog in groups of interested parties. A description of the conditions required for successful learning and of the contribution of the various partners in the learning groups.
  • Structuring the documentation of success.  Presentation of the format for documenting and disseminating the actionable knowledge generated through the reflective learning process.

The appendices provide concrete illustrations of this method.  The first appendix, on “the method in action”, demonstrates the “journey of learning from success” that took place in one school.  The second appendix contains four presentations that follow the “blueprint for documenting success”. These describe activities focused on “decreasing violence in the school”, the “scholastic success of children with learning disabilities”, “the launching of young entrepreneurs”, and “developing the teaching staff”. The third appendix describes the learning process of the lead group, composed of the school principal, the learning coordinator, the regional inspector and the external learning companion from the outside.

The method of retrospective learning presented and illustrated in this report provides an opportunity for professionals and organizations in all areas of human services to learn from their past successes, as a basis for generating more successes in the future, and as leverage for engaging in ongoing learning.

This report was supported by the Marshall Weinberg Fund for Professional Collaboration and Development.

Citations in the professional and academic literature

Aranguren, M. J., Larrea, M., & Wilson, J. (2010). Learning from the local: Governance of networks for innovation in the Basque Country. European Planning Studies18(1), 47-65.

Chaskin, R. J., & Rosenfeld, J. M. (Eds.). (2007). Research for action: cross-national perspectives on connecting knowledge, policy, and practice for children. Oxford University Press.

Rosenfeld, J. M., Rosenberg, L., & Elek, F. (2006). Learning from Success: Its Implications for the” Lights to Employment” Program of Amin. Documented Success as a Source of Principles of Action that Promote Employment2008.

Rosenfeld, J. M. (2016). From Exclusion to Reciprocity:” learning from Success”. Rowman & Littlefield.

Abbey, J. L. (2014). Concepts of work wellbeing: a multidisciplinary approach to theory and method.

Rosenfeld, J. M., & Chaskin, R. J. (2008). Charting a Course for Fuller Engagement: Toward a Framework for Action. Research for Action: Cross-National Perspectives on Connecting Knowledge, Policy, and Practice for Children, 158.

Rosenfeld, J. M., & Chaskin, R. J. (2008). In this final chapter, we push these conclusions further to outline some of the particular roles, activities, and investments that can be made to bridge the gap between research, policy, and practice. In doing so, we see the research. Research for Action: Cross-National Perspectives on Connecting Knowledge, Policy, and Practice for Children, 158.

Larrea, M., Wilson, J., & Aranguren, M. J. Orchestrating Territories: A New Style of Leadership to Evolve to the Innovation Stadium in the Basque Country.

Yariv, E., & Kass, E. (2019). Assisting struggling teachers effectively. Educational Management Administration & Leadership47(2), 310-325.

Ilmarinen, J. (2016). Interview: How to work with Diversity. In Re-thinking Diversity (pp. 157-168). Springer VS, Wiesbaden.

Rosenfeld, J. M. (2009). Bündnisse bilden− eine Aufgabe der Sozialen Arbeit Eine Vorschau auf ein länderübergreifendes Seminar1. Soziale Arbeit im Dialog gestalten: Theoretische Grundlagen und methodische Zugänge einer dialogischen Sozialen Arbeit, 83.