Reforming schools: The collective doubting perspective

Chen Schechter, Sherry Ganon-Shilon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: 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.

Design/methodology/approach: 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.

Findings: 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.

Originality/value: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-72
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 12 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


  • Doubt
  • Doubting
  • Leadership
  • Principals


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