Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 197–216 | Cite as

The emergence of innovative work in school development

  • Kirsten Foshaug Vennebo
  • Eli OttesenEmail author


In this article, we analyse the school developmental work of a project team in Norwegian upper secondary schools. The team aims to improve teaching and learning by making use of new technologies. The aim of the article is to explore the “black box” of developmental work practices by analysing the interactions between the team members to make the processes transparent and reveal how work becomes innovative and newness is created. The theoretical framework builds on cultural–historical activity theory. The study shows how innovative work is brought into being when pluralities of perspectives are externalised in a team’s discussions. Moreover, for innovative work to result in school-wide and sustainable change, systematic inquiry into the underlying contradictions of schooling is warranted.


School development Innovative work Cultural–historical activity theory Perspectives Agency Interaction trajectory 



This work is financially supported by the Department of Teacher Education and School Research and FALK research group for research on workplace learning in the knowledge society ( at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo. We thank our colleagues at the Department of Teacher Education and Research, members of FALK and participants of the Norwegian Graduate School of Education Research (NATED) for their advice, support and constructive criticism. Finally thanks to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive and valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teacher Education and School ResearchUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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