Planning and Implementing Change



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Planning and Implementing Change

  • Becoming a Change Agent

What is a Change Agent?

  • An educational change agent is the individual who can bring about positive, lasting change for the clientele he/she serves.

Change Is Difficult!

  • Nevertheless, as an educational leader you must know how to bring about change.

Think About Making Change in Your Own Behavior

  • Diet
  • Quit smoking
  • Begin an internship
  • Are these easy? – NO!!

Why do People Resist Making a Change?

  • It makes individuals feel:
  • Inadequate – I’m not sure I can do this.
  • Alone – No one else sees this as needed.
  • Scared – I’ll lose friends, respect, etc.
  • Overwhelmed – How will I every get this accomplished? It seems like it is two steps forward and one step back!

As Machiavelli said years ago…

  • “There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.”
  • from The Prince

Change Takes Time and is Difficult

Change Agents at Work Throughout Their Careers

  • Preprofessional Teacher
  • Stetson Interns (all tiers)
  • Professional Teacher
  • Accomplished Teacher – advanced degrees and classroom experience

Preprofessional Teacher Stetson Interns – Tier 1

  • All students are learning about the process of change and the role of change agents.
  • Students begin to dialog about factors that call for and influence change.

Preprofessional Teacher Stetson Intern – Tier 2

  • Students begin to apply what they have learned. For example:
  • KNOWLEDGE – alternative assessment learned in EN 326
  • ATTITUDE/Skills – applies alternative assessment in EN 328 science project and/or EN 395 Junior Field
    • Time to complete – 1 semester

Preprofessional Teacher Stetson Intern Tier 3

  • Example of further application during the internship:
  • INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOR/Disposition – includes alternative assessment strategies in teaching/assessing during internship
    • Time to complete – 1 semester
  • GROUP BEHAVIOR - ?? Shared results with cooperating teacher (assuming alternative assessment was not used)
    • Time to complete - ?? Remember, you are facilitating change and may not have sufficient time to change group behavior.

Two Major Types of Change Processes

  • Directive Change– subordinates are are “ordered” to implement a change. Often seen in educational settings.
    • For example – mandates from the legislature
  • Participative change
    • Informal leaders and formal leaders work together to bring about change.
    • Bandwagon change - isn’t really a change process. It is done because “everyone else is doing it.”
    • For example: “Fun Friday” in schools

At The Preprofessional Stage You Are Responsible For:

  • acquiring knowledge of the change process,
  • understanding the differences in participative change, directive change, and “bandwagon”
  • looking for opportunities to make positive change and beginning the process.

Professional Teacher

  • How a change agent might work at the professional level:
  • KNOWLEDGE – attends a Language Arts Conference – DeNelian Handwriting session
    • Time to complete--1 hour Follow-up reading 3+ hours
  • ATTITUDE (Disposition) – continues reading, observes in classrooms using DeNelian, talks with teachers teaching DeNelian handwriting.
    • Time to complete – about 6 months

Professional Teacher cont.

  • INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOR –gets permission to try the DeNelian system with own class. Talks to 2nd grade colleagues who agree to follow in a pilot study for the school year.
    • - Time to complete - 1 year
  • GROUP BEHAVIOR – 3rd grade teachers confirm the ease of transition from manuscript to cursive. Discussion in faculty meetings. System finally adopted school wide.
    • - Time to begin implementation – 2 years

Accomplished Teacher

  • KNOWLEDGE – new information from studies concerning K-8 school delivered at Better Schools Conference
    • Time to complete - 2 hour at a conference, follow-up reading - minimum of 6 hours
  • ATTITUDES – continued research, visit K-8 schools, compare FCAT test scores
    • Time to complete - 6 - 12 months

Accomplished Teacher, continued

  • INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOR – begins sharing with colleagues, looks at other opinions, appointed to the District Student Achievement Study Council
    • Time to complete - up to 2 years
  • GROUP BEHAVIOR – Study Council recommends district establish two K-8 pilot schools; study results of pilots
    • Time to complete - 3 years minimum

Connecting the Accomplished Practices to Change Agent

  • Change can take place in every area; therefore in every AP area. The most likely areas for pre-service teachers to initiate change are:
        • Assessment – uses rubrics, alternative assessments
        • Communication –begins a classroom newspaper or begins a program to call homes each day to just leave a short positive message about the student
        • Diversity – gives choices of assessment forms for ways students can show mastery
        • Learning Environment – begins cooperative learning groups. Institutes Environment Circle Time where students help solve environmental concerns in the classroom and on campus.
        • Planning – establishes planning sessions with the specialists so
          • they can better support the classroom curriculum.
        • Technology –begin using electronic grade, PowerPoint to present material, start a class e-mail correspondence with a c class in another state.

Becoming a change agent during internship

  • As a preprofessional, your knowledge of
  • the change process may exceed your opportunity to see change through the Group Behavior Stage of change beyond your grade level or school.
  • However, “plant the seed,” and “water” as much as possible.
  • You can make a difference!!

Remember:

  • “Bandwagon change” does not last.
  • Participative change- has staying power.
    • Knowledge base established.
    • True attitude change.
      • Participants are given time and reason to change their attitude
    • Individual behavior changed by choice.
      • Change is an internal rather than external decision. A true choice

Why is there resistance to change?

  • Because of:
    • Habit – “This is the way we’ve always done things.”
    • Comfort zone – “I like doing it this way.”
    • Fear of the unknown – It isn’t (totally) broken, so why try to fix it?—It could be worse!!

Disposition and Skills of Effective Change Agents

  • Effective change agents:
  • start the change process with themselves rather than with others
  • do not force change; they facilitate it
  • create their own enthusiasm
  • develop a plan for change
  • seek out and accept criticism of their ideas
  • are able to get others to “buy into” their ideas for change

Change most likely will be at the:

  • classroom or grade level for the preprofessional teacher
  • grade or school level for the professional teacher
  • district or state level for the accomplished teacher leader

What is involved in developing a change strategy?

  • Identify discrepancies between actual (what is) and ideal (what ought to be).
  • Develop a written plan to reduce or eliminate discrepancies between actual and ideal.
  • Implement the plan.
  • Have realistic expectations on time involved.

Stetson Trained Facilitative Change Agents:

  • look for ways to make positive, participative change
  • stay grounded in best practices research
  • have a plan for change – avoid “jumping on the bandwagon”
  • realize change takes time!
  • evaluate and revisit as needed.


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