Change

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ASSIGNMENT 1: CHANGE MANAGEMENT

Gorton & Alston (2012) state, “Change is the one persistent phenomenon in education”
(p. 188). Simply stated in education, as in many areas of life, change is the only
constant. As a leader it is imperative that you know how to effectively initiate,
implement, communicate and evaluate change efforts. It is also important that you
know how to identify and manage resistance to change.

Required Reading Material for Module 4:

Gorton, R. & Alston, J. (2012). School Leadership and Administration: Important
Concepts, Case Studies, and Simulations, 9th ed. McGraw Hill: New York, NY.

Chapter 7: Change

Instructions:

1. After reading and watching the mini-lecture on Change Management,
(https://ewu.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=e98f718b-1
67a-484d-aa5e-a983014c9ec4&start=18), write 2-4 well developed
paragraphs reflecting on your thoughts/ reactions to the topic. Some
questions to consider in your reflection include:

1. How do you feel about leading change efforts?
2. Who, if anyone, would you need to involve to support change

efforts?
3. What challenges do you anticipate in regard to managing change?
4. What do you feel are the most effective ways to evaluate initiatives

involving change in your institution, program or department?

2. Cite evidence from the course readings and/ or other scholarly evidence to
support your arguments.

https://ewu.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=e98f718b-167a-484d-aa5e-a983014c9ec4&start=18

https://ewu.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=e98f718b-167a-484d-aa5e-a983014c9ec4&start=18

ASSIGNMENT 2: ADDRESSING ISSUES OF EQUITY AND DIVERSITY

Introduction:

Today’s educational institutions, programs and departments are becoming increasingly
diverse. When we think about diversity, most people immediately think of racial
diversity. While this is one form of diversity, it is also important to consider other forms
including: academic diversity, socio-economic diversity, diversity of thought and so on.
Educational institutions, like communities, are becoming less and less homogenous.
That said, leaders today must be prepared to face issues of equity and diversity directly,
strategically and effectively, in a manner that supports the needs and well-being of all
that they serve, most importantly students.

Instructions:

1. Write 2-4 well developed paragraphs addressing how educational leaderS
might act strategically to address issues of equity and diversity in their
institutions, departments and programs.

2. Cite evidence from the course readings and/ or other scholarly evidence to
support your arguments.

ASSIGNMENT 3:

CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS AND TEACHER ATTITUDES

“School leaders need to understand the change process in order to lead and manage
change and improvement efforts effectively. Furthermore, they must learn to overcome
barriers and cope with the chaos that naturally exists during the complex process of
change” (Gorton & Alston, 2012, p. 188).

You have learned about effectively managing change. This assignment gives you the
opportunity to apply and demonstrate mastery of what you have learned. The case
study that you will examine for this assignment, illustrates a scenario which many
educational leaders will encounter throughout their careers, as education becomes
increasingly more diverse.

Reference

Gorton, R. & Alston, J. (2012). School Leadership and Administration: Important
Concepts, Case Studies, and Simulations, 9th ed. McGraw Hill: New York, NY.

Instructions:

1. Read the case study Changing Demographics and Teacher Attitudes found
on page 258 on Gorton & Alston (2012). See next page.

2. Write a 3-5 page paper addressing the following:

1. If you were the principal, what would you do in this situation?
2. What are the alternatives?
3. Do you anticipate any resistance?

3. Support your answer with evidence from the course reading or other scholarly
sources. Be sure to cite and reference your sources in APA format.

CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS AND TEACHER ATTITUDES

Dr. Riccardo Mendozza was in his first year in Capital City and his first position as a principal.

The former principal had left to complete work on his doctorate, but during the last two years of

his administration, the school’s student body demographics had changed and the student body

was currently composed of about 25 percent white and 75 percent non-white. At one time the

faculty had been predominantly white, but several “minority” teachers had been hired. Several

white teachers had transferred or moved to other districts because they felt that the changes

were lowering the standards in the school, a culture that has pervaded the school.

Dr. Mendozza has been very busy during the first few weeks of the school year. He had been

learning the schedule; becoming acquainted with students, teachers, and other people in the

district; familiarizing himself with the program of studies; and dealing with the day-to-day routine

and minor crises that are a part of the job of the building principal.

Although he was reasonably well satisfied with his new situation, two aspects troubled him. In

spite of the fact that the school, including the faculty, had been integrated, there was very little

social interaction between white and non-white teachers. As a rule, they did not mingle in the

faculty room, and they sat together at faculty meetings or during the noon hour. Although Dr.

Mendozza had not detected any actual antagonism or hostility, it was apparent that the two

groups of teachers were not associating with each other.

He had talked to his assistant principal about the matter, but his assistant didn’t believe that any

significant problem existed and took the position that even if it did, there wasn’t much that could

be done about it; people couldn’t be forced to associate with each other. Dr. Mendozza wasn’t

ready to accept his assistant principal’s assessment of the situation, but at the moment he didn’t

have any ideas on how to improve relations between the white and non-white teachers.

Besides, there was another problem that was possibly even more fundamental to quality

education in an integrated school.

Dr. Mendozza had noticed, in the process of becoming familiar with the program of studies in

the school, that the curriculum seemed to give inadequate attention and emphasis to non-white

history and culture. Although the former principal had apparently tried to stimulate some interest

in offering a course focusing on the culture and history of minority groups in the United States,

no one on the faculty had been willing to develop an outline of study. As a result, the present

social studies program was still very traditional.

The same type of situation existed in the language arts curriculum, which devoted little attention

to non-white literature. Although the principal was in favor of students learning about recognized

white U.S. and European writers, he believed that there should be a better balance in the

curriculum and that there was a great deal of worthwhile non-white literature to which all

students should be exposed. Certainly the minority students needed this type of relevant

education to develop a better self-identity and a deeper understanding of their culture and

history. Perhaps even more important, the white students needed a multiracial education if they

were ever going to learn to appreciate the non-white culture and develop a more positive

attitude toward relating and interacting with non-white people.

Dr. Mendozza realized that there would be problems in trying to achieve a truly integrated

faculty and multicultural curriculum. There would no doubt be resistance from teachers of both

backgrounds who did not want to associate with each other and who questioned the need for a

multicultural curriculum or doubted the school district’s commitment to this approach. There was

also likely to be the feeling on the part of many white parents that minority group studies were

either not necessary or not desirable. Dr. Mendozza was deeply committed to the ideal of an

integrated society, however, and believed that it was the school’s responsibility to play a major

role in contributing to that end. It was true that he was new and a little uncertain about how to

proceed, but he had been taught that the principalship was a leadership position, and he

intended to face up to the challenges in his school.

Page 182

CHAPTER 7

Change

APPLICABLE PSEL STANDARDS*, †

▪ Standard 1:

Mission, Vision, and Core Values

Effective educational leaders develop, advocate, and enact a shared mission, vision, and core

values of high-quality education and academic success and well-being of each student.

▪ Standard 2:

Ethics and Professional Norms

Effective educational leaders act ethically and according to professional norms to promote each

student’s academic success and

well-being.

▪ Standard 3:

Equity and Cultural Responsiveness

Effective educational leaders strive for equity of educational opportunity and culturally

responsive practices to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.

▪ Standard 4:

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Effective educational leaders develop and support intellectually rigorous and coherent systems

of curriculum, instruction, and assessment to promote each student’s academic success and

well-being.

▪ Standard 7:

Professional Community for Teachers and Staff

Effective educational leaders foster a professional community of teachers and other professional

staff to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.

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Change is the one persistent phenomenon in life and in organizations; thus schools

experience change often. For school leaders, implementing and managing change and

improvement in school leadership is a difficult and daunting task. As Michael Fullan and others

note, school leaders need to understand the change process in order to lead and manage

change and improvement efforts effectively. Furthermore, they must learn to overcome barriers

and cope with the chaos that naturally exists during the complex process of change.

In the 2020 Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll, it was found that a majority of Americans

disapproved of President’s education policies and that they wanted more federal support for

public schools. The American public also wants the federal government to focus on issues of

teacher quality, college affordability, protecting students from discrimination, and early childhood

education. Surveys have continued to show that the majority of American believe that the best

way to improve education is to reform the existing system.

Key findings from the 2020 Phi Delta Kappa Public Poll (conducted March 2020 prior to the

spread of COVID-19) revealed the following:

● Six in 10 parents call public education extremely or very important in their vote for

president this fall, including a quarter who call it extremely important. Importance rises

among parents, to 7 in 10, with a third calling it extremely important.

● For the 19th straight year in PDK polls, lack of financial support tops the list of the

biggest problems facing the public schools.

● School funding also tops the list among parents, cited by 14 percent—but that’s virtually

half of what it was last year (27 %).

● Bullying now runs a close second, at 11 percent. Further, 8 percent of parents now

mention smoking, vaping, or drug use, compared with 4 percent last year. Five percent

overall and 6 percent of parents mentioned COVID-19.

● Four in 10 support adding charter schools, even at expense of public schools.

● Those without four-year college degrees are more likely to support efforts to expand

charter schools, 42 percent versus 29 percent.

● Seventy-two percent of adults think a balanced approach to reading is most effective at

teaching young students how to read. Two-thirds think it’s most effective in teaching

literacy as well.

Standardized testing is just a part of the landscape. The survey reported mixed support,

depending on how test results are used. Thirty-eight percent of respondents think there’s too

much emphasis, compared to 52 percent when asked this question in 2007. Furthermore, 83

percent support using tests to determine placement in special programs (such as academically

selective high schools), although support wanes considerably if such programs have the

unintended consequence of increasing racial and/or economic segregation.4 A special program

that has the effect of reducing ethnic and racial diversity is supported by 24 percent of Black and

38 percent of Latinx respondents, versus 53 percent of whites. Further, it’s backed by 36

percent of those with household incomes less than $50,000, versus 55 percent of those with

incomes $100,000 or higher.

Schools are dynamic, reflecting the constantly changing world around us. However,

schools are also expected to conserve our values while meeting higher achievement standards.

Schools cannot afford to stand still; they must develop processes and techniques to facilitate

effective change.

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PREMISES GUIDING THE CHANGE RATIONALE

The rationale for change in education seems to be based on the following premises: (1)

Even if the status quo is not necessarily bad, there is usually room for improvement; (2) while all

change does not necessarily lead to improvement, improvement is not likely to occur without

change; (3) unless we attempt change, we are not likely to know whether a proposed innovation

is better than the status quo; and (4) participation in the change process can result in greater

understanding and appreciation of the desirable features of the status quo and can lead to a

better understanding and appreciation of, and skill in, the change process itself.

Although it is clear that proposed change holds the potential for improvement in

education, an administrator would be well advised to be skeptical of those who say, “This is new

and therefore good,” or, conversely, “This is old and therefore better.” Periodic assessment of

traditional practices and careful evaluation of proposed innovations are essential first steps in

validating the need for improvement in education.

PRESSURES FOR CHANGE

In recent years schools have been bombarded with proposals, research findings, and

mandates for change. For example, schools have been told that they need to increase student

time on tasks, provide career ladders for teachers, introduce computer study into the curriculum,

enhance their organizational culture, improve students’ basic skills, increase parental

involvement, improve personnel evaluation, tighten curriculum standards, develop partnerships

with business, and so on. Many of these pressures for change emanate from various national

reports and pressure to implement national standards at the state and local levels, as well as

pressure to change principal preparation programs.

Why Change Efforts Fail and What Can Be Done

Although national reports and research findings can be helpful in identifying possible

areas in need of change in the schools, evaluations of change efforts that were made during the

1960s through the 1980s raise grave doubts as to whether national prescriptions, state

mandates, and school district directives can be successful in bringing about significant and

lasting school improvements.6 Sergiovanni has said that educational change itself must be

changed.7 In general, studies show that past attempts to impose certain changes on the

schools have not been successful, for the most part. State regulations frequently usurped the

authority of teachers, principals, parents, and local communities. The regulations sought to

make the curriculum “teacher-proof” when, in fact, they served to make schools “learning-proof.”

Many of the proposed changes either were not implemented at all or were modified in such a

way to fit local needs that the value of the change was questionable.

Schwahn and Spady have highlighted “five interdependent reasons why productive change

doesn’t happen,” and from these reasons, they have extrapolated five change “rules” or

principles: (1) “People don’t change unless they share a compelling reason to change,” (2)

“People don’t change unless they have ownership in the change,” (3) “People don’t change

unless their leaders model that they are serious about the change,” (4) “People are unlikely to

change unless they have a concrete picture of what the change will look like for them

personally,” and (5) “People can’t make a change—or make it last—unless they receive

organizational support for the change.”

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Federal and State Mandates Are Not Enough

Although the federal and state governments can make an important contribution to

school reform by publicizing the need for improvement and by providing financial and technical

assistance to schools that would like to change, the history in this country of attempts to change

the schools suggests that significant and lasting school improvement can seldom be prescribed,

mandated, or directed by agencies or individuals outside of the school. Part of the difficulty is

that, as mentioned in Chapter 6, schools are “loosely coupled organizations”; that is, there are

seldom explicit and direct connections or linkages between the external agents pressuring the

schools to change and the people (in most cases, teachers) who will have to implement the

changes. This makes it hard to direct and monitor adequately what is going on in the schools.

Another difficulty is that many teachers and building administrators have become accustomed to

pressures for change—after all, there has been a lot of change over the years—and educators

realize that much proposed change is faddish in nature and that the pressure for change will

likely diminish when the change agent leaves or funds are cut back.

A basic implication of research on change efforts over several decades is that the

primary leadership for bringing about school improvement must come from the organizational

level of education where the change is to take effect. In most situations, that will be at the school

site level, even though important contributions can be made at all levels.

NEEDED LEADERSHIP FOR CHANGE

There is little doubt that the involvement and cooperation of many people will be

necessary for the successful implementation of school improvement. An administrator cannot

and should not attempt to introduce and implement a proposed change single-handedly. As

Joyce and his colleagues have pointed out, “Charismatic superintendents and principals can

change schools, sometimes quite rapidly, by developing ad hoc executive structures; but the

institutionalization of change is very difficult.” In order for change to occur, one

“highly-motivated, goal-oriented individual must serve as the initial change agent. However,

lasting change requires more than the efforts of a single individual.” Consequently, introducing

lasting change will require the cooperation and support of a variety of people.15 The

administrator should recognize that the leadership for introducing school improvement can

come from many sources and thus should try to encourage ideas and support for change

throughout the school or school system.

School Improvement Committees

One specific way in which an administrator can attempt to facilitate school change is to

establish a school improvement committee.16 Such a committee should be established at the

district level to provide overall direction and coordination of school improvement efforts, and

each school should also establish a school improvement committee to focus on improvement at

the school site level. At the latter level, the committee should be headed by the principal and

should comprise representative assistant administrators, teachers, parents, and students who

are interested in school improvement and possess skills and/or insights that would be helpful in

bringing about needed and successful change. For an excellent example of how students can

be involved in the change process, the reader is referred to Furtwengler. The school

improvement committee should be charged with the responsibility for assessing the need for

change, encouraging efforts to improve the school, coordinating and providing assistance to

those efforts, and monitoring and evaluating progress and achievements.

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Importance of a Collaborative Approach

In order for this type of committee to be successful, its membership should be voluntary

rather than required, and each member should have something useful to offer. Once

established, the committee will need adequate resources, assistance, and periodic recognition

from the administrator. In some cases, in-service training for committee members may even be

needed. It will also be important for the committee to be supported by the rest of the school.

Every effort needs to be made to avoid a perception that the committee is a behind-the-scenes,

elitist group. Open meetings and frequent communications will help eliminate or reduce this

possible problem.

Principals and Implementation of Innovation

While the establishment of a school improvement committee represents an important

organizational step toward successfully bringing about school improvement, it also needs to be

recognized that the administrator, particularly the principal (if the proposed change is to be

introduced at the building level), is a key figure in the implementation of an innovation. Seldom

can a proposed change be successfully implemented without the understanding, support, and,

frequently, the leadership of the building administrator. As Demeter observed in his study of

innovation in local schools, “Building principals are key figures in the innovation process. Where

they are both aware of and sympathetic to an innovation, it tends to prosper. Where they are

ignorant of its existence, or apathetic, if not hostile, it tends to remain outside the bloodstream of

the school.”

Reinforcing the importance of the principal to the successful implementation of any

proposed change, Sarason emphasized, “The principal is the crucial implementor of change.

That is to say, any proposal for change that intends to alter the quality of life in the school

depends primarily on the principal.” Nickols has said that managing change requires numerous

skills—especially political skills, analytical skills, people skills, system skills, and business skills.

According to Nickols, four basic questions can help direct change. Each is built around a

particular concept as expressed in the verbs “achieve, preserve, avoid,” and “eliminate.” The

questions are (1) “What do you want that you don’t have?” (achievement goals), (2) “What do

you want that you already have?” (preservation goals), (3) “What don’t you have that you don’t

want?” (avoidance goals), and (4) “What do you have now that you don’t want?” (elimination

goals).

Characteristics of Principals Who Implement Change

The nature of the situation should determine the specific role an administrator should play in

regard to introducing and implementing a particular change. One study of principals who had

successfully implemented new programs in their schools found that:

[The principal] was a believer, feeling a genuine commitment to the project; an

advocate who promoted and defended the project before a variety of audiences;

a linker who connected the project with other parts of the system; a resource

acquirer who obtained and allocated tangible and intangible resources for the

project; an employer who hired project staff or assigned teachers to it; a leader

who supplied initiative, energy, and direction; a manager who provided

problem-solving assistance and support; a delegator who “moved backstage”

when teachers assumed leadership; a supporter who provided words of

encouragement and acts of assistance; and an information source who gave

feedback to teachers and project staff.

Another study finds six common characteristics of principals who were successful

when implementing educational change: being visionary, believing that schools

are for learning, valuing human resources, communicating and listening

effectively, being proactive, and taking risks.

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Leadership Styles of Principals

Hall found that the principal’s leadership style determines the successful implementation

of change. Principals in his study had three main styles: (1) the initiator, (2) the manager, and

(3) the responder. The initiator’s style was most successful, followed by the manager’s; the

responder’s style was least successful. The specific styles are described as follows:

1. Initiators: Have clear goals that include implementation of innovation. They place high

expectations upon the students, their staff, and themselves.

2. Managers: Fall between initiators and responders. They may initiate action in support of

change but also demonstrate responsive behavior.

3. Responders: Rely on teachers and others to act as change agents while they proceed

with administrative tasks.

Havelock and Shaskin offer HELP Scores as characteristics for a change agent leader. They

note the following:

1. Homophily: The extent of closeness which exists between the client and also the change

agent; change is expected to achieve successful outcomes if the extent of closeness is

higher between them.

2. Empathy: The change agent should be empathetic. This understanding will strengthen

client and change agent’s relationship; will improve communication which in turn will

favorably influence the change.

3. Linkage: This implies the extent of collaborative relationship which exists between the

client and the change agent.

4. Proximity: The client, as well as the change agent, should be readily available to each

other, it’s because greater the accessibility, stronger will be the bond or the relationship

between the two.

5. Structuring: This involves effective and a step by step planning of various activities

associated with the implementation of change.

6. Capacity: This factor is connected with the organization’s capability in providing the

required resources which are essentially needed for successfully implementing

interventions and the change.

7. Openness: This is the ability of a change agent as well as the leadership in facilitating an

open environment for building facilitating mechanisms and fostering mutual respect,

trust, and sensitivity toward the feelings of others.

8. Reward: Any change initiative should have the potential for benefitting the beneficiaries

both in the short run as well as in the long run.

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9. Energy: Energy implies the extent of efforts applied for making change realizable.

Energy involves both mental as well as physical energy, directed in a focused manner for

achieving synergy in the outcomes.

10. Synergy: Synergy is the sum of two or more is greater than the parts. Synergy in

outcomes happens when all the above-mentioned factors are combined with the right set

of people, resources, and activities.

The multifaceted role of these principals may seem a little overwhelming to many

readers, especially prospective administrators. As a change agent, a leader is capable of

enforcing change broadly in four areas: Structure, Physical Setting, Technology, and People:

Structural change is all about making changes in the organizational structure, authority and

hierarchical framework, job redesign, and various other structural variables. Change in

technology implies a change in the techniques, methods, processes or best practices, or the

way of working itself. Change in the physical setting involves a change in the layout and also the

spatial arrangements. Change agents also facilitate a change in the attitudes of people, skills,

behavior and also their perceptions. All in all, it simply takes commitment, time, and

stick-to-itiveness.

THE PROCESS OF CHANGE

Although it seems clear that the administrator is a pivotal figure in the change process

and, in many cases, may need to be the primary change agent in introducing and implementing

a proposed innovation, the administrator’s effectiveness and the innovation’s success are not

automatic or inevitable. Although many factors can influence the likelihood of successful school

improvement, it is not likely to occur in a school or school district without the administrator and

the school improvement committee developing an understanding of, and skill in, the process of

introducing and implementing change. Kilmann identifies the following four critical stages in

planning a “completely integrated program for improving organizations”:

1. Ascertaining whether the organization is ready for a successful

improvement.

2. Diagnosing problems—using a questionnaire.

a. Designating the barriers (problems).

b. Designating the channels for success (opportunities).

3. Scheduling planning tracks.

a. Culture.

b. Management skills.

c. Team building.

d. Strategy structure.

e. Reward system.

4. Implementing planning tracks.

a. Encouraging flexibility as change is implemented in each track.

b. Making sure employees take responsibility for the change.

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Although theorists on change may differ somewhat in their terminology and emphasis,

most social scientists and innovators would agree that the process of introducing change should

include the stages and steps listed in Figure 7.1. The administrator and school improvement

committee who adopt the process outlined in Figure 7.1 should greatly increase the likelihood of

successfully introducing and institutionalizing a proposed change in a school and school district.

The process recommended is a rational one, although it is recognized that what actually occurs

does not always follow rational lines. It begins with the identification of the need for change and

ends with the integration of the proposed innovation into the routine of the school. Throughout

the process, there is an emphasis on decision making, planning, organizing, diagnosing, and

evaluating—the very skills that are central to administration.

▪FIGURE 7.1 IMPORTANT STAGES AND STEPS IN THE CHANGE PROCESS

Stage I
Conduct a Needs Assessment

A. Identify the need for change. Examine the present system to ascertain which aspects
need to be improved.

B. Develop or evaluate and select a new approach or system that will replace the former
method.

Stage II
Orient the Target Group to the Proposed Change

A. Create an awareness of and interest in the proposed innovation on the part of the
target group, e.g., teachers.

B. Institute with the target group an examination of the strengths and weaknesses of the
proposed change. Pilot-test and refine the new system prior to its introduction.

C. Identify, with the help of the target group, the commitments that will need to be made
in terms of additional resources, in-service training programs, and/or building
modifications.

Stage III

Decide Whether to Introduce the Proposed Change
A. Identify those who should participate in the decision.
B. Decide on the process by which the decision will be made.
C. Decide whether to proceed with the implementation of the proposed change.

Stage IV
Plan a Program of Implementation

A. Plan and carry out a program of in-service education for those involved in the
proposed change.

B. Provide the resources and facilities necessary for successfully introducing the change.
C. Anticipate and attempt to resolve in advance the operational problems that may be

encountered in implementing the proposed innovation.

Stage V
Implement the Proposed Innovation

Stage VI
Conduct In-Process Evaluation

A. Design and institute a system that will provide feedback on the extent to which the
proposed change is accomplishing its objectives.

B. Diagnose those aspects of the program or its implementation that need improvement.

Stage VII
Refine and Institutionalize the Innovation

A. Modify the innovation and, if necessary, provide additional orientation, training,
resources, facilities, etc.

B. Gain the acceptance of the innovation (if it is successful) as a regular and permanent
part of the total educational program in the school or school district.

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In the remaining sections of this chapter, each stage in the change process found in

Figure 7.1 will be further analyzed and discussed.

Initial Considerations

Assessing the Need for Change

The first stage in the process of change may well be the most important one. If the

administrator, with the cooperation of relevant others, does not periodically evaluate the current

program, activities, and practices in the school and school district, the administrator is unlikely to

be aware of, or be sensitive to, the need for change. Worse yet, the administrator may react

defensively to external pressures for change and attempt to defend a status quo that has not

been examined carefully. Therefore, an effective administrator will have in operation a needs

assessment plan providing objective information about the strengths and weaknesses of the

various educational programs and activities. Such an assessment plan will be essential for

identifying and validating the need for change, and it will also be helpful to others in developing

an understanding of the need for change. An excellent description of how to develop such a

plan is presented by Kaufman and Stone.

Determining the New Direction

Once the need for change has been established, the administrator, in cooperation with

relevant others, should attempt to develop, or evaluate and select from various alternatives, a

new approach or system to replace or modify the current program or practice. This will be a

challenging task. Administrators are faced with what must seem at times to be a virtual barrage

of proposals for changing the school program. The challenge for the school practitioner is to

select those innovations that show potential for significantly improving education in the school.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. The main problem is finding an innovation that has

been systematically developed on the basis of theory and research, with subsequent

experimental testing and refinement before dissemination to the schools. Research and

development centers and regional laboratories are a source for information on innovations.

Since many of the innovations to be considered are not “proven” products in any sense of the

term, the administrator will need to evaluate carefully the strengths and limitations of each

proposed change before seeking its adoption in the school or school district.

Evaluating a Proposed Innovation

In conducting an evaluation of a proposed innovation, the administrator and the school

improvement committee should attempt to seek answers to the following basic questions:

1. What are the objectives of the proposed change or innovation? What is it supposed to

accomplish?

2. Are the objectives of the proposed innovation sufficiently relevant to the particular need

for improvement in the local school or school district? How do we know this?

3. How will the proposed innovation accomplish its objectives? What is the evidence that

the proposed innovation will accomplish its objectives, and how adequate is that

evidence?

4. How difficult will it be for people to understand and accept the proposed innovation?

5. To what extent do people have the skills to implement the proposed innovation? If skills

are lacking, how easily can these skills be acquired?

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6. What are the financial costs of implementing the proposed innovation? Are there

sufficient resources for implementing the proposed

change?

7. How will we know, if we implement the proposed innovation, that it has accomplished its

objectives?

8. In general, what are the advantages and disadvantages of implementing the proposed

change?

As mentioned earlier, evaluating a proposed innovation is seldom an easy task. It is an

essential activity, however, for the administrator who wishes to avoid introducing an innovation

that may not only be inappropriate for the needs of the school or school district but, if not

successful, also result in disillusionment and cynicism about future efforts to innovate.

Important Reference Groups

For most proposed changes, it will be important for the change agent to develop

understanding, commitment, and possibly new skills on the part of those individuals or groups

who will be affected by a school innovation. Generally, the groups who will be most affected will

include the faculty, the students, the parents, the school board, the administrator’s superiors,

and the state department of public instruction.

Gaining Support, Reducing Resistance

In most circumstances, the six groups just mentioned represent the greatest sources of

potential support for—or resistance to—a proposed change. The administrator who wishes to

play the role of the change agent needs to recognize that the acceptance and effectiveness of

the proposed innovation may also be enhanced or impeded by the attitudes and actions of other

individuals and groups associated with the school district: principals feel successful educational

reform and change requires a commitment of a whole system approach, which includes the

community as well. Because each group is part of the informal communication network within a

school district or community, the change agent must identify the potential of these groups for

support or resistance and must consider these factors in introducing an innovation. As Baldridge

and Deal have perceptively noted in regard to the external environment of the school (which

includes not only local community but also the state and national scenes), “The environment is a

major impetus for change, for new environmental demands are an initial source of new ideas,

new procedures and new activities. Not only is change promoted by the environment, but

changes made internally must also be supported by environmental connections.”

Involving the Faculty

Perhaps the most important group to consider in establishing the need for change, and

in selecting and introducing a proposed innovation, is the faculty. If the faculty of a school or

school district does not understand a proposed innovation, or lacks the skill for participating

effectively in its implementation, the likelihood of the innovation’s successful implementation is

slight. This is particularly true of an innovation that is to be implemented in the classroom.

Therefore, the administrator should make every effort to be sure that the faculty or its

representatives are involved in each step of the change process, that they understand

thoroughly the different facets of the proposed innovation, and that they are provided with

adequate opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to implement the change.

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Adoption of the Innovation

According to Havelock and his colleagues, an individual (or group) in the process of

adopting an innovation goes through the following six stages:

1. Awareness stage: The individual is exposed to an innovation and becomes aware of it,

although not necessarily knowledgeable about it or possessing a strong interest in

finding out more about it.

2. Interest stage: The individual is developing an interest in finding out more about the

innovation and is beginning to develop some possible negative and positive attitudes

toward it.

3. Mental stage: The individual is now actively evaluating the innovation as to how it might

be implemented and is also seeking the assessment of the innovation from respected

people.

4. Trial stage: The individual actually attempts to implement the innovation on a pilot basis

to see if it will work.

5. Adoption stage: The individual adopts the innovation and implements it fully.

6. Integration stage: The individual internalizes the innovation in such a way that it

becomes a routine part of the person’s behavior or situation.

The Complexity of Instituting Change

An individual or group will not always, of course, go through all six stages. Possibly at

the end of the mental or trial stage the proposed innovation will be rejected. Clearly, Havelock’s

concept of stages indicates that adoption is a more complicated process than perhaps is

realized. For example, the implementation of an innovation from a leadership perspective

occurs in four different stages, according to Sergiovanni. In the first stage, initiation, the leader

and the follower have independent, but organizationally related objectives. Sergiovanni refers to

this stage in leadership as “bartering.” Stage two, uncertainty, is a time to muddle through. The

leadership is “building.” In the third stage, transformation, there is a breakthrough as the goals

of leaders and followers are shared. The leaders and followers are bonded together in a moral

commitment. In the fourth stage, routinization, improvements are turned into routines so that

they become second nature. Leadership is “banking.”

Hall and Hord have divided change facilitator behaviors into several clusters: (1) a

“concern for people” cluster that is composed of social/informal and formal/meaningful

interactions, (2) an “organizational efficiency” cluster in which the focus is on the degree of trust

in others to carry out responsibilities and the establishment of procedures that keep the system

running smoothly and permit teachers to do their jobs better, and (3) a “strategic sense” cluster

that focuses on the dimensions of day-to-day activities in the context of a long-range vision and

the planning that accompanies it.

What Teachers Worry About

Adequate orientation to the innovation is a key factor to successfully proceeding through

Havelock’s first three stages of adoption. In attempting to orient the faculty to the proposed

innovation, the administrator needs to be aware of the typical concerns teachers have about

innovations. According to a model developed at the Research and Development (R&D) Center

at the University of Texas, teachers go through several stages of concern. Initially, their

concerns seem to focus on how the proposed innovation, if it is implemented, will affect them

personally. If these self-concerns can be ameliorated or eliminated, then the teachers’ questions

are likely to reflect concern about how to perform the tasks associated with the innovation.

Finally, if the task-related concerns can be resolved, then the teachers’ concerns will center on

how the innovation will affect students.

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Most teachers are interested in improving their teaching and are not opposed to trying a

new innovation. The biggest concern is usually the effort required to incorporate a given

innovation with their current practice. Work with them to see how the innovation may speak to

their particular needs, and how to assist them with its integration into their teaching. Teachers

simply need time, support, and encouragement.

Creating an Atmosphere of Trust

“Trust is a key to system change that appears to be in short supply,” write Hall and Hord.

“Currently it seems as if everyone at each point across the system not only does not trust and

respect persons at other points along the continuum, but also is cynical about the intents of

those other people.” During the process of addressing concerns, the administrator’s role should

not be one of “selling” or “advocating” an innovation. Such an approach will impair the

administrator’s objectivity and sensitivity to people’s concerns. Instead, the administrator should

be trying to develop an understanding of the innovation and people’s concerns about it. To

accomplish these objectives, the administrator needs to create a climate or atmosphere

conducive to objectivity, trust, and confidence. Research by a number of individuals and groups

suggests that to create this type of atmosphere, the change agent will need to be perceived by

the teachers as someone who:

1. Is not trying to “foist” a change on them or manipulate them into making a change.

2. Is a good communicator who not only understands a particular innovation but also knows

how to explain it clearly.

3. Respects teachers and encourages them to voice their concerns.

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4. Listens carefully when concerns or objections surface and takes action to try to

ameliorate those concerns and objectives.

5. Practices the perspective that successful change requires the cooperation and

contribution of everyone.

6. Has skills for helping to facilitate the proposed change.

RESISTANCE TO CHANGE

Resistance to change exists in all organizations, be they public or private. Bowsher

classified seven types of resisters to change in the following manner:

1. “Positive” resister: The person who agrees with all the new programs but never does

anything about them.

2. “Unique” resister: Although the changes may be good for other areas of the organization,

they are never right for this individual’s department.

3. “Let me be last” resister: Will not say change is wrong, but uses the strategy of trying to

be last to implement change, hoping all new ideas will die out before his or her

department must institute a new program.

4. “We need more time to study” resister.

5. “States rights” resister: Resists any new program from headquarters, stressing that only

local programs will be effective.

6. “Cost justifier” resister: Prior to any changes, everything must be cost-justified.

7. “Incremental change” resister: The most difficult to win over to a new system. New

approaches are tried only if they have everything the old system had.

Two Kinds of Forces: Facilitating and Restraining

In every situation involving change, there will operate certain restraining, as well as

facilitating, forces. The facilitating forces—those conditions that make it easier to introduce a

particular innovation—will probably be obvious to the administrator. They include such factors

as outside pressures for change and the administrator’s own convictions about the need for

change. On the other hand, the restraining forces—those conditions that will make it difficult to

introduce the innovation—may not be so obvious. Their symptoms are usually manifested,

however, in people’s concerns or expressions of resistance to a proposed change. One should

assume that change will often be resisted; experience and research both indicate that

resistance to change is not unusual. Sample verbal reactions to proposed change that suggest

resistance include the following.

“Everything is going all right, so why change?”

“People aren’t ready for change.”

“Has anyone else tried this?”

“It won’t work in this school.”

“We’ve never done it before.”

“We’re not ready for that.”

“We’re doing all right without it.”

“It’s too radical a change.”

“We don’t have enough time to do it.”

“It’s too complicated.”

Factors behind Resistance

These comments suggest concern as well as possible resistance to proposed change

and should not be dismissed lightly. The worst thing the administrator can do is to dismiss

resistance without examining its merits or to react defensively when opposition to change is

expressed. Instead, the administrator should view the expression of resistance or concern as a

warning sign that needs to be taken seriously, and should attempt to better understand and

diagnose the motivation and reasoning behind such expressions. In so doing, the administrator

needs to be aware that resistance to change may be based on one or more of the following

restraining factors:

Habit.

Habit is the tendency of people to behave in the same way that they have always

behaved, and the familiar becomes a form of security. Proposed change challenges this

security, and the challenge is frequently met with resistance.

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The Bureaucratic Structure of the School District.

The school district as a bureaucratic institution emphasizes the maintenance of order,

rationality, and continuity. Uniformity of educational programs and procedures among the

schools of the district seems to be valued, whereas diversity does not. Attempts by individual

schools to introduce new programs or procedures are sometimes viewed with suspicion.

Because of these attitudes and the hierarchical structure of the district, proposed change may

be diluted before it is finally approved, or it may be rejected because it threatens the stability of

the institution. Recent research suggests, however, that the bureaucratic structure of a school

district can, depending on its nature and on how it is used, facilitate the process of change

rather than restrict it.

The Lack of Incentive.

Change can be a difficult and frustrating experience for the individuals or groups

involved. Although the administrator may be personally convinced of the benefits that will accrue

if a proposed change is adopted, the administrator can seldom guarantee those benefits or offer

incentives (monetary or otherwise) to persuade others to adopt the innovation. As a result, the

administrator is dependent upon the ability to influence others to adopt a proposed change that

may have high personal costs in terms of time and frustration and no immediate gain.

The Nature of the Proposed Change.

Innovations can vary according to complexity, financial cost, compatibility with the other

phases of the school’s operation, ease of communicability, and time and energy needed to

make the change. Some innovations, because of these factors, are more difficult to introduce

into a school system than are other proposed changes. As Baldridge and Deal note, “Many

plans fail because they simply are not viable in terms of what the organization can afford.”

Therefore, the characteristics of the innovation itself may constitute a major obstacle or problem

in securing its adoption.

Teacher and Community Norms.

Teacher and community norms can act as significant barriers to innovating in the

schools. For example, there is evidence that teacher norms support autonomy and do not

encourage interaction and exchange of new ideas among colleagues. As a result, efforts by the

administrator to bring about change in a teacher’s role or methods may be viewed as a

challenge to that teacher’s professional autonomy. Research has further revealed that

community groups may feel threatened by change because of its implications for upsetting the

stability of the power relations within the community.50 Both sets of norms—teacher and

community—can act as powerful sources of resistance to the administrator who is trying to

introduce a particular innovation.

Lack of Understanding.

People may resist a proposed change because they don’t possess an adequate or

accurate understanding of it. Their deficiency may be caused by a failure to pay close attention

when the proposed change was explained, or, on the other hand, information about the change

may have been poorly or inaccurately communicated. In any respect, a lack of understanding of

a proposed change can act as a significant deterrent in its successful implementation.

A Difference of Opinion.

A proposed change may be resisted because of an honest difference of opinion about

whether it is needed or whether it will accomplish all that its proponents claim. The difference in

opinion may be based on conflicting philosophies and values of education in regard to teaching

and learning, or it may result from variant assessments of how much improvement would

actually occur if the proposed change were

implemented.

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A Lack of Skill.

A proposed change may be resisted by an individual or group who will be required to

perform new skills and roles. The change from traditional roles and skills to new ones is viewed

as an unsettling experience by many people. Therefore, any innovation requiring new skills or

roles from the participants should be accompanied by an in-service program enabling these

people to develop the new skills or roles.

Resistance to change is a complex phenomenon, and the administrator should spend a

considerable amount of time in diagnosing its source or sources before drawing any conclusions

about how it might best be reduced. Many situations manifest more than one reason for

resistance to change, and the administrator should assess the validity of each of the possible

factors identified previously. By accurately diagnosing the reasons for resistance, the

administrator will be in a better position to ameliorate it and smooth the way for successful

implementation of a proposed improvement.

One recommended means for dealing with the possibility of resistance to change is to

introduce an innovation in such a manner as to avoid or minimize the likelihood of resistance.

Readiness for change involves:

1. leadership support for the desired change and the ability to lead it;

2. shared vision and understanding of the change by school stakeholders;

3. alignment with school core values, focused on student learning and well-being;

4. a shared understanding that the initiative is a school priority;

5. a collaborative school climate with trusting, respectful relationships between leaders and

teachers;

6. an implementation plan that school participants comprehend;

7. plans for building staff capacity for successful implementation; and

8. an understanding of needed and available resources, and a strategy for obtaining critical

resources that are missing.

Furthermore, McKnight and Glennie noted in their study of 48 principals and change

readiness that more than half of the principals indicated that their schools were not ready for the

targeted change, suggesting a low probability of success for this initiative. Additionally, school

climate, strong relationships, available resources, and leadership capacity rely and build upon

each other to impact the success of change initiatives.

FACILITATING THE INTRODUCTION OF CHANGE

Although many administrators have felt that the crucial, if not the sole, problem in

successfully introducing an innovation was to overcome the initial resistance of the individuals

and/or groups whose behavior and attitude were going to be affected by a change, this belief

has now been challenged. Gross and his associates, for example, found that despite an initially

favorable predisposition by those who were going to be especially affected by a certain change

in a school, the proposed innovation ultimately met with failure.

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Reasons for Unsuccessful Innovations

Based on teacher interviews, questionnaires, and daily field observations, Gross and his

colleagues identified four factors that seemed to account for the innovation’s lack of success, all

possessing implications for the educator who is concerned about the successful implementation

of a proposed change.

1. Although the faculty had received orientation about the innovation prior to its

introduction, six months after the innovation had finally been initiated, most teachers still

did not seem to understand what was involved in their new role.

Implication. The administrator should not assume that one or two explanations of an

innovation will be adequate. Rather, the administrator must continuously secure

feedback and provide clarification to those who will be affected by the change.

2. The teachers seemed to lack the knowledge and skills necessary for performing their

new role. When they encountered problems as a result of these inadequacies, teacher

resistance to the innovation developed.

Implication. Behavioral and attitudinal change is complex and difficult to achieve. The job

of the administrator is to identify clearly and precisely those skills and understandings

needed by the people affected by the innovation and to provide the training necessary to

acquire them. Teachers, for example, need continual assistance in adopting a new role.

3. The teachers’ role in the new program was designed on the assumption that much of the

student learning would result from contact among the students, who were using highly

motivating, self-instructional materials. Unfortunately, the materials were in short supply

and apparently not sufficiently motivating and self-instructing.

Implication. If the success of an innovation depends on materials possessing special

characteristics, (for example, highly motivating, self-instructing), the administrator must

see that such materials are available in sufficient quantity.

4. Other aspects of the school program, such as grading and developing the school

schedule, were not changed to facilitate the adoption of the new teacher role.

Implication. A change in one aspect of the school program may affect and be affected by

other aspects of the program and may necessitate further change.

The research conducted by Gross would appear to suggest two conclusions about

proposed change: (1) that it will not always be initially resisted and (2) that an innovation may

ultimately fail, despite its preliminary acceptance, if the people involved have not been provided

with adequate role orientation, training, materials, and other prerequisites.

More Reasons for Failure in Attempts at Innovation

In a related review of the literature on the implementation of change, Kritek found that, in

addition to the factors identified by Gross, attempts to innovate failed because of goals that

were too vague and ambitious, minimal planning to operationalize the innovation and to

integrate it into the school, resources that were too limited, and failure to anticipate adequately

and address constructively the developments that occurred after the innovation was

implemented.

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What Administrators Can Learn from Failed Attempts at Change

Several implications are suggested by Kritek’s review. The administrator who is thinking

about introducing change must define the objectives of the innovation clearly and realistically.

Full and accurate communication to those who could be affected by the proposed change is

essential.

Pilot Projects to Introduce Change

To avoid the problem of excessively ambitious goals, it may be necessary to consider

introducing the innovation on a pilot project basis rather than to the entire school or school

district. A pilot project represents a scaled-down version of the originally proposed change. The

proposed innovation might be reduced in terms of size, length of operation, or number of

participants involved. For example, rather than introducing a new, schoolwide language arts

curriculum, the change could be implemented on a pilot basis at only one grade level; or

perhaps rather than implementing a curricular change at one grade level, several units of the

curriculum could be introduced by all the teachers in the school during the first semester of the

school year; and, of course, other variations of the pilot project approach are also possible.

The pilot project approach to introducing change has several distinct advantages. It can

be conducted with a smaller number of participants and can involve those who would be more

willing to try out new ideas. If the pilot project is successful, its results may favorably influence

other people who initially resisted the proposed change. It can also be useful in identifying and

addressing defects or weaknesses in the originally proposed innovation that may not have been

obvious before implementation. Finally, a pilot project may prove useful in demonstrating that a

proposed change will not work, either because of a defect in the concept of the proposed

change or because local conditions make it impossible to implement fully.

The pilot project is no panacea for introducing change, but it may avoid the problem of overly

ambitious objectives for an innovation and, for that reason alone, should be considered by the

administrator.

Making Sure a Realistic Plan Is in Place

After planning for the introduction of an innovation, the administrator should attempt to

ascertain whether or not it was planned carefully enough and in sufficient detail. Many

innovations seem to fail because there was not a well-conceived plan for implementing the

innovation. Planning is concerned primarily with the question of how an objective is to be

achieved or a decision implemented.In a situation involving the planned implementation of an

innovation, the following types of questions need to be answered:

1. What kinds of activities or actions must occur in order to introduce

the innovation?

2. What kinds of resources—personnel, facilities, supplies—must be obtained to introduce

the innovation?

3. What kinds of problems and possible consequences might the introduction of the

innovation generate? How should these problems and consequences be addressed?

4. How should activities be sequenced to the best advantage and resources most efficiently

coordinated in order to introduce the innovation?

5. What kind of time schedule should be followed in implementing the plan of action?

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In an oversimplified sense, the administrator who engages in the planning process is

attempting to answer the question, “Who does what, with whom, and over what period of time in

order to implement the innovation?”

Another important question that faces administrators in a time of budget constraints is

the availability of funding. Many schools have turned to grant writing to obtain the needed

dollars to implement change. To write successful grants requires additional expertise that

administrators and leaders may acquire by following Orlich’s three suggested steps: (1) begin

with a good idea, (2) search out a source that has funded similar ideas, and (3) craft a

well-written proposal. Novice grant writers should realize that the basic elements of any grant,

no matter what the dollar amount, are similar. These are (1) a carefully worded introduction, (2)

an identification of the problem to be solved or the need to be addressed, (3) a list of goals and

objectives, (4) a work plan or procedures, (5) the evaluation plan to measure the program’s

success, and (6) an expenditure plan with budget justifications.

In summary, a well-conceived plan for implementing an innovation will go far toward

avoiding the problems referred to by Gross and Kritek and will increase the possibility that the

innovation will be successfully implemented.

POSTIMPLEMENTATION PROBLEMS

Although somewhat mixed, considerable evidence indicates that many implemented

innovations are later abandoned or drastically modified. There are many possible reasons for

the failure of an innovation, most of which have been discussed in the previous two sections of

this chapter. Certainly any innovation attempt in which the objectives and operational activities

are not well understood, the implementation is not well planned, and implementation is

attempted despite the opposition of significant members of relevant reference groups carries

with it the seeds of self-destruction. Even if these negative factors can be avoided, however,

some innovations still encounter problems after they are implemented, problems that can lead

to their demise.

Burnout

One of these problems is that the individuals who are responsible for implementing the

innovation may eventually become “burned out.” Implementing change frequently requires a

high level of energy expenditure. There may be new roles to be learned and long hours to be

invested; furthermore, anxiety and frustration often are associated with the implementation of an

innovation. Introducing change is usually hard work, and, typically, there are few external

rewards for the participants. The morale in a school implementing an innovation frequently

vacillates from high to low, without much stability.

If not ameliorated, over a period of time these conditions will negatively influence the

attitude of the participants toward the innovation and will impair their effectiveness. The

administrator who is sensitive to conditions in the school will provide timely assistance and

rewards to those individuals who need them, and the problem of the participants becoming

burned out can be prevented or reduced.

Coping with problems is very important for successful change. According to Miles and

Louis, “Good problem coping (dealing with problems, actively and with some depth) is the single

biggest determinant of program success.” The authors suggest that problems should be solved

structurally. For example, if teachers complain about being overloaded, a proper solution would

be to allow shared planning or to give added technical assistance rather than just asking

teachers to persevere or to be more dedicated. Problems should be located and seen as

“natural, even helpful occurrences, without blaming anyone, arousing defensiveness, or

implying a predetermined solution.”

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Negative Media Coverage

Two frequently unanticipated problems that can occur after an innovation has been

implemented are a “bad press” and the reduction of resources and support by the district

administration or external agency funding the innovation. Negative newspaper or television

reports on an innovation can immeasurably damage the image of the innovation and can

significantly affect the spirit of the participants and the attitudes of those who are judging the

merits of the innovation. It matters little whether the press or television reports are accurate or

not—media coverage usually has the appearance of validity.

A major problem with press coverage is that generally the press will want to report on the

innovation soon after it has been implemented, even though at that stage the school is still

discovering and trying to iron out the “bugs.” Consequently, the media spotlight is on the

innovation early and tends to focus on the problems it is encountering, resulting in a “bad

press.” There is no easy answer to this problem, given the nature of the press and the process

of introducing change. The media are generally more interested in problems because they are

newsworthy, and the period just after the innovation has been implemented is frequently the

time when many problems arise. The administrator can, however, attempt to develop a positive

relationship with the news reporters in the community and try to develop an understanding on

their part (before the innovation is introduced) about types of problems likely to occur because

of the innovation’s novelty as well as the school’s contingency plans for addressing those

problems.

Funding Reduction or Loss of Other Resources

Another possible postimplementation problem is the gradual reduction in resources and

moral support provided by the central office of the district or an outside funding agency. A school

attempting to innovate will frequently need a higher level of resources and support than one that

is not. Over a period of time, the central office may encounter budgeting pressures, as well as

criticism from the other schools in the district about the better treatment of the innovative school;

or, if the innovative school is funded by an external agency, that source of funding may be

gradually reduced or terminated and the school district may not make up the difference. If the

innovative school has received any bad press and/or has encountered some problems after the

innovation has been implemented, the principal may find that the moral support of the central

administration may be lacking when it is most needed.

Coping with Problems

Fortunately, most of the circumstances described in this section can be avoided, or at

least reduced, if the administrator anticipates them and takes corrective action before the

problems become major. The difficulties essentially are a result of events going less smoothly

after the innovation has been implemented than had been anticipated. In these situations some

of the famous Murphy’s laws are operating: “Most things are more complicated than they initially

appear to be,” and “Most things take longer than originally anticipated.”

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WINDOW ON DIVERSITY

Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions

by Josh Greenberg

Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization.
That sounds simple, but diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality,
cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background, and more.

Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves, but how they perceive others.
Those perceptions affect their interactions. For a wide assortment of employees to function
effectively as an organization, human resource professionals need to deal effectively with
issues such as communication, adaptability, and change. Diversity will increase significantly in
the coming years. Successful organizations recognize the need for immediate action and are
ready and willing to spend resources on managing diversity in the workplace now.

Benefits of Workplace Diversity

An organization’s success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to embrace diversity
and realize the benefits. When organizations actively assess their handling of workplace
diversity issues, develop and implement diversity plans, multiple benefits are reported such
as:

Increased adaptability

Organizations employing a diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to
problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of resources. Employees from diverse
backgrounds bring individual talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in
adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands.

Broader service range

A diverse collection of skills and experiences (e.g., languages, cultural understanding) allows
a company to provide service to customers on a global basis.

Variety of viewpoints

A diverse workforce that feels comfortable communicating varying points of view provides a
larger pool of ideas and experiences. The organization can draw from that pool to meet
business strategy needs and the needs of customers more effectively.

More effective execution

Companies that encourage diversity in the workplace inspire all of their employees to perform
to their highest ability. Company-wide strategies can then be executed; resulting in higher
productivity, profit, and return on investment.

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Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace

Taking full advantage of the benefits of diversity in the workplace is not without its challenges.

Some of those challenges are:

Communication—Perceptual, cultural, and language barriers need to be overcome for
diversity programs to succeed. Ineffective communication of key objectives results in
confusion, lack of teamwork, and low morale.

Resistance to change—There are always employees who will refuse to accept the fact that
the social and cultural makeup of their workplace is changing. The “we’ve always done it this
way” mentality silences new ideas and inhibits progress.

Implementation of diversity in the workplace policies—This can be the overriding challenge to
all diversity advocates. Armed with the results of employee assessments and research data,
they must build and implement a customized strategy to maximize the effects of diversity in
the workplace for their particular organization.

Successful management of diversity in the workplace—Diversity training alone is not sufficient
for your organization’s diversity management plan. A strategy must be created and
implemented to create a culture of diversity that permeates every department and function of
the organization.

Recommended steps that have been proven successful in world-class organizations are:

Assessment of diversity in the workplace—Top companies make assessing and evaluating
their diversity process an integral part of their management system. A customizable employee
satisfaction survey can accomplish this assessment for your company efficiently and
conveniently. It can help your management team determine which challenges and obstacles
to diversity are present in your workplace and which policies need to be added or eliminated.
Reassessment can then determine the success of you diversity in the workplace plan
implementation.

Development of diversity in the workplace plan—Choosing a survey provider that provides
comprehensive reporting is a key decision. That report will be the beginning structure of your
diversity in the workplace plan. The plan must be comprehensive, attainable, and measurable.
An organization must decide what changes need to be made and a timeline for that change to
be attained.

Implementation of diversity in the workplace plan—The personal commitment of executive
and managerial teams is a must. Leaders and managers within organizations must
incorporate diversity policies into every aspect of the organization’s function and purpose.
Attitudes toward diversity originate at the top and filter downward. Management cooperation
and participation is required to create a culture conducive to the success of your
organization’s plan.

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Recommended diversity in the workplace solutions include:

Ward off change resistance with inclusion—Involve every employee possible in formulating
and executing diversity initiatives in your workplace.

Foster an attitude of openness in your organization—Encourage employees to express their

ideas and opinions and attribute a sense of equal value to all.

Promote diversity in leadership positions—This practice provides visibility and realizes the
benefits of diversity in the workplace.

Utilize diversity training—Use it as a tool to shape your diversity policy.
Launch a customizable employee satisfaction survey that provides comprehensive reporting–
Use the results to build and implement successful diversity in the workplace policies.

As the economy becomes increasingly global, our workforce becomes increasingly
diverse. Organizational success and competitiveness will depend on the ability to manage
diversity in the workplace effectively. Evaluate your organization’s diversity policies and plan
for the future, starting today.

Source: Greenberg, Josh. (2004). “Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions. The
Multicultural Advantage.” Retrieved from
http://www.multiculturaladvantage.com/recruit/diversity/diversity-in-the-workplace-benefits-challenges-solutions.asp
. Used with permission of AlphaMeasure Inc. All rights reserved.

Problems are a normal occurrence because the planning process—even under the best

of conditions—always involves assumptions, some of which may turn out to be untenable.

Problems need not significantly influence the fate of an innovation, however, if the administrator

becomes aware of them at an early stage before they develop into a crisis and if the

administrator takes quick action to remedy the situation. Catching problems early requires the

initiation of a formative evaluation system that will alert the administrator to incipient problems,

and good leadership skills on the part of the administrator are necessary for quick action in a

crisis.

FORMATIVE AND SUMMATIVE EVALUATION

Formative Evaluation

If the administrator is to be aware of problems associated with the implementation of an

innovation before these problems become major crises, arrangements need to be made for the

initiation of some type of formative evaluation. A formative evaluation represents an assessment

of both an innovation’s strengths and its areas in need of improvement before a conclusion or

decision is reached on its success. Formative evaluation is diagnostic in nature because it is

searching for aspects of the innovation, or the implementation plan, that are in need of

improvement.

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This type of evaluation is very important in the early stages of implementing an

innovation because it is during this period that unanticipated problems are likely to arise and

immediate corrective action may be needed to avoid exacerbating the problems. For ease of

understanding, an example of a relatively simple formative evaluation survey used by one

school is presented in Figure 7.2.

▪FIGURE 7.2 FORMATIVE EVALUATION SURVEY

Feedback on the Implementation of the Financial Literary Program

Instructions: Please make an X below to indicate whether you are a teacher or a student, add
your grade level, and then give your reactions on the remainder of the form. You need not
sign your name on this form unless you so desire.

Teacher ____________________ Grade Level ____________________
Student ____________________ Grade Level ____________________

1. What do you see as the main problems that need immediate action? Please be as
specific as possible, and if you have ideas about resolving these problems, so
indicate.
Main
problems__________________________________________________________
Possible
solutions____________________________________________________________

2. What do you see as the main advantage or advantages of the financial literacy
program so far?__________________________________________

3. Is there any special help or assistance that you
need?______________________________________________________________

_________________
Signature (optional)

A formative evaluation can range from simple to complex in the nature of its data

gathering format and analysis, but the important consideration is that it provides the

administrator with useful information on the progress and problems of the innovation and/or the

plan for implementation. This type of evaluation should not, however, be used by the

administrator, or anyone else for that matter, for making decisions about whether or not the

innovation is a success and should be continued or discontinued. After the innovation has been

given a reasonable amount of time to prove itself, then a decision should be considered with

regard to continuing or discontinuing the innovation, and, at that point, the administrator will

need to make arrangements for the initiation of what is referred to as summative evaluation.

Summative Evaluation

Summative evaluation, as applied to the assessment of an innovation, represents an

attempt to ascertain whether or not the innovation is adequately meeting school or school

district objectives and whether or not the advantages of the innovation sufficiently outweigh the

disadvantages. Summative evaluation usually necessitates the collection of data, but it also

frequently involves subjective judgments on what the data mean. Examples of some different

kinds of summative evaluations include the following:

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1. Comparison of student behavior before and after the innovation has been implemented.

2. Comparison of student achievement before and after the innovation has been

implemented.

3. Comparison of student attitudes before and after the innovation has been implemented.

4. Comparison of teacher attitudes toward the innovation before and after the change.

5. Comparison of parent attitudes toward the innovation before and after the change.

6. Effectiveness of the plan for introducing the innovation.

7. Extent of disruption of other activities because of the change.

8. Amount of additional costs as a result of implementing and operating the innovation.

Methods of Summative Evaluation

The methods one uses to conduct summative evaluation should depend on three factors: (1)

what is to be evaluated, (2) what information is needed, and (3) what method is most

appropriate and most accessible to provide the desired information. Possible evaluation

methods range from questionnaires and interviews to content analysis and standardized

tests.66 There is no perfect method! All too frequently administrators reject or criticize an

evaluation method without offering a better alternative; as a result, no evaluation is ever

performed. Instead, administrators should select the best possible alternative from the

evaluation methods that are available and appropriate for assessing the innovation.

Ultimately, administrators cannot avoid evaluating an innovation. If arrangements are not made

to see that a sound assessment is carried out, then other people, including parents and

members of the community, will make their own evaluation, using their own criteria and

methods. Furthermore, the US Department of Education’s Office of Elementary & Secondary

Education offers funding for innovation programs that will include formative and summative

evaluations.

A FINAL NOTE

Change is unavoidable; it is certain to happen. The question is how the

leader will deal with the change. An administrator can watch it occur, can resist it,

or can help guide and direct it. By utilizing the concepts presented in this chapter,

the administrator should be able to make an effective contribution by responding

constructively to the need for improvement in education.

Although many of the case studies, suggested learning activities, and

simulations presented in Part II require the appropriate use of the ideas in this

chapter on school improvement, Cases 62–71 in Chapter 15 should provide the

best opportunities for testing understanding and effective use of the concepts

concerning the change process.

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