TI-AIE: Perspective on leadership: implementing change in your school

What this unit is about

This unit explores some of the methods and theories that will help you to implement change successfully in your school. There are many theories around change and it has been the subject of much educational research. These theories can be helpful because they provide a way for you to think about the implications of change and how to make it successful. Sadly, in education and elsewhere, much effort to make change happen meets with resistance and fails to result in the intended outcomes.

Many of the School Leadership units deal with the challenges of change. You may already have studied the unit Perspective on leadership: planning and leading change in your school, which introduces the importance of managing change so that it is effective and has impact. This unit focuses on the next stage – implementing change – so is useful if you have already studied the units on building a shared vision, self-review and development planning. In this unit you will be introduced to some ways of thinking about change that will help you as you try and improve your school. The case studies demonstrate how other people have managed to bring about change, often by creative thinking and a certain amount of cunning.

Resistance to change is normal and understandable behaviour according to Marris (1986), because we are attached to our current reality no matter how unsatisfactory that might be. Therefore, one of the biggest challenges facing school leaders is persuading the people who work in their schools to change the way they do things. This unit will help you to develop some ideas about how to overcome such resistance.

Learning Diary

During your work on this unit you will be asked to make notes in your Learning Diary, a book or folder where you collect together your thoughts and plans in one place. Perhaps you have already started one.

You may be working through this unit alone, but you will learn much more if you are able to discuss your learning with another school leader. This could be a colleague with whom you already collaborate, or someone with whom you can build a new relationship. It could be done in an organised way or on a more informal basis. The notes you make in your Learning Diary will be useful for these kinds of meetings, while also mapping your longer-term learning and development.

What the school leader will learn in this unit