SCHOOL CHANGE 12
Differentpeople respond differently to any new change that is introduced, so,I will embark on my plan to initiate a change in my school with thebelief that my plan will be welcomed as well as resisted. Thoseschool adults who are excited and enthusiastic about your ideas,those school adults who are excited and enthusiastic about a new ideaare general individuals who believe in self-improvement as well as inimproving their environment. SociologistPaulRay and psychologist Sherry Anderson prepared a questionnaire todistinguish people who prefer to help others in bringing out theirunique gifts. In their book, TheCulturalCreatives,they describepeople who are able to see the world beyond their selfish individualneeds, who seek peace and social justice, who enhance theirself-actualization through spirituality and other holistic means. For example, their research on people of all races, ages, classes,education and income levels, and social backgrounds shows that about50 million Americans (26% of the population) emergedwithin the past 50 years who do not conform to the standard models ofmodernists or traditionalists, or conservatives, who they term asCulturalCreatives (CCs). If such a coherent subculture is forming in theUnited States, it can be formed anywhere else because such groupformation depends on human psychology, which is common to all people.So, as Ray and Anderson write, such people "share certainconcerns and attitudes, and are capable of ushering positive socialand political change only if they could come together as a group.According to the authors these people are “missing self-awarenessas a whole people” (Ray & Sherry,2001, p.39). This group ofpeople is always ready to welcome new ideas, try and test them, andembrace the change if it proves beneficial. Such cultural creativesbelieve in the importance of maintaining relationships,believe in helping othersand developing their unique gifts, volunteer withone or more good causes, support spending more money on education,community development programs, and environmental preservation, andemphasize on positive values, and so on. Bringing together this groupof people will help construct a new more positive school team, whichis holistic in its vision, compassionate in its behavior, andactively engaged with the local as well as the global community. Thisgroup holds the potential for radically reshaping the values and eventhe deep structure of the American culture and politics. According toRay and Anderson, “values are the best single predictor of realbehavior” (Ray & Sherry,2001, p.7) and they are of the viewthat words should be consistent with beliefs and that the entireworld is connected.
Thoseschool adults, who need time to adjust to new ideas, are in generalpeople who are uncertain about the outcome of the new changes. Theyare either not motivated enough or are afraid of the consequences.They need to be motivatedin a way that they feel secure, which can be done by communicatingwith them. MargaretWheatley, in her book, Turningto one another: Simple conversations to restore hope to the futuredeclares, “I believe we can change the world if we start talking toone another again” (Margaret,2014,p.3).Sheanticipates thatpeople will group together as friends, family, or colleagues to findcreative solutions for starting local and global change. Her bookbeginswith an image of people gathered around a dinner table engaged inconversation and that is her message “come together forconversation”. Similarly, in a school setting, the leader shouldsit with this group and convince them of the benefits of the intendedchange through the power of dialogue and conversation involvinglistening, simplicity, and courage. Wheatley`s book has questionsthat can lead people to share their deepest beliefs, anxieties, andexpectations. This group needsguidance in workshop kind of setting to develop positive self-esteem,compassion, and team-spirit.
Thegroup that is emphatically opposed to my ideas feels threatened withthe proposed changes and in general possesses a biased way ofthinking. People in such a group can be convinced by questioning thereasons for their bias and addressing those issues in amethodological way besides letting them understand that everyoneis capable of developing a special kind of creative energy, which isproduced by people working together in groups. These people areconnected by pursuing a common goal through dialogue, action, andteamwork in the workplace or elsewhere in the community. In his book,Creatingwith others: the practice of imagination in life, art and thework environment,Shaun McNiff demonstrates that the creative process can thrive evenin an organizational setting because creativity is not exclusive topeople of artistic bend of mind. Because this group perceives theproposed change as extreme,they are mostly conservative in their attitude and communication canhelp them overcome their resistance.
ThoseWho Need Time to Adjust to New Thinking
Confusionis one of the common reactions to change. Most employees are oftenconfused by the thought of whether the change is positive or negativeand if they are supposed to maintain their grounds and embrace thechange by welcoming new regime. More often than not, the confusiondiminishes as the change process starts to pass. Everybody withinthe organization wants to feel that their situation is only one ofits kinds. Unfortunately, this tendency tends to increase the need ofisolation for those people who are experiencing change. Someemployees appearto be utterlyhelpless when they come across change. They do encounter a mix ofemotions. According to Fullan (2007),these people experience fear, panic, negative feelings, or someanxiety yet donot have acorrectdecision which they are supposed to embrace. Eventually, they end upwith the majority,if the majoritywill be opposing the change they might get themselves in that groupand if the majority welcomes the phase of change they have noobligation not to.The most common reaction to changeby employeesis panic dueto the fact thatthey are not aware of what the change will bring with it. Theyalways panic because they worry about their job securities, beingafraid of new regime and imagination of the treatment that will comewith the change. Even for positive change for instance promotions orsome changes that bring about autonomy, the employeewill ever focus on what they will be losing or not the benefits ofthe change. As an agent of change,an individual is supposed to be aware of the loss of old ways Fullan(2007).Hence, one should not get frustrated on what looks to be anirrational or timid response to change. Thus, it is always alludedthat resistance is always as a result of fear of inevitableloss.
AsA Leader,You Will Find Those School Adults Who Are Excited and EnthusiasticAbout Your Ideas
Peoplewho are despondent with the existing work experience, culture ormethodology or those who are aware ofwhat a positive channgecomes with often react happilyto change. They are always joyful hence, handle change positively.They play a very significant role in facilitating the process ofchange and ensure that it takes place smoothly. However, there arethose employees who do not have any option concerning the incomingchange. The conditions and circumstances do not give them anyoption. Hence, make them change instead of cribbing about it. Muncey& McQuillan (1993)say that thissituationand circumstances coerce them to accept the change statusand become a bit open to welcome transformation. With little or lackof willingness, or eagerness for transformation,nothing improves.
ThoseWho Are Emphatically Opposed to Ideas
Inschool settings, resistance could beexperiencedwhen change isimplementedand members are forced to adopt this new change with no alternative.Moreover, schools have to accept and get used to their setting andrequirement to contentedly work with the policies, structure as wellas procedures which have beenintroducedby this new environment (Wittig, 2012). However, to maintainefficiency, members in a schoolsetting may opt to focus on the usual things they are used to whichthey perform correctly,hence set up a defenseagainst incoming change through resistance. Additionally, schoolemployees may not welcome members as a result of their belief thatthe changeproposed is not worth their time, attention and effort (Muncey &McQuillan, 1993). To comprehend the logic behind their resistanceregarding the changein an educationalenvironment, it is appropriate to consider the type of resistanceoutlined in changetheory.
Somepeople in school are often afraid and intolerant of transformationirrespective of its (change) benefits. In a schoolenvironment, employees can as well react defensively at the beginningand fail to adapt to the changeas a result of the unknown ways of doing things which make themuncomfortable. Thus, getting familiar with the changein school organization requires much time.
Schoolmembers can have a politicaloppositionat the thought of losing their jobs and freedom when the proposedchange isimplemented.In this case, the change agent appears to be a negotiator. Anegotiation process has to take place which translates to changingsome items of value and replacing them with other valuable items.Therefore, in a schoolsetting, principals might be afraid of implementing change due tofear of losing their position or privileges.
Fullan(2007) says that intellectually honest employees cannot just agreewith changes to an organization.Others may genuinely suppose that the projected change is ill-timedand will not just work or sometime will result in more damages thanimprovements. That is to say, change resistance originates fromintellectual variation with regard to genuineconvictions, philosophies or feelings. Todemonstrate,teachers could feel that the change beingproposedin school is not right which will influence negatively their tightlyheld and practiced values (Wittig, 2012). When they have a feelingthat the incoming transformation is not appropriate, they do air outtheir logical reasons why theyare feeling the way they are feeling hence change resistance. Underthese state of affairs, the change agentshere are compelled to collect more information and more facts toreinforce the case for change and try once to persuade those whoresist.
Withrespect toextent theory as explained by Connell& Klem (2000),the most appropriate approach to react to change is to hold on to itand think of ways of being familiar with it or the new system.Conversely, taking care of change is indeed tough.In fact, many institutions always collapse due to inefficient changemanagement. Asa result,if an individual is a manager, it is imperative to know various waysin which people react when exposed to new changes so that he or shebecomes aware of handling them appropriately in the process oftransition.
Resistanceto change can come out in many different forms. It is often not easyto establish the causeofsuch resistance. Denial of change is not good. However, refusal to change is dangerous. Many people do not acceptchange when they arefacedwith it. Dealing with such peopleor employees proves not to be easy. Thus, another reason whyemployees might not welcome change is becausethey might have a concernabout the disruption of their relationships. Most employees like andenjoy both socially as well as workmates or clients (Connell &Klem, 2000). New changes can inevitablyinterferewith either or both of them. For instance, in the caseof automation, a change eliminates the necessity of human factor ofinteraction.
Peoplefear change because they think that it will prevent them fromrealizing social, economic, esteem as well as other needs. As aresult,employees will never embrace a change that lowers their income orreduce their job status including their social relationships. Whensome changes appear troublesome and curtail freedom of interactionwith too much control, employees do not welcome such changeswhatsoever. In most cases,employees liketomaintain status quo by creating methods and patterns of working.
OvercomingResistance to Change
Ina schoolenvironment, defensive as well as negative attitudes could be adoptedby school members,and they could display doubt, fear and frustration regarding changeinitiative. Sixdistinct approaches helpin overcoming change resistance,and school management. They are,
Educationand communication Individuals
Ifpeople in school organization object change they are supposed to beeducatedabout the type and the need for the change. (Wittig, 2012). When theoppositionis due to inaccuracy and inefficiency of knowledge about it, thisstep is the most appropriate one.
Peopleshould be given time to plan, design and implement the change byallowing schools teachers, students,and other employees to participate in contributing ideas as well asadvicethat could facilitate change (Wittig, 2012). Accordingly, this stepis most appropriate when the agent of change or initiators lack allinformation they need to implement the change.Thusthey are supposed to redesign change and have other members’significantinput to avoid resistance.
Withthe aim of assisting to combat resistance by using emotional andmaterial help, those employees who experience hardship with regardsto change are supposed to be actively given audience by schoolmanagers or administrators about their perceptions, ideas, challengesand complaints and applying their ideas which seem to have someadvantage (Ewing, 2013).Thatis, a supportive administrator such as school principal avails ahealthy working environment which is pleasant and enjoyable and welcomes the nature of the anticipated change. As explained by thetheory of change, this strategy is applicable when school employeesare frustrated and tired of work and the difficulties that come withthe change hence experiencing adjustment issues.
Incentivesto those who oppose a changein school aregivenin the manner of negotiation and methods of understanding.Indeed, some arrangements can bemadeconcerning trade off on certain significantbenefits to the resistors clearing obstacle of the changeinitiative. Drawing from change theory Connell & Klem (2000) saythat this step isusedwhen some people in school organization are deemed to be losers as aresult of change
Toattain the desired transformation,some people within the school setting are supposed to beinfluenced.The necessary information,and needed events for changeare structured. Levine (2009) says that when the above strategies donot work and appear to be expensive, manipulation,as well as co-optation method are themost prevalent.
Explicitand implicit coercion
Changeinitiators apply the force of their power for acceptance of thetransformation by those within the school setting. Those who resistchange in educationare threatened with the unpleasantsituation if they do not cooperate with the change process (Levine,2009). When there is a necessityof speed like in a crisisand change agents aregivenconsideration, this approach is the best suitable. But it should beremembered that coercion comes with adverseeffects which include fear, frustration, alienation and revenge andthese may eventually result indissatisfaction, poor performance,and low turnover.
Thepressurein school organizations that comes about due to changemakesemployees exhibit varied responses. In fact,employees unconsciously react to threats of transformation andestablish permanentprotection mechanism to protect themselves from the effects of changeand feelings of anxieties. Change involves going from the unknown tounidentified and the employee needs a comfortable level ofencouragement and attempting to maintain the state, many peoplediffer inrelation totheir capabilities and willingness to get used to school change. Itis important to recall that adequatesupervision of change in school’s settings isbasedon the knowledge of employee behaviors with focus on psychologicalperceptions of school members. Therefore,it is necessary to take care of psychologicaltransition of school members efficiently to achieve the bestchange initiatives.
Connell,J., & Klem, A. (2000). Youcan get there from here: Using a theory of change approach to planurban education reform.Journalof Educational and Psychological Consultation, 11(1),93-120.
Fullan,M. (2007). Changetheory as a force for school improvement.In Intelligentleadership (pp. 27-39). Springer Netherlands.
Levine,D. K. (2009). Is behavioral economics doomed? The ordinary versus theextraordinary.
MauriceEwing (2013). How to manage biased people. Harvard Business Review
Muncey,D. E., & McQuillan, P. J. (1993). Preliminaryfindingsfrom a five-year study of the Coalition of Essential Schools. ThePhi Delta Kappan,74(6),486-489.
Ray,P. H., & Anderson, S. R. (2001). Thecultural creatives: how 50 million people are changing the world.New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.
Wheatley,M. J. (2014). Turningto one another: simple conversations to restore hope to the future.San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.
Wittig,C. (2012). Employees’ reactions to organizational change. ODPractitioner,44(2),23- 28.
No related posts.