Eric Digest: A Survey of Educational Change Models

By Ellsworth, James | Teacher Librarian, December 2001 | Go to article overview

Eric Digest: A Survey of Educational Change Models


Ellsworth, James, Teacher Librarian


CHANGE ISN'T NEW, AND NEITHER IS ITS STUDY. We have a rich set of frameworks, solidly grounded in empirical studies and practical applications. Most contributions may be classified under a set of major perspectives, or "models" of change. These perspectives are prevalent in the research, and combine to yield a 360 degree view of the change process.

In each case, one author or group of authors is selected as the epitome of that perspective (Ellsworth, 2000). A small group of studies from disciplines outside educational change (in some cases outside education) also contribute to key concepts not found elsewhere in the literature.

Everett Rogers, one of the "elder statesmen" of change research, notes that change is a specialized instance of the general communication model (Rogers, 1995, pp. 5-6). Ellsworth expands on this notion to create a framework that organizes these perspectives to make the literature more accessible to the practitioner (Ellsworth, 2000).

Ellsworth's framework might be summarized as follows: a change agent wishes to communicate an innovation to an intended adopter. This is accomplished using a change process, which establishes a channel through the change environment. However, this environment also contains resistance that can disrupt the change process or distort how the innovation appears to the intended adopter (Ellsworth, p. 26). By uniting these tactics in service to a systemic strategy, we improve our chances of effective, lasting change.

Putting It All Together

We must strive to guide all our change efforts with a systemic understanding of the context in which we undertake them. Nevertheless, depending on the circumstance, or as the implementation effort progresses, it may be most effective to focus interventions on a particular component of the framework at a time.

Anyone trying to improve schools, for example teachers, principals, students, district administrators, consultants, parents, community leaders, or government representatives may look to The new meaning of educational change (Fullan & Stiegelbauer, 1991) to decide where to start (or to stop an inappropriate change).

From there, read Systemic change in education (Reigeluth & Garfinkle, 1994), to consider the system being changed. Consider all assumptions about the nature of that system (its purpose, members, how it works, its governing constraints and so forth). Question those assumptions, to see whether they still hold true. Look inside the system to understand its subsystems or stakeholders and how they relate to one another and to the system as a whole. Look outside the system too, to know how other systems (like business or higher education) are interrelated with it, and how it (and these other systems) in turn relate to the larger systems of community, nation, or human society. The new understanding may illuminate current goals for the proposed innovation, (or concerns for the change you are resisting) and may indicate some specific issues that may emerge.

This understanding is crucial for diagnosing the system's needs, and how an innovation serves or impedes them. Now, clearly embarked upon the change process, read a discussion of that change process in The change agent's guide (Havelock & Zlotolow, 1995) to guide and plan future efforts. The Guide serves as the outline for a checklist, to ensure that the right resources are acquired at the proper time. The Guide will also help you conduct and assess a trial of the innovation in a way that is relevant and understandable to stakeholders. It will help extend implementation both in and around the system ... and it will help to prepare others within the system to recognize when it is time to change again.

At some point one must commit to a plan, and act. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (Hall & Hord, 1987) provides tools to "keep a finger on the pulse" of change and to collect the information needed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Eric Digest: A Survey of Educational Change Models
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.