ERIC Number: ED315909
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Initiating Change in Schools.
Bowers, Bruce C.
Research Roundup, v6 n3 Apr 1990
Schools are expected not only to conserve society's values and standards, but to be dynamic organizations with built-in mechanisms for incorporating rapid, far-reaching change. Although change is unlikely unless at least one highly motivated individual assumes the role of initial change agent, lasting change requires more than the efforts of a single person. Pat L. Cox and her colleagues found that change can be successfully implemented within a school only if it has been institutionalized at both the individual and organizational levels. Once an innovation has been initiated, the principal becomes a key player in the change process, as shown in two articles originating from a year-long study of schools where innovations had been initiated at the district level. Shirley M. Hord and Leslie Huling-Austin found that successful program implementation hinged on the principal's actions in four support function areas. Gene E. Hall argues that successful implementation of innovation is also determined by principals' use of an "initiator" leadership style. Roland Vandenberghe's study of educational innovation in Belgian elementary schools corroborates Hall's leadership style thesis and suggests that proposed innovations should be made meaningful to those (primarily teachers) who must expedite the change. Finally, Kent D. Peterson views the school as a culture whose shape and direction can be powerfully influenced by the principal's action or inaction. (MLH)
Descriptors: Administrator Role, Change Agents, Cooperation, Educational Change, Elementary Education, Elementary Secondary Education, Leadership Styles, Principals, Program Implementation, School Culture
Publication Sales, ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, University of Oregon, 1787 Agate Street, Eugene, OR 97403 (free; $2.50 prepaid postage and handling).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Association of Elementary School Principals, Alexandria, VA.; ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, Eugene, OR.