ERIC Number: ED447580
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Building Change Capacity within Secondary Schools through Goal-Driven and Living Organizations.
Hannay, Lynne M.; Ross, John A.; Erb, Cathy Smeltzer
This paper draws on chaos theory to examine the potential of change within a living community. It focuses on secondary-school change in order to consider the divergent paths and the unexpected cultural adaptations that emerged when a Canadian school district required its secondary schools to revise their organizational models. Department heads were replaced by facilitators, and schools were encouraged to develop site-based models that were program based. To record the nature of the changes, annual survey data were collected beginning in 1995. It became quickly apparent that no grand plan for change was in place, although it was assumed that the school-restructuring teams would create the best possible organizational structures for their schools. Reformers discovered that, because past structures were deeply embedded in the secondary school cultures, restructuring would require a reculturing of stakeholders. Effective change arose when participants supported constantly evolving and emerging organizational values, involved stakeholders in making the decisions in a collaborative manner, and rethought the functions of the organizations more in terms of processes as opposed to isolated tasks. The metaphor of a living organization proved important in grasping the program's development because it emphasized the need of continual organizational learning and the importance of collaborative interaction. (Contains 21 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Education and Training, Toronto.; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).; Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, Toronto.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada