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ERIC Number: ED550731
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 165
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-3575-5
The Impediments to the Successful Implementation of Change Initiatives in Special Education Settings
Edwards, Erin
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, American International College
As school systems in general and special education programming specifically come under increasing financial and ideological pressure to undergo reform, it is critically important to understand any resistance to change, to identify and describe the culture of resistance that exists within complexity that define our school systems today, and to understand those strategies that may help to overcome what may be seen as increasingly predictable resistance (Evans, 1996; Fullan, 2009; Kegan & Lahey, 2001; Wagner, et al., 2006). While much is known about change processes in general within public education, this research question addressed a field about which relatively little is known--the reasons behind the success or failure of change initiatives in special education programs (Viadero, 2009; Public Impact, 2006). This qualitative study was designed to understand educational professionals' perceptions of change processes in which they were involved, and to determine how those perceptions might affect the ultimate success of the change process. An open-ended interview format was utilized to elicit participants' perspectives on the nature of the introduced change, the impact of the change on their work, those aspects of the change process that worked well, and those aspects that did not. Through a comprehensive analysis of the themes and patterns that emerged from these responses, impediments to change were identified that appear to be a product of the social, cultural, and economic conditions that shape special education programming today. The results of the data analysis suggest overwhelmingly that the themes of communication, the ultimate meaning of the change process, fear, and a sense of loss represent a persistent and significant presence for all stakeholders in the change process. Additional findings suggested that the definition of these themes, and the positive or negative perception of stakeholder experience related to the themes, vary significantly as a function of the professional position held by individual stakeholders and their associated employment status. This research illuminated those elements that contribute to resistance to change in particular educational settings, and provided some direction for the development of strategies to mitigate the impeding influence of these elements on the success of change efforts. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A