Over time, there had been many initiatives and strategies implemented at different schools. These initiatives were properly aligned school’s technical plans that aimed at the improvement of a comprehensive school and were totally consistent with the vision and the expressed aims and objectives of these school district strategic plans. Some initiative promoted by many leaders of these schools concentrated on reconfiguring specialized curriculum and related services to better bolster all students in their general classrooms. Such initiative can be designed for tangible principles and practices reflecting the school’s comprehensive vision. These principles and practices are geared towards a positive transformation of the school. Role of Psychology in Education discusses some of these principles and practices many organizations are applying to change their organization for better school reforms.
Some Types of Reform Activities
Research has shown that many schools have been transformed through some critical events,. Significant events that can prompt the development for a change effort can be specific to the gradual processes with respect to time. The initiation of the inclusion of students who are disabled on a small scale is an example of a starting point for the reform activities as well as kids given special educational settings. This reform activity grows the organizational changes for innovation as the children are progressing through the system. Furthermore, the staff is more skillful with this and comfortable to adapt to this kind of change. As the staff is developed, the school community is developed with good nurture of a common vocabulary, and a better identity of a better direction.
Another aspect of reform activities is the expanding efforts of many school organizations that drive a change in their schools. This includes building-level inclusion committee, which has to start with an initial concentration on a proper dissemination of information associated with a service delivery initiative. The vision of decision-making, student centered process is a major aspect that is formally defined and included with an emphasis upon instructional modification strategies and experiences of parents. Another inclusion in this reform activity is the establishment of the instructional assistance team to offer a feasible problem-solving structure that is readily accessible for addressing all student’s need. And the provision of staff development for the creation of internal leadership ability is an important aspect considered in this reform activity.
A creative aspect of this reform is developing actions that can further develop and define service model. This is a concept of staff development that is widened to incorporate an important collaborative concentration through trainings offered to both instructors and teachers. The school mission statement must be developed with goals that reflect team collaboration and child-centered philosophies. The service delivery model that can be created through this reform process is a formal articulation initiative component of adaptable team composition set up through the problem-solving processes.
Finally, the school-wide effort is an important strategy that has to continue. This involves the expanded staff development which can be targeted at the support of student diversity and ensuring that the needs of all students are met successfully through flexible instructions. Furthermore, parent’s participation can be expanded through this reform activity just as the staff development and building committee’s activities directly involve parents as its members.
The Major Principles and Practices of the Organization and Educational Change
As many schools sought towards development of inclusive education, their practice is an information that is based on school change literature alongside their direct encounters. The leaders in these schools have to effectively engage in rapt studying, discussion and the application of contemporary change literature from various perspectives as proof by the former descriptive history. The daily collaboration of many of these leaders are on a shared perspectives and an inclusion of knowledge through substantial influence in decision-making about the change process. An important aspect of this section is the analysis and translation of how the activities and approaches taken by these leaders are consistent with the organizational change literature.
Organizational Frames Developed by Bolman and Deal
There are four orientations that bolster change within any organization, as described by Bolman and Deal – structural, human resources, political and symbolic. These have been a reference in many school change literatures that have been reviewed over time.
Structural orientation: In organizational management, a structural orientation uses rational inquiry to clarify goals, attending to the relationships and the development of structures that productively achieve a desired result. Examples of this orientation include determining school objectives, building up channels of communication and depicting the organizational configuration. These are frequently sought after to clarify direct direction and techniques.
Political orientation: Political orientation with respect to organizational analysis seeks to clarify issues regarding how the individuals involved utilize power to secure themselves and also influence others. This is concerned with how people and group contend and collaborate, to accomplish their objectives.
Human resource orientation: Many critics of the manipulative parts of both the political and the basic methodologies see the human resources orientation to be a less skeptical way to deal with the organization and conduct. Human resource activities take into consideration the interrelationships between the people involved and the reform effort.
Symbolic orientation: Symbolic orientation means strong faith and belief as key to organizational management. Culture, customs and traditions provide the bases from which organization and people can grapple the uncertainty and complexity that a new activity presents. Furthermore, helping the system in a reaction to ambiguity, a symbolic orientation provides the customs, functions and stories that can fortify vital components of meaning and purpose.
Strategies for Change by Chin and Benne
The theory posed by Chin and Benne on organizational change is based on three frames, which include empirical-rational strategy, normative-reductive strategies, and power-coercive strategies.
This approach is a specific change that assumes that individuals are guided by reason and data and that decisions will be guided basically by rational analysis. This approach endeavors to offer research and training to propel the adoption of knowledge-based methodologies and technologies. A change process can be effectuated through staff training in Adlerian psychology principles and also education diversity and equity. Pre-referral team practices is another good strategy to be revised to incorporate research-based practices and also multidisciplinary special education assessment team experienced exploration based amendments of procedure and choice making, steady with exact information. The integration of these changes into the flowchart of service delivery would be a practice impacted by exploration. Lastly, instructional delivery is an influence by the exact reasonable methodology when Dimensions of Learning and other versatile direction preparation are being given to staff.
The normative-reductive strategies are assumed as individuals change when they are given the opportunity to reconsider their qualities and aggregate standards. This approach views individuals as dynamic members in their own particular revised education; rationality is not just adequate for change. However, changes in people’s habit, sociocultural norms and beliefs must occur. Another aspect of this approach is staff advancement efforts further exemplified this methodology. Some were partially concentrated on changing practices, for example the Adlerian brain science and versatile guideline; others only tended to the changing standards for education Another example is the values-based examination of inclusion and differences in education. The school statement of purpose was overhauled at the onset of the activity and progressively staff development activities included parents viewpoint on a specialized curriculum services.
The power-coercive strategies accepts that individuals change through the adjustment of force standards. The utilization of force can utilized as far as principles of operation, assents and on an ethical premise. This approach is apparent in many schools through the fact that the most visible leader in many schools is the principal. The action of the principal is expected to place obvious emphasis on compliance with his authority and executive leadership. It may not be directly employed often, but it is a practice that is expected to be present. The staff are expected to support this change initiative, sometimes, those who support it are recipients of positive power rewards and most of the time, those who oppose it definitely suffer at any level within the formal structures.
Assessment of the Comprehensive Educational Reform Initiative
The adherence to these best practices and principles, therefore, offer some realistic justification for the school authority’s perception that the practices presented would be economical within their school community.
Federal grants could be awarded to schools to assess the initiative implementation and dissemination of success story to the local, state and national audiences concerned also with some developing inclusive schools. The grant is aimed to comprehend organizational change lessons in terms of the things that are working well and those that are not working well.
An important aspect of the grant is that interviews are conducted on the staff about perceptions of the present state of the service delivered at the school, most especially enquiring how the instructors utilized the supports provided by the Service Delivery Model.
Organizational principles and practices revisited
New leadership can be an agent to either positively or negatively affect the success of a practice that had been supported in the school organization. However, new leadership in the organization may not only account for the studies of the assessment team. Several organizational and change theorists have believed that it is understandable to see staff who do not accept the quick demise of the reform.
Influence of deep emotional investment in change
The depth of emotional contribution in the change process can be a focal concept for the determination of the strategies for change. The continuum is characterized at the profound end of the continuum by individual and private aspects of people and at the surface measurement by additional external aspects of the individual, for example, the public and formal aspect of role conduct.
Change as a series of transitions
Researchers have argued that change resents some forms of challenges of resistance, power and control and a description for specific action steps for the management of transition from one organizational process to the other. Change as recommended by Nadler can be motivated by recognizing dissatisfaction with a present state and building coercive participation in the process of change, building rewards for desired or new behaviors and also providing people some time to throw off old behavior and get adapted to the new ways of doing a particular thing. Transitional management can be enhanced by proper communication of a clear image of what holds in the future, using many leverage point, such as social environment and social changes, making organizational plans for the transition, that is, between time structures and assets, creating and utilizing feedback mechanisms to educate the change process.
- Bolman, L.G. and Deal, T. E. (1997) Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Bonner, M., Koch, T. and Langmeyer, D. (2000) ‘Lessons of Personal Investment: Organizational Theory in School Change’, paper presented at the International School Psychology Association Colloquium, Durham, NH.
- Chin, R. and Benne, K.D. (1994) ‘General Strategies for Effecting Changes in Human Systems’, in W. French, C. Bell, Jr. and R. Zawacki (eds) Organizational Development and Transformation: Managing Effective Change, pp. 111–32. Boston, MA: Irwin McGraw-Hill
- Harrison, R. (1994) ‘Choosing the Depth of Organizational Intervention’, in W. French, C. Bell, Jr. and R. Zawacki (eds) Organizational Development And Transformation: Managing Effective Change, pp. 413–24. Boston, MA: Irwin McGraw-Hill. [Originally published as: Harrison, R. (1970) ‘Choosing the Depth of Organizational Intervention’, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 6: 181–202]
- Mike B., Tom K., & Daniel L. (2004) ‘Organizational Theory Applied to School Reform: A Critical Analysis. Omaha, NE. SAGE.
- Nadler, D. A. (1981) ‘Managing Organizational Change: An Integrative Perspective’, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 17: 191–211.