Part 9 -PERSPECTIVE AND BLUEPRINT FOR CHANGE
Although I have considered in part 3 change philosophy and practice I want to begin
this part by stating my experience of change - the receiving end of change.
Section 9A - THE RECEIVING END OF CHANGE
In MMR(Section 4.1) Fullan begins with "for the growing number of people who have
attempted to bring about educational change, 'intractability' is becoming a household
word"[p183]; although he ameliorates this by saying that "educational change fails
partly because of the assumptions of planners" my immediate reaction to this is to
say how arrogant an approach this is. In the classroom who teaches, the planners,
the innovators, no the classroom teachers. Sure these classroom teachers are not
always as knowledgeable as experts, they are not as theoretically sound as
academics, but what do they know better than any of these people with their years of
differing experience, they know their classroom and they know their students. Now I
know from the tone of the chapter that there was no intention on the part of Fullan to
be arrogant but here we have the nub of the problem, planners and innovators are
seen as interfering.
So for me the question ought to be how do you make teachers view this interference
as positive change? And here we have the major problem that no planner or
innovator ever seems to sufficiently grasp, and that is time. Teacher's time is
precious, certainly in the UK. A teacher's day is so tightly packed that if they have a
discussion about politics or football outside of break or lunchtime then that is their
marking behind. Why don't teachers always deal with some discipline problems -
time. Each problem means chasing students, meeting with them, talking over the
problem, and then writing reports. It is all time and therefore more incursions on their
private life with marking, a private life which is always too dominated by the actual
work of teaching and, when not that, the stress of an unreasonable workload. And
what happens then, in walk the planners and innovators. And what do planners and
innovators do, they interfere they make demands on teachers time. And then
planners talks about intractibility - to be fair to these people that time factor might not
be the same across the pond but I think it is. Teachers are never told, here is a new
idea that we want you to try. In order for you to try this we are going to take you off
timetable for three days whilst you examine the materials and decide how you are
going to use them. We are going to provide you with people who will do the extra
marking caused by this innovation and new plan. And then Fullan talks about
Now you can accuse me of ventilating but I am not at all ashamed at ventilating at
this point, and even repeating the point because many of these planners and
innovators have been teachers. They know the pressures at the chalkface, many
spent years trying to engineer a position away from the chalkface, and yet when they
return what is the first thing they do they make demands on the teachers' time, the
most precious commodity within the job.
Fullan says "understanding why most attempts at education reform fail goes far
beyond the identification of specific technical problems such as lack of good
materials, ineffective teacher-training or minimal administrative support"[MMR p183],
it does but mainly to the recognition of time and the failure to provide adequate
support for the implementation of the work.
"We could have at our disposal the best expert in the world in the field of reading -
one who is clear about the goals of reading and how to teach to achieve them.
........The expert would fail if he or she did not possess knowledge and theory about
the process of social change.... Effective educational planners and policy makers
have to combine some expertise and knowledge about the direction or nature of
change with an understanding of and an ability to deal with the factors in action which
characterise the processes of adoption and implementation"[MMR p186]. One major
factor is time.
Let me describe two scenarios that have happened to me. Firstly at Hove
Comprehensive, by law by this time, there were what was known as 6 Baker days - 6
days of in-service work. It was in this INSET programme that I first presented work on
EOPS and Race. I mentioned in part 4 how surprised the deputy head had been
about the teachers positive reactions to my training. Let me try and analyse this.
Firstly I tried to make it interesting, I spent time preparing the video and I tried to
involve all present, nothing special. But I did not then demand that they go away and
be converted, I did not demand that they should now write millions of worksheets and
practise them in the classroom. Basically I did not bore them and I did not give them
extra work. One colleague who was convinced asked me for material but I didn't
really have any - the same problem as in Brixton Comprehensive. These people had
probably had a surfeit of examination of these issues, especially gender at Hove
Comprehensive, and seen little practical change because the ideas were too ethereal
for the nitty-gritty chalkface.
Other experts used to visit us on INSET days. There were a number of initiatives
lauded by the politicians at various stages, and there was always some careerist who
managed to do some work and so pass an interview to get the job that got them out
of the classroom. But no matter how recently they had been in the classroom
they still came with no plans about how to deal with the extra work. Most of these
ideas were sound, they were things that all caring teachers would like to try but they
could not try because if all the students failed their exams because teachers were
trying innovations they would soon come under pressure about their jobs. I
particularly remember a pleasant woman who had escaped. She had formed a
business in a school, some glorified tuck shop. She described how she had
developed a business structure, and conducted a proper business based on profits,
organisation, meetings etc. Sounded great, but bells were ringing about the time she
had put in. However it had worked for her, her hard work had led to her escaping the
chalkface. But there is only one such job in East Sussex so if I started a business it
was not an escape route for me. I wanted to start a cooperative, I even went to visit
cooperative organisations who I knew from my political work but in the end I gave up
Why? Time. And of course the Tory government and East Sussex are not going to
pay someone to escape through cooperatives.
So after all this ventilating one clear learning outcome concerning change must be
recognised, planners and innovators might have good ideas but they must provide
proper support so that already overworked teachers would be willing to implement the
In part 6 I pushed the notion of packages where the work was on a plate. Teachers
have no problem opening a text book at p147, doing one example and telling the
students to do 10, and then turning to the answer book and marking them. Although
this chalkface approach has many critics it is an effective way of teaching provided
the student motivation is there. A package approach with answers can do this. Time,
you have to be concerned about the practical realities of working in a school these
days (not in Botswana - another escape!!).
I have another concern about intractibility and it is related to workload; for want of a
better term I shall call this concern mental balance. Teachers as human beings have
to try and find some way of dealing with their horrendous workload; this is a hard
process and although experienced teachers from the outside appear to find it easy it
isn't. When someone wants to come along and change the balance of that workload
there must initially be a mental reaction. Here is a normal human being juggling with
preparation, teaching, classroom discipline and the follow-up, marking, National
Curriculum record-keeping, records of achievement, meetings after school,
extra-curricular activities, parents evenings and open days, and that is before these
normal human beings have a chance to think about what gives most people their
headaches their personal lives. Then every individual must have their own personal
interest in the job eg EOPS and the union for me. So we have a situation where a
super-human balancing act has been performed by normal teachers, and then along
comes some ill-prepared ideas person who wants to tell these people that their
balancing act is all wrong and that they should be spending hours doing what they tell
them. And then these ill-prepared ideas people accuse teachers of intractibility. In
fact these planners should be thanking the teachers for the politeness and interest
that many teachers show concerning these ill-prepared presentations, and by
ill-prepared I do not mean pleasant OHP slides that all teachers would love to have
the time to prepare, I mean financial and administrative support which ought to be the
first part of any implementation of change.
Consider the changes that have been brought about politically. The Tories and the
New Right did all of this preparation but not in the way I would like. They provided the
financial support by reducing the number of allowances so that to increase the
relatively meagre professional salaries teachers would have to work unreasonable
extra hours. They provided the administrative support by ensuring that career
progress could only be obtained by adhering to the process of change that they were
implementing. And in the classroom the students and teachers suffered but did it
because authoritarian pressures were increased to ensure that all their duties were
carried out against their will. What a scenario for quality, equal opportunities and
And then on top of all this the media and government continue to attack teachers!!
And then along come the planners and innovators complaining of intractibility? Mind
you I have complained of the same but at least I do the job.
One other factor that induces intractibility needs to be considered at the receiving end
of change, and that is the plethora of innovations. Here we are actually considering a
fundamental curriculum debate in education. Is it education for life or is it education
for jobs as defined by exam results? These approaches have vastly different
curriculum content. How can we, as people, be self-realised if we are working
towards examinations? Even the creative subjects such as art contain approaches
which alienate the art-for-art's- sake mentality. Creative writing is really analysis of
literature in a particular way to pass an exam. But even if the subject syllabus were
amended so that these problems could be overcome that would not be the answer.
Life is not the sum content of the material considered in the school academic
So people argue for change because they want education for life. But do they say
remove the subject content? No, unless you are Summerhill, Steiner etc. No, they are
forced to bolt on these ideas which are integral to education for life onto a curriculum
that has no real intention of life-educating. So every teacher knows that education for
life and the school curriculum is vastly different, and one more change is not going to
solve the problem.
And then you have the political dimension of the problem. In the late 70's under a
Labour administration in GLC you had minimal funding for anti-racist work. Now they
don't want any of that, they are promoting education-industry partnership an
important component of which is work experience which might well have been
criticised in the mid-70's as exploiting child labour. So the political dimension of
unforced change is also important for the overworked classroom teacher.
When Fullan describes his inverse law "commitment to what should be changed often
varies inversely with knowledge about how to work through a process of
change"[MMR p183], in my view he is accurately describing many of the innovators
that I came across especially in the field of race, but I feel that he is missing the point
concerning the practical teacher difficulties. Maybe in the US/Canada it is not the
same but anyone studying Fullan in England and wanting to understand intractibility
needs to be aware of the innumerable innovators, their genuine desire to give
something better, their lack of power to provide the support that teachers need - time,
and the workload and stress that teachers are under.
I will however disagree with him when he says that "the adage 'Where there's a will
there's a way' is not an apt one for the planning of educational change" [MMR p184],
if I paraphrase Where there's a collective will there's a way. But this has to be
collective at all levels.
This collective will would require the planners to get financial support and the support
of the administration, and then working with, not above, the teachers the planners
can collectively implement the change at the chalkface. But when do planners, who it
appears feel that the end of the job is the idea, do their planning properly to create
this collective will.
Basically there is a failure in curriculum planning. The basic education system only
wants exam results but then others argue there should be awareness training, others
education-industry liaison, and many many more. These bolt-on desires are then
forced into the system, and become an additional burden on the workload of the
classroom teacher. But there is nothing wrong with the desire, however there is a
failure in curriculum planning. I have suggested in part 6 that there ought to be an
innovation plan with participation at all levels so that a new integrated curriculum
should be evolved taking account of the serious issues at the receiving end - time
and mental balance.
I will conclude this part on the receiving end of change by quoting Fullan. "In short,
one of the basic reasons why planning fails is that planners or decision-makers of
change are unaware of the situations which potential implementers are facing. They
introduce changes without providing a means to identify and confront the situational
constraints, and without attempting to understand the values, ideas and experiences
of those who are essential for implementing any changes." [MMR p185]
Section9B - A Blueprint for Change
HOW TO MAKE TOXTETH COMPREHENSIVE AN ANTI-RACIST SCHOOL
I chose this project because Toxteth Comprehensive ought to be an anti-racist school
and it is an area of education I know a little about. I accept that the exercise will be
theoretical and I shall make no attempt at completeness because an anti-racist
school is such a vast area to consider, but by outlining certain approaches and
processes I hope to illustrate learning outcomes gained through my work in the fields
of race and the trade union.
Assumption - I will try to limit my assumptions and I will also try to make them
practical. I chose Toxteth because it was an Inner City area that experienced a
similar uprising to that of Brixton in the early 80's. I have no idea whether Toxteth has
changed but my assumption is that it has not changed. The school will be majority
black - mainly Afro-Caribbean, the proportion of black students will be 55%(similar to
Brixton Comprehensive where I worked). The community would be continually
applying pressure to the Liverpool Education Authority(LEA) to improve work in the
school, and the authority will have made some attempts to accommodate the
community to little avail. The teaching staff will be overworked, mainly white with
perhaps 25% teachers from the ethnic minorities although the power structure in the
school will be predominantly white. Having said that most of the appointees ie the last
20 years will have succeeded at an interview in which EOPS was an important issue
so at least these people will have said the right things. I think this is a reasonable
factual scenario, not too unrealistic to start with.
STAGE 1 ESTABLISH THE GROUND RULES
The area of innovation is an area of great mistrust and the issue of race adds extra
spice to that mistrust, ground rules must be established where this mistrust can
gradually be broken down through correct practice following these rules.
Representatives of all education participants must meet with leading members of
the LEA. LEA must agree to finance the project sufficiently and must be prepared to
put in writing that they will finance the following principles(much negotiation
1) This is a long-term project over a number of years.
2) The LEA must seek active community support.
3) The implementation of the project will be in two stages:-
Awareness Training and Classroom Practice.
4) Teacher workload will not be increased and sufficient supply and support time
will be allocated for the project at the discretion of the project's
5) No other innovations will be brought into Toxteth Comprehensive.
This, I hope, is the most theoretical aspect of the project but it is the nub of the whole
planning. There has to be finance. I suspect although I have no evidence for this that
the finance aspect of planning such projects is not given sufficient emphasis. Can a
planner say if there is not enough finance then I resign my position? No, the planner
will work within the usual constraints of being told there is not enough money
available. But without the financial commitment such a project can never have a hope
Present during this consultative stage were the project organiser, senior member of
LEA able to commit the money, the headteacher, a teacher representative from the
school, a national representative from a teacher union knowledgeable about
race, and a responsible community member of the governors.
Following this commitment in writing concerning the finance and the principles of
applying that finance these representatives, with the exception of the community
member, would report back to their accounting body.
STAGE 2 INVOLVING THE COMMUNITY
Because of the high status nature of the issue an open public meeting at this stage
would sow doubt. Somehow the above consultative group would have to find a way of
involving responsible members of the community and eliciting their support, these
members must include a significant number of parents but again these must not be
"hotheads", a definite possibility in this field.
The purpose at this stage is to begin to promote trust in the community. Members of
the community have for years heard lies and half-truths about the seriousness of
LEA's commitment so the seeds of destruction of this mistrust must be sown. At the
same time the image of the school as anti-racist school will be important. That image
must involve the community, the public face of the school must be anti-racist and
have positive images. Responsible members of the community including the governor
should become members of the steering group of the committee
STAGE 3 WINNING THE TEACHERS
At this stage the teachers must be petrified. Although their representative was there
all they can see is cascading work flying at them from all sides on an issue that most
will see as an issue that should happen yet at the same time how many would see it
as their first priority?
LEA's written commitment to points 4) and 5) will be important:-
4) Teacher workload will not be increased and sufficient supply
and support time will be allocated for the project at the
discretion of the project's steering group.
5) No other innovations will be brought into Toxteth
Hopefully the laments of the teacher representative, head teacher and project
organiser will be enough to begin to make some teachers believe that it is not another
burden from heaven.
THE STEERING GROUP
The importance of race will have varying degrees of "believers" on the staff, some of
the more knowledgeable must join the steering group as well as the trusted
"intractible" (ie not the "intractible" who doesn't want to work but the trusted
"intractible" who has seen innovations come and go and the only thing to enhance
was the teacher workload). I have mentioned the steering group which will be a key
body in dispelling mistrust. This group must meet and regularly. Because they involve
the community they must meet in the evenings, therefore the teacher members must
be given time off in lieu if so desired. The community members must be found some
form of payment if a time off arrangement cannot be found. In business you don't
consult people without paying them. In education it is assumed that the community is
interested so they will do it for nothing so the job is done half-heartedly. LEA must
have a representative on the steering group to ensure that it is properly steered, such
groups can be hijacked by unscrupulous "volunteers".
STAGE 4 AWARENESS TRAINING
The issues of awareness training were discussed in part 4 so I will not discuss details
of planning awareness here. Time must be taken to ensure that all staff belong to the
project in some way. This, of course, is very difficult but in no way is it insoluble as
many would claim. There will be teachers on the staff who blame their bad life on the
nasty black boys in their class. Some teachers may have been on the receiving end
of a racial assault, life has many arrows to poison the pot. But the main issue has to
be involvement. Put some of these characters on the steering group, keeping them a
minority, of course - they will be a natural minority anyway even if they are vociferous.
A keynote to this awareness training has to be time, teachers should want to do
awareness training because it relieves them from classroom duty. All INSET
programmes should be around this issue(see LEA commitment point 5), and as part
of the rolling programme teachers and members of the community should be
delivering the INSET with proper preparation time and adequate supervision.
STAGE 5 CLASSROOM PRACTICE
Here we have the problem of materials which was discussed in part 5. There are not
enough professional materials to use, and equally there are no guarantees that
existing materials will deliver the syllabus. Therefore the more racially-aware
teachers, who want to, should be released from timetable and under adequate
professional supervision start to analyse their syllabus looking at ways of introducing
anti-racist materials into their departmental programmes of study. This is no small
matter and much time must be given over to this - maybe along the lines of one
person-day per week. Or during the project a teacher will be 0.8 teacher and 0.2
syllabus planner. the adequate supervision I am talking about is involving people who
have previously developed materials and using their expertise to help the syllabus
One important aspect of this syllabus planning is the steering group. Remember one
key theme in developing this project is developing trust. Years of attack on anti-racist
work has left much distrust of the work that has been produced, not least amongst
the black community. The implementers at Toxteth Comprehensive must recognise
that they have to win the support of the community, justifying why worksheets should
be introduced and where. Let us consider the worksheet on the Tea Trade, I
discussed in part 6. As part of the GCSE syllabus I would not introduce this and
justify it by the maths syllabus. How can I justify writing an essay on the Tea Trade
and multinationals as part of the Year 10 maths syllabus? However there might be
cross-curricular links to justify it legitimately, if not don't use it. The essence of this
anti-racist school has to be trust, all people have to roll with the changes as much as
We must recognise that this process of awareness training and classroom practice
must take a number of years but whilst this is happening there is another important
process that must happen.
STAGE 6 PROMOTING THE POSITIVE IMAGE
How many schools which are majority black look any different to white schools?
Some would answer those that have been vandalised more. A school which is
majority black should appear to be majority black. Images on the wall should be of
black people, the art displayed should be black. Book covers were a way I found of
displaying black images. When I wrote to publishers when I attempted some of this
image building at Brixton Comprehensive many were willing to send book covers.
But the positive image is not just concerning wall images, what about the people
involved in the school? There has to be a meaningful EOPS employment policy. The
ideal would be 55% black students, 55% black staff, this should be the policy. In
practice this is unreasonable, however equally unreasonable is having the policy and
it not changing the image. Transfers with inducement might be one approach both to
remove staff and to encourage quality staff to join; employing black teachers who
can't or won't do the job does not improve the image or staff relations.
Equally the governing body should reflect the ethnic mix of the school, and also
significantly the steering group of the project should also reflect the ethnic mix of the
institution. Even if the original organiser was white make sure public meetings do not
always centrally focus on her.
STAGE 7 POLICY
This is the most negative aspect of the work. If the awareness training has worked
then a policy should not be necessary but that is very theoretical. Why not involve
those who don't like the project to help create the policy. They will then own the policy
and will resent those who don't follow it. Remember a policy is only a paper document,
and even the most racist will be unable to put forward racist platforms in a policy. One
important aspect of policy is to prevent shows of racism in whatever form to be
SECTION 9C - IS THIS A BLUEPRINT OR A JOURNEY?
CRITERIA - The Eight Basic Lessons of the New Paradigm of Change
One You Can't Mandate What Matters.
Two Change is a journey not a blueprint.
Three Problems are our friends.
Four Vision and Strategic Planning Come Later.
Five Individualism and Collectivism Must have Equal Power.
Six Neither Centralisation nor Decentralisation Works.
Seven Connection with the Wider Environment is Critical for Success.
Eight Every Person is a Change Agent.
Before I try to demonstrate why my blueprint for Toxteth Comprehensive is a
journey I want to discuss control. "There are fundamental reasons why controlling
strategies don't work. The underlying one is that the change process is uncontrollably
complex and in many circumstances 'unknowable' (Stacey 1992). The solution lies
in better ways of thinking about, and dealing with, inherently unpredictable
I am concerned about the fear of control and being controlled. We are all controlled
by an employer(most), by finance, by nature, by destiny etc. That does not mean
within that controlling process we do not have some form of free will. If we live in a
world that has a destiny do we know whether we have free will or not? No, so it
doesn't matter. Trust is the best form of control, if we trust someone then we know
that in the situation that they are working in the work will be done properly. The
situation the trusted colleague is working in is a controlled situation. If democratic
people are reporting to a steering group then there is control, control by the
democracy and accountability of the steering group structure. So control is not a
problem; the problem is dictatorship, the lack of freedom, the lack of power to
exercise one's own judgement, fear of losing one's job ie income. So for me the issue
is not control but the manner in which this control is exercised. Further some people
prefer a controlling agent. Children enjoy the security of the parent and parental rules,
that notion can apply to adults who prefer to escape by seeing "it's more than my
jobsworth" or the person who will hide behind the managerial structure. So control
should not be dismissed but measured(controlled?).
To summarise I quote Fullan [p37]. "The key question (or more accurately the
constant contention) as Senge (1990 p287) says is 'how to achieve control without
controlling'. He continues:-
'While traditional organisations require management systems that
control people's behaviour, learning organisations invest in improving
the quality of thinking, the capacity for reflection and team learning,
and the ability to develop shared visions and shared understandings
of complex business issues. It is these capabilities that allow learning
organisations to be both more locally controlled and more well
coordinated than their hierarchical predecessors.'"
1) You Can't Mandate What Matters
Does my blueprint mandate? I am sure that my first section
on Establishing the Ground Rules will be considered a mandate. The dictionary says
that a mandate is an official command or an instruction by an authority so in some
ways these ground rules are instructions but they are instructions to the authority,
they are instructions to the authority which say "Don't start this project unless you
mean to finish it satisfactorily and satisfactory completion can only mean properly
financed when you are talking to te finance body". To be honest sometimes it is not
the financing body that are the problem. The finance body says we cannot afford it,
the evangelical innovator still wants the project to go ahead so at the instigation of
the innovator the project goes off half-cocked. It never completes satisfactorily, the
teachers who are not the innovators have had their time wasted yet again, and
students see a "lefty" teacher mess something up again. As I mentioned in the
"blueprint" this section is theoretical because I don't believe authorities will finance
notions like workload and I also don't believe that any authority can make the schools
innovation-free because of political disruptions. I further don't think that authorities will
finance programmes for the length of time required for the consciousness-changing
required to make a school anti-racist but none of these issues are concerned with
mandating. I stress the need for these ground rules and I feel that projects of this sort
should not be started without proper finance and time commitments, perhaps the
part of the journey is fighting for finance and time but only to a limited extent.
2)Change is a journey not a blueprint
I have referred to my plan as a "blueprint" but for me it is a
controlling structure but control exercised in a flexible and human way. Having
established the ground rules of time and finance the on-going process is interactive
and educative, different agents within the change discussing and referring back to the
steering group but always having the LEA commitment of time, finance and public
support to demonstrate to the doubters. I feel this is a journey.
3)Problems are our friends
This phrase is glib, problems are not friends. They involve meetings
discussions, reevaluation; they are difficulties. But they are essential. You must
encounter problems when implementing a change but at the same time you must
have the structures or mechanisms to deal with the problems. There are three
processes which I have instigated for dealing with problems. Firstly there are the
principles committed to by the LEA, mainly time, money and public support. Secondly
there is the representative Steering Group, and thirdly there is the ongoing
awareness training and materials development programme. Along with various
tricks such as involving the reactionary on the Steering Group I feel this scheme can
cope with this aspect of the change.
4) Vision and Strategic Planning Come Later
Strategic planning and vision have in some small way come at the
beginning, I am asking for time and finance to be resolved and I am asking for a
commitment to involve public support. I have also asked for a commitment to
awareness training but in a way that means that teachers are not inconvenienced -
students will be whilst the teachers are being trained and this has to be minimalised. I
would see these as global visions or strategies and I don't see how you can start a
project without such global views a vision such as a school should be anti-racist.
But let us examine the background of Toxteth Comprehensive. It is a school with
students from many ethnic backgrounds, the teachers as mentioned above will have
been asked about their commitment to Equal Opportunities. The notion of an
anti-racist school will be nascent, if not already part of a limited consciousness within
the school. It is the details, the level of commitment, multicultural or anti-racist, what
are the priorities. The community will see that an anti-racist school is already late so a
global vision that the school should be anti-racist will be there, but what it is is a
So I don't see either of these visions or strategies as being limiting or restrictive, and
if they were I would say that the steering group should alter any such vision or
strategy which is restricting. The initial discussion with the LEA involved a group of
representatives, their brief was limited and vision and strategy was not a requirement
beyond those limited briefs. Let me turn this one around "How do you start any
project without some form of limited brief, vision or strategy?" What about this project
"Let's improve education at the school!!!"?
5) Individualism and Collectivism Must have Equal Power
I'll be honest I have focussed on the aspect of collective
involvement more than I have the individual. Let me explain why. Firstly in schools I
have found that individuals are given their head especially the headmaster, it has been
my experience that individuals can often function as loose cannons, and therefore I
have involved collective control as a significant part, initially in the representative
nature of the group meeting with the LEA. My personal philosophy concerning
individuals is that they should accept the control of the majority but this can lead to
frustration on the part of the more egotistical individuals so I would hope that the
steering group would steer a course which would allow these individuals their head
whilst at the same time restricting their more divergent and aggressive tendencies.
Managing these people is very difficult but the greater good has to be the dominant
value when considering their work. Consider an analogy in physics. Imagine these
individuals as a force. If the force is pulling in the wrong direction it has a negative
effect. If the force is pulling too strongly then it can act like elastic which pulls for a
short while then snaps, and has no pull at all. Further what was being pulled can
rebound in the opposite direction. So the collective greater good dominates for me.
Such characters can be encouraged to carry out necessary but time-consuming
administrative work such as General Secretary of the Trades Council.
Generally my "blueprint" attempts to cope with individual learning through awareness
training and the possibility for developing materials. Strong individuals who are
looking for career but are not interested in the race issue might be a problem,
however those people will be led by the allowances so if there is sufficient flexibility in
the job structure to allow rewards for those who are working well with the project
then those people can be drawn in. Remember I am asking that this project be the
only innovation in the school so therefore their careers will depend on supporting the
school initiative. I accept their dissatisfaction could be a severe problem but then
there will be the "normal" promotions such as Head of Department and Pastoral to
satisfy them, and hopefully if the project is working well then promotion will be denied
if these people are obstructive to the needs of the project.
I am aware of the need to work with strong individuals and not to alienate them,
unfortunately I know some individuals will not be happy nailing
their career sail to the mast of anti-racism. Other means of controlling these people
positively must be adopted but they might not work. However if these individuals start
other innovations in the school then they will be diluting the effect of the project,
career enticement must be their attraction as well as good personnel management
skills on the part of the steering group. Involving these characters in the steering
group can be a good way as I said above so long as they don't dominate the direction
of the group. Unfortunately fierce egotism van never be defeated and encouragement
to promotion elsewhere might ultimately be the answer.
6) Neither Centralisation nor Decentralisation Works
Two key vehicles on the journey of this project are the steering
group and the developmental awareness training and material production. It is clear
that one potential problem could be that the steering group could become too
powerful too centralised. An LEA representative is on the steering group and I am
assuming that they don't come in and demand control of the project. This is an
omission on my part. As part of the initial discussions setting the ground rules LEA
involvement must be discussed, we cannot have a political change of heart
destroying the project because some political discomfort has been felt. This is an
important omission and should be rectified in the "blueprint".
The other danger of centralisation is that the steering group becomes too overbearing
and does not allow people their head. Here I focus on the word "steering". Yes,
people should be accountable so individuals should report back to the steering group
but the steering group has to give people the freedom to develop - not an easy
balance to reach. At the same time the steering group has to be accountable to its
constituents, the teachers, the community and the LEA. Elections is a useful way of
dealing with this but an election process can be timely and unwieldily. A balance
between electoral accountability and unwieldily time-consuming election processes
has to be found - the journey!!
I don't think my approach runs the risk of being too decentralised because my
greatest concern is egotistical individualism and I have developed mechanisms of
free control. Yet if the steering group steers and not directs, then we have a good
7) Connection with the Wider Environment is Critical for Success
This is one of the strengths of my "blueprint". In an issue such as
anti-racism community involvement is essential. From the start including the ground
rules community involvement has been developed, I have even suggested
community members to come in and discuss issues with teachers (and be seen as
paid experts). Other aspects of these lessons on the New Paradigm of Change, this
"blueprint" does not meet 100%, this one is 150%.
8) Every Person is a Change Agent
I have pointed out in part 3 my views of this statement. There is no
doubt in my mind that if every teacher was a change agent then there would be no
need for the project in the first place. If the problem existed and every teacher was a
change agent there would be no need for any plan for the project, the teachers as
change agents would simply start changing. My criticism of this point is that teachers
should be open to the notions and ideas encapsulated in change agentry and in
some way try t work with that. In so doing the aims of the project are likely to be met.
I prefer to see change agentry as a process - journey, and if this were a process or
journey teachers were on then all such projects will be a success.
Conclusion to PART 9
Having examined the roles of trade unions I looked at how change is
experienced and then how it might be introduced to comply with theory developed in
part 3 as well as attempting to overcome problems experienced on the receiving
end. I chose a project based on the curricular work I had done, I then analysed
this project based on what Fullan considers "the eight Lessons of the New Paradigm
of Change" and my project comes out favourably. Give me the money!!!
References for Part 9
Fullan M "Change Forces" Falmer(1993) ISBN 1 85000 825 6
MMR "Policies for the Curriculum" Moon, Murphy and Raynor.
Hodder & Stoughton 1989. ISBN 0-340-51436-1
Reader - Do you want to go back to the contents page?pbcontents.htm
Or read the conclusion? pbconcn.htm