…ness. No, this is not about how to change your life by meditation. It is about change though. Real change in schools, for instance when they take part in an innovative project, is known to be a demanding and long road when it needs to come to actual, sustainable effects. Travelling the innovative path emanates all kinds of resistances and obstructions, not to mention the hardship of recognizing that change requires new changes and adaptations not envisioned before. Schools know that often better than the enthusiastic innovators who come to support (1). It is a lengthy road. Schools (and innovations for that matter) are made by people. Change travels on thoughts and considerations of persons who are involved in and caring for their school. This is the more manifest, when it comes to achieve durable and sustainable outcomes. Innovation has to find its space in the minds and actions that occur daily in a school; which essentially means that each change will turn out differently depending in those who travel the road. So, how come that this is ignored so often in many innovative projects?
A study from Norway recognizing the need to look in depth at what happens in school teams when adopting a change project analyzed discussions among the teachers about the consequences and steps to take in teaching. It pointed out that exchange within the team while scrutinizing their multiple perspectives is crucial for an advanced understanding and school wide sustainable implementation of the proposed change. It is the plurality of perspectives that makes the change concrete and tangible for action, not the uniformity in thinking. A school team becomes innovative by adjusting and transforming individual viewpoints into a collective framework.
Change is construction work, mainly with ideas and notions as building blocks, and executed by thoughtful persons. The thing is what makes perspectives shift, altered over the course of the construction work (2)? It is not merely enough to exchange perspectives in a team (as the study notices as well). Of course, understanding of each other’s insights is a ground to build on; but more than that is needed a commitment to apply – a willingness to make it a success and to put agreements into personal repertoire.
The emergence of innovative work in school development by Kirsten Foshaug Vennebo & Eli Ottesen.
Journal of Educational Change (2015) 16:197–216
www.DOI 10.1007/s10833-014-9234-0. Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014.