Change Management in Education

Teacher’s resistances to change are not a new phenomenon, as teachers do fear change not because they do not understand the change recommended but because they fear the consequences of the change. Most teachers usually fear the unknown and would strive to maintain status quo even if the intended change in inevitable and has potential benefits that outweigh the costs. On the other hand, organizations do consider change a major exercise as the change would help the organization realize it is bottom-line.

Support positive change- Restructuring the Community College System

Change in inevitable, but the change may be positive or negative depending on the way it is managed. Teachers perception to change my be positive or negative depending on the way the management handles the change. The American education system is flawed because a lot of time wasted in the community college. For example, most of the secondary students have to study English, math and social sciences instead of directly starting their specific associate degree courses. The community college system involves a waste of time and money wasted maintaining general educational requirements. The fact that all students have to study general education courses such as English, math and sciences make the system more duplicative as these are the same courses done in secondary education. Instead, the community college systems require proper restructuring to allow students diversity their courses by pursuing other courses including the vocational technical training whether they are pursuing skilled trades or not. Restructuring is a process that will attract teacher resistance, as the teachers would have to learn new trades to be taught, and re-engineer their programs, schedules, and schemes of work (Forsyth, 2012).

Many teachers realized that they would not be able to enjoy the slow times they enjoyed and some even feared to lose their job because of redundancy. Many teachers resisted and some even organized a go slow to resist the change. Resistance means that the workers have developed beliefs of thoughts that the proposed change would harm them or affect their peace. If negative thoughts precede a positive change, then the proposed change would be met with resistance. Then again, the negative thoughts and beliefs could be altered in a proactive manner that the teachers would embrace the change (Forsyth, 2012).

Factors that Inhibit Change

Because organizational change would affect the established work processes, practices culture, and behaviors, resistance to organizational change would influence the whole company’s performance. Therefore changing the factors that cause resistance to change would promote change adoption. Change adoption is intended to help improve the business performance. No change has ever been targeted at compromising organization productivity

Change may be inhibited by:

a). Lack of commitment

If the management is not committed to the proposed change, teacher;s resistance to change may be observed. The teachers would not be convinced about the benefit of the modification. All stakeholders should be involved from the beginning up to the end. In the change process, the stakeholder needs to know the proposed change, why the change is needed, and how the change would affect the management, the teachers, as well as the overall organization;s goals and bottom-line (Engel, 2000).

b). Lack of teacher engagement

If the teacher were not engaged in the change discussion, they would not want to be associated with it. Teachers may not like if new processes and change are imposed on them. The management should involve teachers or their representatives.

c). Organizational culture

The first organizational cultures may not be suitable or supportive of the proposed change. If the organizational change were not agreeing with the organizational culture, then the teachers would strike because they are not used to the new norm or processes. Some cultures are rigid and are not aligned with the complex environment that is constantly changing. For example, innovation, technology, and business process are changing and so are the management principles. If the cultures, values, and goals of the organization remain fixed, then the proposed changes would be compromised (Engel, 2000).

d). Contradictory vision and objectives

If the Steering mechanisms of an organizational do not change, are not improved or not aligned with the organizational change then the teacher and their management would not make meaning out of the complex proposed changed. The changes in the marketplace must be perceived and understood by all the workers to modify the organization’s steering mechanism

e). Rigid steering mechanisms

The rigid steering mechanism such as values and objectives can also downgrade the organization and compromise the organization’s effort towards realizing its goals or realizing the market signals. The validity of organizational goals and values are timed, and once there are outdated, they should be changed to reflect the changes in the market. Most teachers use the defensive mechanism such as resistance to change because of the uncertainty associated with the change.

Identify Reason for change

1. The proposed change was mainly implemented to help the management realize organization-wide goals. To improve teacher productivity, the management had to implement the change.

2. To improve efficiency in the organization. The proposed change would help reduce time, labor and other resources wastage (Bass & Avolio, 1994).

3. The proposed change was also to improve organizational processes and help the teachers meet their daily targets. The increased lessons hours, timetables, and teacher time management strategies were all proposed to help the community college staff effectively executive their duties

4. Technological changes may also necessitate change. For example, new technologies might require ha all teachers must undergo mandatory training.

5. Competition in the market may also necessitate change as competitors adopt new technology, advanced processes and even cost-cutting through retrenchment. Competition is a change driver

6. Government regulation may also drive change. For example, if the new law requires the adoption of electronic records and instructional technology, the organization might be forced to embark on an aggressive training of teachers, recruitment to fill the void created by retrenchment or give mandatory educational leave to its teachers.

Ways to support Stakeholders during the reform

1. There are many ways to support stakeholder during the change. The most effective way to is to involve the speaker in the discussion leading to the change.

2. Stakeholder should be informed about the change. Both internal and external stakeholder should be made to understand the reasons for the change, and the potential impact of the change.

3. Secondly, the management should assure the stakeholder that the change would not adversely affect them. The proposed change may be communicated and acceptable to all the stakeholders (Anderson, 2008).

4. Finally, the change team should in collusive. All the interested parties should be involved and not just a small team. If a small team of change champions is selected, then the change champions should be fully representative.

Resources stakeholders can use for support during the change process.

1. Materials- stakeholders can provide materials such as paper, pens, and whiteboards. These materials are required to draw and provide a guideline for the bigger picture. Documenting everything is necessary foot easier review and amendments

2. Funds- some teachers need to be motivated, and at times, there is a need to pay sitting allowances and per diem. Funds would help motivate the affected personnel to accept change

3. Support—stakeholder need emotional and physical support during the change processes. The   support may vary depending on each stakeholder  need, but the stakeholder must be supported during the process

4. Removing Barriers to effective change management- any barrier to effective change management is it processes, policies, cultures, funds, language, and or etiquette should be addressed for the stakeholders to accept and adapt to the proposed changes (Amedzro St-Hilaire, 2016).

Essential Elements for change

The major factor for change includes the factors that must be coherent for the organization to achieve its goals. Only planned change succeeds, but unplanned changes can only succeed if the stakeholders are not supportive. Stakeholders must be supportive, and this can only be realized if they have a favorable opinion or beliefs about the proposed change (Wolfe, 1995).

1. Strategy- the planned changed must be strategic, and a strategy must be devised that would help maintain and develop the organization’s competence

2. Structure- the team must put structures in place that would assist in ensuring the change is a success. This include a reporting structure, laws, policies, guidelines and rules to ensure that

3. Systems- there should be activities and procedures that are connected in the value chain to get work done. A system includes people, and computers.

4. Shared values- the core value must be aligned with the goals, vision, and organizational objectives

5. Leadership Styles- the top leadership should be supportive. A transformational leader is needed to offer individualized attention. 

6. Community college staff- stakeholder engagement is necessary for change to be successful. All stakeholders should be included in discussing and implementing the change

7. Skill- teachers should be assigned duties depending on their skill and competencies. Al these factors must be coherent with the organizational goals.

8. Power of Vision

Creates the structure, the direction, and the passion for pushing forward to anticipate and accomplish the goal of building a better educational system. The organization’s vision is organizations primary direction. Unity of direction can only be achieved through a unifying vision. All the teachers must be aware of the vision and must internalize the vision to make it part of their plans, goals, and focus Wolfe, 1995). The idea would also help sustain the processes and efforts towards the organizational goals. The vision is the direction followed by everyone. It is also the point of reference for the teachers. Any deviation from the vision would mean difference from the organizational goals, and this would signal changes in the business processes and plans.

Types of leadership needed

Restructuring of the education system requires transformational leaders. Transformational changes involve changing the culture of the institution and the education systems. Modifying the underlying assumption and all the behaviors processes as well as products of the education system. Transformational leadership is also pervasive and deep as it involves changing the entire process (overhauling the entire system and changing the course outlines. It is also important to note that the transformational leadership will take place over a long time in an incremental manner. The most interesting thing about transformational leadership in the education system is that the change will help in creating a school system that increasingly develops an idealized future that will be completely different from the current education system.; The students are offered skilled trades such as computer programming, networking, medical practitioners, Para-legal and other skill that can be used in the workforce directly from community colleges. The transformational leadership will involve providing courses developed in liaison with the local businesses and industries. The community college curricula will, therefore, include on the job training as well as paid internships instead of math, English, and grammar

Conclusion

Change is good only if the management manages it correctly. But then again, the teacher may be resistant to change if the change is ambiguous. In this century, only the organization that are flexible to change can succeed in a business environment characterized by volatile, continuous and discontinues changes. Change management involves managing resistance to change. Resistance to change is a resistance to the new changes that alter the status quo with which the teachers are comfortable. A transformational leader is proactive in his stance and known what aspect of organizational culture to change. He can easily implement new ideas and use higher ideal and moral values to realize organizational objectives. A transformational leader must also motivate teachers and offer individualized considerations.

References

Wolfe, E. (1995). Human Management: The Achilles Heel of Business Process Reengineering,” Enterprise Reengineering.

Amedzro St-Hilaire, W. (2016). A Regulated Approach of Managing Complex Projects in Strategic Planning and Risk Control. Strategic Change, 25(3), 259-267. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsc.2059

Anderson, K. (2008). Transformational teacher leadership: decentring the search for transformational leadership. International Journal Of Management In Education, 2(2), 109. http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/ijmie.2008.018388

Bass, B. & Avolio, B. (1994). Improving organizational effectiveness through transformational leadership (1st ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Engel, C. (2000). Health Professions Education for Adapting to Change and Participating in  Managing Change. Education For Health: Change In Learning & Practice, 13(1), 37-43. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/135762800110556

Forsyth, P. (2012). Managing change (1st ed.). London: Kogan Page.