Four Circles Model

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The Stages of Systemic Change
by Beverly L. Anderson By analyzing where they are an the continuum of educational change, stakeholders can see where they still may need to go. At first I didn't see the magnitude of the change. I thought if we just did better what we had always done, we would be OK. Then I realized we had to do something totally different, but I didn't know what. Gradually we began trying some new approaches. One change led to another and another and another like dominos. I started to see what people meant by systemic change. A new energy and excitement surged among its as hope grew and the cloudy vision of what we wanted became clearer and clearer. -Principal of a restructuring high school Administrators across the United States are recognizing that the education system needs fundamental changes to keep pace with an increasingly complex global society. Yet, the deeper we get into the process of change, the more confused we can become. We need some sense of what to expect and what direction to take. Seeing the patterns of change can be difficult; stakeholders in a system tend to see change primarily from their own perspective. Often teachers may not understand what is seen by administrators and parents, nor do administrators or parents see change from a teacher's perspective, or from each other's. To give stakeholders an aerial view of the shifts occurring in educational systems, the matrix "A Continuum of Systemic Change" defines six developmental stages and six key elements of change (see fig. 1). A composite of experiences in systemic change from across the United States and at all levels of education, the matrix provides stakeholders with a common vantage point for communicating and making decisions about change. Stages of Systemic Change Six stages of change characterize the shift from a traditional educational system to one that emphasizes interconnectedness, active learning, shared decision making and higher levels of achievement for all...
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