Teachers as Agents of Change

Topics: Education, School / Pages: 14 (3369 words) / Published: Oct 14th, 2011
Title: Using insights from the foundation disciplines in education, examine the extent to which classroom teachers see themselves as agents of change in their school. Discuss ONE way in which educators can become more committed to their role as change agents.
Reshma Rambajan
University of the West Indies

Many researchers have addressed the issue of teachers as change agents. According to Fullan, (1993), “change is in essence, learning to do something differently, involving adjustments to many elements of classroom practice and everybody is a change agent in quality education” (p.24). The question however arises as to whether teachers see themselves as change agents. Bansford, (2000) states, “teachers do not view themselves as leaders and educating teachers as change agents is a challenge”(p.106). However according to Holt (1970), the best way to introduce change in our schools is through the teachers themselves .He writes; “The proper, the best and indeed the only source of lasting and significant change must be the teacher in the classroom”.(p. 211).
Teachers are members of and identify with the system, they have a sense of pre- history about the school organization, they are aware of the norms of their colleagues, their attitudes, values and behavioural responses. Teachers may also live in the communities in which they teach which give them great insights concerning the values and attitudes of the community at large. Finally teachers are on the scene in the schools; therefore they are in a position to initiate planned change on the basis of needs and are available to implement these changes. Despite this there are many factors which prevent teachers from being an agent of change in schools.
Factors which prevent teachers from being agents of change in schools include the change in school management. Prior to the turn of the century teachers received much of their direction from classroom practice from outside sources, primarily the community that hired them.

References: Anderson, L.W. (1991). Increasing teacher effectiveness: UNESCO. For Educational Planning. Ausubel. D. (1978). Educational psychology: A cognitive view. New York Winston Inc. Bansford, J.D. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press. Brooks, J.G. & Brooks, M.G. (1993). In search of understanding: The case for constructivist classroom. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Callahan, R. (1962). Education and the cult of efficiency: Chicago; Illinois: University of Chicago Press. Castle, E.B. (1970). The teacher: London, Oxford University Press. Cooper, J.M. (2003). Classroom teaching skills (7th ed). Boston : Houghton Mifflin. Harris, A. & Muijs, D. (2005). Improving schools through teacher leadership. Maidenhead, U.K.: Open University Press. Hopkins, D. (2007). Every school a great school: Realizing the potential of system leadership. New York: Open University Press. Watkins, C. et al. (2007). Effective learning classroom. London: SAGE Publication. Max. C. (2007). Learning theory paper. Retrieved 08/09/2011 from http://www.funderstanding.com/vygotsky.cfm Ministry of Education, Educational Policy Paper (1993-2003)

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