As suggested in the previous section, successful change of
individuals' knowledge and practices in classrooms and schools
appears to be accompanied by ongoing support and assistance
to them as they are implementing the changes. This assistance
comes in various forms and from various sources. One of the
sources identified was school principals, who can exercise leadership
in facilitating the change process. Principals are not the only
persons providing facilitative leadership, however, for such
leadership is not defined by positions on organizational charts.
Rather, it is defined functionally.
Leadership vs. Management
The attention to leadership has been unprecedented in business,
and government, as well as education. What is the leadership
function? One aspect of the leadership discussion for the past
several years has focused on the distinction between management,
which educational administrators typically do with reasonable
success, and leadership, which educational administrators allegedly
do not do, but should. Although these concepts are frequently
confused, several researchers have made a clear distinction.
For example, Gardner (1990) suggests that leadership is "the
process of persuasion or example by which an individual (or
leadership team) induces a group to pursue objectives held by
the leader or shared by the leader and his or her followers"
(p. 1). Further, he reserves the term "managers" for individuals
who "hold a directive post in an organization presiding over
the resources by which the organization functions, allocating
resources prudently, and making the best possible use of people"
(Gardner, 1990, p. 3). In agreement, Tosi (1982) suggests that
"leading is an influence process; managing may be seen as the
act of making choices about the form and structure of those
factors that fall within the boundaries of managerial discretion"
As early as 1978, Burns distinguished between the role of manager,
who negotiates with employees to obtain balanced transactions
of rewards for employee efforts, and the role of leader, who
targets efforts to change, improve, and transform the organization.
Tichy and Devanna (1986) expanded on Burns's ideas, asserting
that managers engage in very little change but manage what is
present and leave things much as they found them when they depart.
Transformational leadership, they declared, focuses on change,
innovation, and entrepreneurship. The leader changes and transforms
the organization according to a vision of a preferred status.
Leaders, then, are change makers and transformers, guiding the
organization to a new and more compelling vision, a demanding
role expectation. Transactional and transformational leadership
are "often viewed as complementary," with transactional practices
needed to get the day-to-day routines carried out (Leithwood,
1992b, p. 9). Leithwood, however, maintains that these "practices
do not stimulate improvement transformational leadership provides
the incentive" (p. 9).
Who are the leaders who stimulate improvement? "There is no
single key actor" (Murphy, 1991c, p. 32). Leadership, as noted
above, is defined by function. It is not restricted to people
occupying particular positions. Any person who can deliver the
leadership function is a leader. Such persons can include principals,
superintendents, and school board members. However, teachers,
parents, and community members can be significant educational
leaders, as can central office consultants or specialists, external
agency staff, and state department personnel. Students can act
as leaders. Anyone can be a leader who provides leadership,
"the process of translating intentions into reality" (Block,
1987, p. 98).
The Need for Leaders
Deal (1990) maintains that "nothing will happen without leadership.
From someone -- or someplace -- energy needs to be created,
released, channeled, or mobilized to get the ball rolling in
the right direction" (p. 4). "Research on schools in the last
couple of decades leads to the interpretation that schools can
develop as places for excellent teaching and learning, but left
to their own devices many of them will not" (Wimpelberg, 1987,
p. 100). As Glatter (1987) points out, "there has too often
been an assumption that you only need to introduce an innovation
for it to be effectively absorbed by the institution" (p. 61).
As Block maintains, leaders are needed to translate intentions
Many researchers have reported the importance of effective
school-based leadership (Duttweiler & Hord, 1987; Fullan,
1985; Rutherford, 1985), and effective district-level leadership
in bringing about change and improvement (Coleman & LaRocque,
1990; Hill, Wise, & Shapiro, 1989; Jacobson, 1986; Muller,
1989; Murphy, Hallinger, & Peterson, 1985; Paulu, 1988).
The challenge for these leaders is to provide teaching/learning
conditions and school and district structures (curricular, organizational,
physical) that enable students to function effectively and develop
the attributes necessary for lifelong learning, independent
living, and participation as a contributing member of society.
School improvement efforts to realize these outcomes will be
enhanced by the vision and leadership of many individuals, internal
and external to the system (Cohen, 1987; Goodlad, 1975; Fullan,
1991; Hall & Hord, 1987; Schlechty, 1988; Sergiovanni, 1990b).
These individuals will include school board members, superintendent
and other central office staff, principals, lead/mentor teachers,
parents and community representatives, and others at the regional
and state levels (Barth, 1988; Engel, 1990; Johnston, Bickel,
& Wallace, 1990).
Cawelti (1987) noted that "research has documented what common
sense has long dictated: that school leaders do determine whether
or not schools are successful" (p. 3). This growing knowledge
base points to the importance of effective principals to student
success in school. Beginning with the effective schools studies,
which were conducted largely in low socioeconomic settings,
for example by Edmonds (1979), Lezotte and Bancroft (1985),
Venezky and Winfield (1979), and others, the more effective
campuses were found to be administered by strong educational
Thomas, as early as 1978, studying the role of principal in
managing diverse programs, concluded that many factors affect
implementation, but none so much as the leadership of the campus
principal. More recently, the Task Force on Education for Economic
Growth (1983) identified the primary determining factor of excellence
in public schools as the skillful leadership of the individual
principal. The Task Force report further noted that on campuses
where principals have leadership skills and are highly motivated,
the effects have been startling, regardless of the unique ethnic
or socioeconomic factors of the school community and the nature
of the populations the school serves.
Research and "exemplary practice" have documented that the
principal is a central element in improving instructional programs
within the school (Fullan, 1991; Hansen & Smith, 1989).
Andrews maintained in an interview with Brandt (1987) that "gains
and losses in students' test scores are directly related to
teachers' perceptions of their principal's leadership" (Brandt,
1987, p. 9). Lieberman and Miller (1981) noted that the principal
is critical in making changes happen in schools. Reinhard, Arends,
Kutz, Lovell, and Wyant (1980) determined that, at each stage
of the change process, contributions by the principal were extremely
important to the project's overall success.
Targeting the principal as a leader of change, studies have
focused on what effective principals do. Leithwood and Montgomery
(1982) found that "effective" principals were proactive in nature
and took steps to secure support for change efforts on behalf
of their students. Stallings and Mohlman (1981) indicated that
principals who were particularly effective in program implementation
went out of their way to be helpful to teachers and staff, were
constructive in criticism they provided, and explained their
reasons for suggesting behavior changes. They shared new ideas,
set good examples by being on time or staying late when necessary,
were well prepared, and cared for the personal welfare of their
teachers (Rutherford, Hord, Huling, & Hall, 1983).
Little (1981) found that effective change facilitation occurred
in schools that were administered by principals who "communicate
particular expectations to teachers; model the norms they support;
sanction teachers who perform well by using and allocating available
resources; and protect teachers from outside interferences by
acting as a 'buffer' between the district and the needs of the
teachers" (p. 97). From a four-year study of London schools,
Mortimore and Sammons (1987) reported 12 key factors related
to schools' effectiveness. The first of these was the principal's
purposeful leadership of the staff, where the principal "understands
the needs of the school and is actively involved in the school's
work, without exerting total control over the staff" (p. 7).
In a description of principals' behaviors relating to successful
change facilitation, Rutherford and colleagues (1983) found
the following factors:
They have a clear vision of short and long-range goals for
the school, and they work intensely with brute persistence
to attain their vision. The achievement and happiness of students
is their first priority; and they have high expectations for
students, teachers, and themselves. They are actively involved
in decision-making relative to instructional and administrative
affairs, and they attend to instructional objectives as well
as instructional strategies. They collect information that
keeps them well informed about the performance of their teachers;
they involve teachers in decision-making but within the framework
of established goals and expectations; and directly or indirectly
they provide for the development of teachers' knowledge and
skills, and they protect the school and faculty from unnecessary
intrusions. They seek policy changes at the district level
for the benefit of the school, and they give enthusiastic
support to a change. They provide for the personal welfare
of teachers, and also model the norms they want teachers to
support. They aggressively seek support for resources within
and outside the school to foster the goals of the school.
(Adapted from p. 113)
While the early studies of leader behaviors for change focused
largely on principals, it also became clear from these studies
that principals were aided by assistant principals (Mortimore
& Sammons, 1987), by formally organized school improvement
teams of teachers, and by more informal but collegial arrangements
with "change facilitator" teachers on their staff, central office
personnel, and external consultants (Hord, Stiegelbauer, &
Hall, 1984). Parents, too, were active. Cawelti (1987) noted
that "we face a critical shortage of instructional leaders"
(p. 3), thus there is a need to encourage leadership wherever
it may be found. Principals were aided by assistant principals
(Mortimore & Sammons, 1987), by formally organized school
improvement teams of teachers, central office personnel, and
external consultants. Parents, too, were active.
An emerging knowledge base has been developing about strategies
used by the district-level executive, whose area of responsibility
is the entire district and community. Research studies have
shown that superintendents develop particular relationships
with principals as their allies for change. Superintendents
use, at the district level, strategies that are parallel to
those used by principals at the school level. It is not conceivable
that all superintendents who are facilitating change effectively
can allocate major amounts of their time to these efforts. Therefore,
many superintendents delegate responsibilities to central office
staff but nevertheless actively monitor the process and progress
of reform. Superintendents use, at the district level, strategies
that are parallel to those used by principals at the school
A schema by which to consider what principals, leadership teams,
superintendents, and other leaders do to implement change has
been adapted from a formulation reported by Hord and Huling-Austin
(1986). The findings that follow apply to principals and superintendents
(whose actions typically have high impact) and to all other
persons in any positions who are willing and able to exercise
the actions described.
A Six-Component Framework
From a longitudinal study that focused specifically on identifying
the actions or interventions of principals and other facilitators
in behalf of teachers' implementation of change, a classification
of interventions resulted (Hord & Huling-Austin, 1986).
Eight functional classifications of interventions were used
to organize the actions of principals and other facilitators
(see Figure 4).
Figure 4. Classifications of Interventions
|planning, managing, providing materials,
resources, space, inc.
||teaching, reviewing and clarifying new knowledge
|Monitoring and evaluation
||collecting, analyzing, reporting, and transferring
|promoting innovation use through problem
solving and technical assistance to individual users
||gaining support of outsiders and promoting
use of the innovation
||discouraging or interrupting use
responding to concerns
|complimenting, praising, acknowledging,
Adapted from Hord & Huyling-Austin, 1986, p.105
Of these eight functions, four are represented most frequently
in the studies of school change:
- providing logistical and organizational arrangements,
- monitoring and evaluation, and
- providing consultation/problem solving and reinforcement.
In addition, two other functions are prominent in the literature
on change implementation: creating an atmosphere and culture
for change, and communicating the vision. A six-part framework,
then, is used here to report findings about leaders' roles in
implementing change. Note that the Hord and Huling-Austin (1986)
labels have been slightly modified for improved reader understanding
(i.e., "consultation and reinforcement" has been renamed, "continuing
to give assistance"):
- Creating an atmosphere and culture for change
- Developing and communicating the vision
- Planning and providing resources
- Providing training and development
- Monitoring and checking progress
- Continuing to give assistance.
Creating an atmosphere and culture
"No effort studied caught fire without an active superintendent
willing to attack the school system's inertia" (Hill, Wise,
& Shapiro, 1989, p. 20). Superintendents work actively to
challenge administrators, teachers, and other staff to create
innovative ideas and make suggestions for improvement. To develop
this attitude toward change, they arrange meetings for staff
to share their ideas, and they support staff's risk- taking
activities by acknowledging that mistakes will be made. They
declare consistently that mistakes will be followed by learning.
Superintendents express the value of principals who take actions
for change, not for the status quo (Paulu, 1988). One way principals
symbolize action and involvement is to be a highly visible presence
in the school and in classrooms; teachers "seek these principals
out; they want them in their classrooms" (Brandt, 1987, p. 13).
So that an internal change climate could flourish, superintendents
spend time and energy managing issues external to the schools.
They do this through sensitivity to community concerns and activity
in public relations, keeping the community informed. They make
sure that a harmonious environment pervades the district in
order to nurture the internal creativity of the school staffs.
Murphy, Hallinger, and Peterson (1985) reported that superintendents
engage in district internal culture building through several
- being available to speak to and communicate with staff;
having an open-door policy, never being too busy to interact
with staff and exhibit interest and support
- being a team player and building coalitions, team work groups,
and committees to address issues
- being concerned about staff and visiting schools to support
- being a problem solver by securing rapid solutions to problems
and cutting through red tape.
At the school level principals can act to shape the culture.
From an analysis of five case studies, Deal and Peterson (1990)
cite the following behaviors used by principals to develop a
particular culture in the school:
- developing a sense of mission and values about what the
school should be, discussing this with faculty and community
and gradually defining it
- selecting staff who can share, express, and reinforce the
values of the leader in order to help build the desired culture
- facing conflict, being willing to deal with disputes, and
through conflict, building unity
- using daily routines and concrete actions and behaviors
to demonstrate and exemplify values and beliefs
- telling stories to illustrate what they value in school,
spreading the stories that become legends
- nurturing the traditions and rituals to express, define,
and reinforce the school culture.
The five principals in the five case studies used these six
tactics in a variety of ways, based on their particular schools
and their preferences for a specific kind of culture (Deal &
Peterson, 1990). For an extensive review of cultural and contextual
factors, see Boyd (1992).
Developing and communicating
In this paper vision is distinguished from mission, which is
thought of as the purpose for which the district and/or school
exists and indicates what the district/school's intended outcomes
will be. Vision refers to mental pictures of what the school
or its parts (programs, processes, etc.) might look like in
a changed and improved state -- a preferred image of the future.
Brandt (1987), reporting on Andrews's work in 100 schools, cites
the principal's role in setting vision for the school as a high
priority in achieving effectiveness. Yet, Fullan (1992) observes,
a good principal does not singly create a vision and impose
it; he or she builds a vision together with the participants
of the school organization. In this way, "it becomes the common
ground, the shared vision that compels all involved" (Méndez-Morse,
1992, in press). Buck's research (1989) cites the superintendent's
vision as driving the organization to achieve its next stage
Although Cuban (1985) specified that one role of the superintendent
is as teacher of the district staff and community, introducing
new ideas and possibilities for improving the district's schools,
superintendents must be careful initially to align their suggestions
with the community's beliefs and values (Hord, 1992). In Hord's
study of superintendents' exiting of the role, respondents suggested
that the superintendent might take such measures as hiring a
sociologist to provide information about the community's shifts
in values and cultural norms, so the superintendent could be
aware of the situation and act accordingly.
Respondents also suggested that successful superintendents
(those who provide effective programs for students and remain
in their job) start with where the community and the staff are,
work with these constituents collegially to study, review, and
reflect on new ideas acquired through printed material and consultants,
and develop new visions and plans for improving the school system.
The superintendent provides an initial vision, and that vision
expands through the interactions just described. Staff and community
members are solicited to work on committees and task forces
to shape and fill the original skeletal vision. Regularly and
frequently the superintendent describes and promotes the vision
to the public through radio and TV interview shows, through
weekly interactions at the Rotary and Lions clubs, and at the
community's favorite coffee shop. The superintendent increases
the information flow to the district's professionals during
periods of vision development through memos, items in the district's
newsletter, and even at the football awards banquet. In addition,
he or she spends a great deal of time in schools, explicitly
articulating the district vision and priorities with administrators,
teachers, and all other staff.
From their case studies of six urban high schools, Louis and
Miles (1990) report that effective school leaders, those who
realize change in their schools, are able to talk about their
vision(s) for the school so that others understand and believe
that the vision reflects their own interests. Such a vision
doesn't have to be tightly defined, these authors suggest, but
it should be realistic. Leaders first encourage participation
in vision development (Hill, Wise, & Shapiro, 1989) and,
second, help people develop images of "how to get there," so
that action is directly tied to the vision and ownership is
developed. "Both dimensions of the vision are both sharable
and shared" (Boyd, 1992, p. 50). Boyd advises, "A clear vision
of the school when the change is successfully implemented and
how implementation will occur needs to be developed among all
in the school" (1992, p. 51).
One way leaders entice staff to participate in vision development
is through the study of student-performance data. In developing
visions for improvement that relate to at-risk students, leaders
may encounter resistance if the staff believe that "those kids
can't learn any better anyway" (see Boyd, 1992, for discussion
of beliefs and cultural norms). Vision building with a staff
seems not necessarily to be influenced by the leader's race
or ethnicity in at-risk settings. For instance, a Hispanic principal
was a very successful leader for change with a predominantly
white staff (Hord & Huling-Austin, 1986), and white superintendents
led the charge to successful change in behalf of black and Hispanic
students with a mix of white and minority staff (Hill, Wise,
& Shapiro, 1989) (see Méndez-Morse, 1992, for discussion
of leader characteristics).
Real ownership means sharing influence and authority.
Louis and Miles (1990) learned that even when the initial vision
ideas spring from the principal (or even the district office),
teachers, department heads, and school-based specialists need
to know they can influence the vision (and its actualization)
in significant ways. The staff should be rewarded for contributing
ideas relative to the vision. Sharing the vision is not just
a matter of exhorting staff to believe but also a way of sharing
responsibility and accountability. Change leaders share success
stories among the entire staff to reinforce the belief that
change and achievement of the vision are possible. Not only
do they communicate the vision and invite interest, but they
do so frequently and consistently (Paulu, 1988).
Communicating the purpose of the school and its vision for
improvement, and demonstrating visible commitment to the vision
were cited as leadership functions that must be fulfilled in
all improving schools (DeBevoise, 1984; Gersten & Carnine,
1981). Effective leaders can easily articulate their vision
and goals for their schools (Manasse, 1982; MacPhail-Wilson
& Guth, 1983; Rutherford, 1985). When asked, they respond
with enthusiasm, reflecting a personal belief in and active
support for their goals (Manasse, 1984). Furthermore, staff
working with these leaders express the same vision for the school
as the leaders do, though not necessarily in the same language.
They also understand their leaders' expectations.
Vision and goal setting establish the parameters for leaders'
subsequent actions, giving them a clear image of their schools
in order to set priorities (Manasse, 1985). They use the goals
as a continuing source of motivation and planning (Blumberg
& Greenfield, 1980; Manasse, 1984; MacPhail-Wilson &
Guth, 1983) and as a basis for providing clear, consistent,
and well-communicated policy (McCurdy, 1983).
Planning and providing resources.
In describing change strategies at the local district and individual
school levels, Fullan (1985) provides guidelines about factors
that should be addressed at either level. An initial step at
both levels is the development of a plan that may evolve through
interaction with participants, or that may be developed by the
leader(s). Louis and Miles (1990) prefer the evolutionary approach.
They suggest that leadership in change processes involves planning.
Further, effective planning for serious change in schools should
avoid a grandiose "blueprinting" approach and instead have a
strong evolutionary character.
Both the change program and the school develop steadily, driven
by the goals for change and the shared vision. New opportunities
are sought or appear serendipitously; data on the progress of
the improvement effort suggest detours or new avenues; new capacities
develop and permit more ambitious efforts than anyone had dreamed
of. Evolutionary planning is not a hand-to-mouth approach but
coherent, intelligent adaptation based on direct experience
with what is working in moving toward the vision and what isn't.
Leaders think broadly about resources, and providing resources
has always been accepted as a part of the leader's role in change.
However, when a leader visits schools and classrooms and understands
what administrators and teachers are doing, the probability
that those resources are relevant increases (Brandt, 1987; Peterson,
1984). Superintendents use resource allocations to emphasize
what the district's priorities are; for example, they provide
enriched budgets for materials and resources focused on instructional
improvement (Peterson, Murphy, & Hallinger, 1987), rather
than on new carpeting for the district office.
In the more-successful districts the resources are not only
additional dollars but also reallocations of time, people, materials,
existing equipment, and assistance. Boyd (1992) points out,
from her review of the literature, that change frequently fails
because insufficient time was allocated. "The lack of resources
has been a major barrier to sustained change efforts" (Boyd,
1992, p. 25). Successful leaders are more effective in putting
dollars where they can make a real difference (Louis & Miles,
1990). Thus, leaders make resources available and allocate those
resources in ways that maximize teacher change and effectiveness
and, thus, student achievement (Rutherford, 1985). Fullan (1985)
also suggests that emphasis be placed on such resources as released
time for planning and training. It is not only material resources
that count but also the time and energy demanded of people to
plan, share, observe, and take action (Fullan, 1985).
Fullan emphasizes that "[E]ach school must be assisted by someone
trained in supporting the endeavor. [Such] assistance is directed
toward facilitating and prodding the process" (p. 414). Additional
resources, according to Fullan, should be focused on developing
the principal's leadership role and on developing the leadership
team's role also (Fullan, 1991).
Often change is not initiated or is not successful because
people believe they do not have enough money. Effective school
change requires being proactive -- grabbing, getting, testing
the limits in acquiring needed resources (Huff, Lake, &
Schaalman, 1982), and taking advantage of potential resources
rather than waiting for them to be provided. The image comes
to mind of the school leader as a garage sale junkie, able to
browse and find what the school needs in the most unlikely places,
thus ensuring support for special projects (Bossert, Dwyer,
Rowan, & Lee, 1982).
Leaders also stay abreast of new research and practice developments
in curriculum and learning. They read and report on recent research
at faculty meetings; they use lunch hours with staff to talk
about research findings and proposed program ideas (Little,
1982). They search the environment for new information to share
with teachers (McCurdy, 1983) and encourage their teachers to
do the same (Louis & Miles, 1990).
Providing training and development.
A leadership function that must be satisfied in all improving
schools is that of providing staff development (DeBevoise, 1984).
In her review, Boyd (1992) reports that skill building and training
are part of the process of change. Learning to do something
new involves initial doubts about one's ability, incremental
skill development, some successful experiences, and eventually
clarity, meaning, and ownership (Fullan, 1985). Effective leaders
use formal and informal data to identify needs of the staff
for training and development (Little, 1982). Fullan's review
of change strategies (1985), Joyce and Showers's research on
staff development (1980), and Sergiovanni's writings of his
experiences in working with leaders in schools (1990b) suggest
investing early in demonstrations and modeling; later, when
people are actually trying out new practice, training workshops
prove more effective. School leaders who will assist the implementers
with new practice, whether they are principals, special teachers,
central office personnel, or others, will need training for
Louis and Miles (1990) assert that training and support are
master resources to help staff. One tactic used by effective
principals is to arrange for staff members to serve as staff
developers for others in their school, according to Andrews
and reported by Brandt (1987). Many change efforts founder because
teachers (and administrators) simply have not been provided
with the opportunities to acquire the new skills that they need;
frustration rather than resistance becomes the factor that undermines
the planned activities. To demonstrate their commitment, effective
leaders participate directly in staff development, taking an
active role in planning, conducting, implementing, and evaluating
in-service training (Odden, 1983; Russell, Mazzarella, White,
& Maurer, 1985). By participating in staff development with
principals and teachers, superintendents demonstrate that they,
too, are a part of the community of learners in search of improvement
(Murphy, Hallinger, & Peterson, 1985).
Monitoring and checking progress.
School improvement efforts, no matter how well planned, will
always encounter problems at all stages. Some are so insignificant
that they may not even be perceived as problems. Others are
more severe. Louis and Miles (1990) cite the need for continuous
monitoring in order to coordinate or orchestrate the change
effort within the school and deal with problems appropriately.
Any change effort that is more than trivial, or that involves
many parts of the school, becomes a set of management issues.
For example, key personnel leave the school and a component
of the change effort is left leaderless; a new state mandate
is passed that distracts staff from their own programs; a serious
student discipline problem undermines a campaign to increase
positive community involvement; after a review, staff believe
that a major component of the program does not "fit" the school.
Louis and Miles observe that effective change facilitators
constantly search for, confront, and acknowledge serious problems
when they first appear and act rapidly to make major adjustments
to solve them. Effective leaders become frequent visitors in
the classrooms of at-risk students. They take time to discover
what is happening in classrooms. They gather information through
formal observations but use informal methods as well, including
walking the hallways, popping in and out of classrooms, attending
grade-level and departmental meetings, and holding spontaneous
conversations with individual teachers. They follow up visits
with feedback to teachers and plans for improving their use
of new practices (Rutherford, 1985).
In a 1984 review of research on principals as instructional
leaders, DeBevoise identified monitoring student and teacher
performance as a significant strategy of leaders in an array
of socioeconomic school contexts, including sites with high
percentages of low-income students. Superintendents, as well,
play an active role in monitoring change and improvement efforts
(Pollack, Chrispeels, Watson, Brice, & McCormack, 1988).
Pollack and colleagues report that superintendents use school
and classroom visits to inspect curriculum and instruction and
to assess progress in the implementation of new curriculum.
They collect school and classroom products associated with the
change. Student test data are used to monitor the impact of
the change on students, as well as to provide input for the
superintendents' supervision and evaluation of principals. Superintendents
required change strategies to be implemented and followed up
with principals to be sure that they were (Murphy & Hallinger,
Fullan (1985) expands on the idea of monitoring by specifying
three considerations for collecting information on progress
toward implementation. The first consideration is what kind
of information to collect. By this, Fullan means finding out:
- What is the state of implementation in the classroom?
- What factors are affecting implementation? (What are the
obstacles to and the facilitators of change in classroom practice,
e.g., role of the principal, assistants, etc.?)
- What are the outcomes? (What skills and attitudes of teachers
are changing? How are student learning outcomes changing?)
The second consideration is the degree of formality of data
collection, or how to gather the information. Formal methods
include surveys, observation, testing, and such; informal methods
involve interaction among implementers, between implementers
and administraters, and between implementers and other facilitators.
Fullan points to data-collection techniques developed by Hall
and colleagues on concerns of teachers and levels of implementation
of new practices (reported in Hall & Hord, 1987) as examples
of techniques that can be used in both formal and informal ways.
The resulting information is used in Fullan's third consideration,
consulting with and assisting the implementers.
Continuing to give assistance.
The key to this strategy is the word "continuing." Resource
provision and training are not one-shot events, for instance.
As implementers move from novice to expert in their improvement
efforts, their needs will change. Information about these needs
is gathered through monitoring; assistance is then structured
to focus appropriately on the needs. For example, if data indicate
that some teachers have concerns about how to manage new practices
in their classrooms, then the leader can share information,
demonstrating or modeling new approaches, or arranging for teachers
to visit classrooms in which the management issues have been
resolved. If monitoring reveals that particular implementers
are not putting specific components of the envisioned change
into place, leaders can then help the implementers to incorporate
the missing pieces into their practice. The leaders can assist
by organizing lesson designs, arranging materials, and walking
through lesson plans with implementers (Hord, Rutherford, Huling-Austin,
& Hall, 1987).
Attention to Fullan's third monitoring consideration can provide
the basis for planning further assistance to the implementers.
Thus, this function involves providing technical assistance
to the implementers in a variety of formats -- one-to-one help
from peers, administrators, or district resource staff; sharing
among implementers; visits to sites where implementation has
occurred. Relatively simple support, such as arranging for teachers'
released time to meet regularly, cited earlier in "planning
and providing resources," can produce important results if the
changing implementation needs of teachers are addressed with
useful information and tips on how to make the changes work
in their classrooms, for example.
Small, regular amounts of time to foster formal and informal
interaction among implementers is a necessity. Change lives
or dies, according to Huberman and Crandall (1983), depending
on the amount of time and assistance that is provided -- and,
one might add, the quality and appropriateness of the assistance.
In staff development literature, Joyce and Showers (1980) refer
to such assistance as coaching. In Bush's study of the effects
of staff development components (1984), coaching accounted for
up to 84% of the variance of successful transfer of new practices
Direct, on-site assistance by the superintendent or other central
office colleagues is a component of the superintendents' plan
for assisting principals in implementing change (Coleman &
LaRocque, 1990). Giving consistent attention and acting on problems
that are identified involves enormous persistence and tenacity,
and good leaders attack problems from every possible angle over
a period of months (or even years) (Louis & Miles, 1990).
The ability to be an effective leader for change requires a
high tolerance for complexity and ambiguity. Coping with problems
is difficult because not all the needs can be foreseen. Yet
leaders tend to exhibit a willingness to live with risks, as
they try various ways to solve persistent issues (Hall &
Hord, 1987). They also look for positive features, and they
directly and sincerely recognize and praise the teachers responsible
(Rutherford, 1985). Celebrating progress is an important part
of this sixth strategy, an aspect of it that is most often overlooked.
Through a dual focus on positive progress and on identification
of problems, followed by the necessary corrective action, leaders
support the goals and expectations that they have established
for their schools (Hall & Hord, 1987).
Tools and Techniques for Leaders
During the seventies and eighties the need for facilitating
change became more clear. A parallel need was to understand
the change process better and to clarify the role of the facilitators.
A series of studies was launched to meet this need, and the
Concerns-Based Adoption Model was developed.
Tools for change facilitators.
The Concerns-Based Adoption Model resulted from longitudinal
studies of change in schools and colleges. The task was to understand
what was needed to provide support for the implementation stage
of the change process. The outcomes were concepts, tools, and
techniques for the use of the change facilitator. Three diagnostic
components included Stages of Concern, which describes the affective
side of change, or how individuals respond or feel about a change;
Levels of Use, how individuals are behaving relative to a change;
and Innovation Configuration, how the change is being put into
effect in classrooms and schools. Two prescriptive frameworks
for change facilitators were developed out of these studies:
the Intervention Taxonomy, which classifies the kinds of interventions
needed for successful change, and the Intervention Anatomy,
which characterizes various aspects of an intervention.
Hall, Wallace, and Dossett (1973) conceptualized the seminal
model and Hall and Hord (1987) and Hord, Rutherford, Huling-
Austin, and Hall (1987) produced a compilation of the studies.
Seven basic assumptions informed the research, were verified,
and provided guidelines for structuring the change facilitator's
Principles of change facilitation.
The first principle is understanding that change is a process,
not an event; therefore, change requires time, energy, and the
resources to support it as it unfolds. Second, change is accomplished
by individuals first, then by institutions. There is, of course,
individual/organizational interaction in the process of change.
It is difficult, for instance, for individuals in a school to
become collegial if the organization does not change scheduling
and other structures to allow or support this to happen. The
model, however, assumes primacy of the individual, suggesting
that only when the persons in an organization have changed,
can it be said that the organization has changed. Third, change
is a highly personal experience (thus the focus on the individual
as the unit of analysis in this model); individuals change at
different rates and in different ways.
Fourth, change entails growth in both feelings about and skills
in using new programs; thus, individuals change in these two
important ways over the course of a change experience. Fifth,
interventions can be designed to support the individual's implementation
of the innovation. The change facilitator should take into account
the feelings and skills of the individual when planning actions
to support the change process. Sixth, the change facilitator
needs to adapt to the differing needs of individuals and to
their changing needs over time. Last, the change facilitator
must consider the systemic nature of the organization when making
interventions, since activities targeted for one area of the
system may well have unanticipated effects in another.
The change facilitator has tools for collecting diagnostic
information about individuals and the innovation during the
process of change. Based on the diagnostic data, the change
facilitator makes interventions selected from the resources
available and targeted appropriately for the individuals. The
model is based on the hypothesis that proactive facilitators,
working in particular ways, will enable new programs, or innovations,
to be implemented more effectively and efficiently, moving over
time toward desired goals.
The premise that "change is a process," first stated in 1973
by Hall, Wallace, and Dossett, has been verified in other studies
of change and is now a widely espoused axiom. Beer, Eisenstat,
and Spector (1990) in the corporate sector, for example, report
that "companies need a particular mind-set for managing change:
one that emphasizes process … persistence over a long period
of time as opposed to quick fixes" (p. 166). However, current
practice at all educational levels -- school, district, state,
and national -- tends to ignore this concept. Many educational
policymakers behave as if change is a single event and can simply
be mandated. Such a view ignores the critical period of implementation,
putting change into place, and the requirements for support
by knowledgeable and skilled facilitators.
A Few More Words about Facilitation
Fullan (1991) and Huberman and Miles (1984) maintain that leaders
at all levels must provide "specific implementation pressure
and support" (Fullan, 1991, p. 198). From studying exemplary
schools, Sagor (1992) notes a constant push for improvement;
"the secret seemed to be in providing the right combination
of pressure to improve along with meaningful support" (p. 13).
One way leaders maintain pressure is by continually asking probing
questions, "yet providing teachers with personal support" (p.
18). They specify that the bottom line for making change at
the school or district level can be characterized by the two
terms "pressure" and "support." This "bare-bones" formulation
has been expressed succinctly by researchers, policy analysts,
and practitioners in the field:
[Change] ... encompasses a world of complexity, and realizing
and maintaining the delicate yet crucial balance between the
humanitarian concerns of supportive behavior and the pragmatic
dictates of responsible authority could be fairly said to constitute
the fundamental practical problem of change management. (Hord,
1987, p. 81)
Effective implementation requires a strategic balance of pressure
and support. (McLaughlin, 1987, p. 171)
[A]dministrative decisiveness bordering on coercion, but intelligently
and supportively exercised, may be the surest path to significant
school improvement. (Huberman & Miles, 1986, p. 70)
Leaders who supply these dimensions know how to both "empower
people and yell, charge. They are both generals and sheepherders"
(Andrews, quoted by Brandt, 1987, p. 13). They gather a team
together that guides the rest of the staff; team members are
the sheep dogs who keep the whole group moving together. But
the leader has to be the shepherd, the "keeper of the dream
… [and] the direction" (Brandt, 1987, p. 13).
When viewed through the dual lenses of pressure and support,
the six categories of leaders' actions take on additional significance
for change efforts. As suggested above, one (pressure or support)
without the other will not result in implementation of new policies,
practices, programs. It is the careful blending of the two,
shaped to the needs of each individual implementer and delivered
through the behaviors of leaders, that takes care of and promotes
Concluding This Section
The sixties and seventies saw the development of approaches
to guide the operation and attainment of organizations' goals.
That period also focused on models to guide organizational change
and on strategies to disseminate new knowledge to potential
users. The need for persons to supply the human interface for
the implementation of new knowledge and practices became increasingly
It is no great surprise that the successful school change stories
of the eighties consistently featured the principal as the leader
who supplied the human interface -- the support and the pressure
-- for change. During that decade, however, researchers learned
of other facilitative leaders (Hord, Stiegelbauer, & Hall,
1984), and the idea of a facilitative team was identified and
studied (Hall & Hord, 1986). Pajak and Glickman (1989) reported
studies of three school districts in which leadership came "from
a variety of positions and levels" (p. 61). In one district,
"prime agents" (Pajak & Glickman's terminology) were lead
teachers, assistant principals, and central office staff. In
another district, prime agents were central office staff, with
principals playing a supporting role. In a third district (all
of these efforts were targeting district-wide change), prime
agents were representative teachers at various grade levels
and schools, "who served on schoolwide committees coordinated
by central office supervisory staff" (Pajak & Glickman,
1989, p. 63). The idea of a facilitative team (at the school
level) was reinforced by the effective schools/school improvement
process designs of that era, which included a leadership or
school improvement team in the change strategy. This team directed,
supported, guided, and represented the larger staff in the planning
and implementation of school change.
This paper has described the evolving recognition of the need
for leadership to facilitate change. It has given attention
to the principal and the superintendent as key facilitative
leaders and to the expansion of the facilitative leadership
function to a team or council that includes teachers, other
staff, and community members. This historical review of the
past several decades provides the background for considering
the role of facilitative leadership in restructuring or systemic
change, which is the focus of the next section.