At the heart of school change: the experience of participation in a whole-school revitalisation project

Doctorate other than PhD


Dunne, Trudy Anne. 2008. At the heart of school change: the experience of participation in a whole-school revitalisation project. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Education. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

At the heart of school change: the experience of participation in a whole-school revitalisation project

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
Authors
AuthorDunne, Trudy Anne
SupervisorChurchill, Rick
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Education
Number of Pages256
Year2008
Abstract

[Abstract]: What is at the heart of whole school change? The focus of this research is how a whole school revitalisation process impacted on the professional community, professional learnings and professional practices in a secondary Catholic College in regional southeast Queensland. It identifies the factors within the school context that impacted on the progress of the project.

A review of literature provides support for each of the dimensions of the focus of the research, the research-based framework of the revitalisation project and the factors relevant to a whole school change process. The research paradigm involves interpretivist inquiry, the methodology is case study and a narrative method is used to interpret and present the study. Multiple sources of data are employed: three sets of semi-structured interviews conducted over a three year period from 2004 to 2006; the researcher’s journal; and school documents.

Some evidence indicates that the revitalisation project had some impact upon the development of a shared vision and improved whole school collaboration and professional dialogue. The implementation of the change process led to an increase in whole school professional development which impacted on teachers’ shared understandings of pedagogical principles and further there is some evidence of perceived change in teachers’ professional practices as a result of engagement in the project.

The study identifies cultural and other factors existing in the school which hindered the progress of the change process. These include teachers’ resistance to change, a culture of ‘blame’, and a lack of teacher leadership and of collaborative decision making on the part of the school leadership team. One outcome of the study was the construction of a set of recommendations to assist a school in overcoming the impact of these identified hindrances to the change process.

A model of effective change is developed as a second key outcome of the study. The model is consistent with the key “school change” literature, but its significance lies in the unique context from which it was drawn.

Keywordswhole school change; whole school revitalisation
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390201. Education policy
390403. Educational administration, management and leadership
Byline AffiliationsDownlands College, Australia
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