Teachers’ responses to school change: an investigation into the views and practices of teachers at four national secondary schools in the Solomon Islands

PhD Thesis

Sisiolo, John Lenga. 2017. Teachers’ responses to school change: an investigation into the views and practices of teachers at four national secondary schools in the Solomon Islands. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/2r9m-vh04

Teachers’ responses to school change: an investigation into the views and practices of teachers at four national secondary schools in the Solomon Islands

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorSisiolo, John Lenga
SupervisorLewis, Marian
Conway, Joan
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages305
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/2r9m-vh04

National Secondary Schools in the Solomon Islands are faced with ongoing multifaceted change arising from both external sources and from within-school improvement initiatives. It is assumed that teachers respond to these various changes. While some research has been conducted in relation to different aspects of education in the national secondary schools of Solomon Islands, little is known about how teachers respond to school change or how this may be enhanced. This research seeks to address that gap in the literature. For the purposes of this study, it was important to listen to the voices of the teachers and to learn from their own accounts of how they responded to changes within their schools. Hence, this study sought to discover what can be learned from what teachers identified as change in their national secondary schools and how they responded to the changes they identified. Attention was also given to how contextual factors, particularly school ethos and school culture, influenced their responses.

A qualitative research design with case study methodology was conducted in four selected Solomon Islands national secondary schools. Two of these schools are in the remote islands in the provinces, and two are close to the national capital, Honiara. Three of the case study schools are operated by three different church denominations, and the fourth is state operated. Multiple data collection techniques and types were used, including semi-structured interviews with principals and teachers of the national secondary schools, document analysis, visual documentation such as photographs, field notes and observation. Initially each of the schools is presented as a case study in its own right. A thematic data analysis technique was used to analyse the data from the transcribed interview recordings and relevant documents from each of the schools. These themes formed the findings of each of the four case study national secondary schools. Cross-case analysis then drew a series of findings from each of the four case studies using colour coding to identify the emergent themes for discussion.

The study found that the changes the teachers identified and responded to in their schools were related to four themes. These themes are: recognition of using the Internet to improve teaching and learning; a series of changes related to students; principal leadership styles and their effect on teacher motivation; and the impact of the school’s infrastructure. This study culminated in the development of a framework that focuses on the factors influencing teachers’ responses to school change. This Teacher Response to School Change Framework seeks to identify key factors influencing teacher response, while acknowledging and recognising the influence of school context. Capturing the answer to the overarching research question 'What can be learned from how teachers respond to change in four Solomon Islands national secondary schools?' the framework also has implications for action at several levels. A number of recommendations for action are proposed for the notice of all who have responsibility for the support of teachers’ work in National Secondary Schools of Solomon Islands.

Keywordssecondary schools; Solomon Islands; change; teachers
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020451499. Pacific Peoples education not elsewhere classified
390306. Secondary education
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
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