McKenzie, J. (2000, June). Making Good Change Happen. Chapter One of Planning Good Change: From Now On. The Educational Technology Journal, 9(10). Retrived from http://www.fno.org/jun00/goodchange.html.
McKenzie makes a clear stand early in this chapter: “Making good change in schools is much more challenging than most policy makers and outsiders seem to understand.”
The cartoon McKenzie uses to illustrate her point that when schools are networked and hardware equipped but without professional development, they are likely to wake up with little to show for their hefty investment reminds me of Cuban’s comments and advice not to make decisions without thinking them through.
McKenzie illustrates another important complaint by teachers in her narration of Millennium Elementary School when the superintendent and board president walk through the school with the principal to examine technology integration in each classroom and are disappointed by the lack of student interaction with the systems. The district has ignored the principal’s pleas for professional development and planning resources.
The principal supports the teachers by remarking that “Millennium has the best scores, the best teaching and the best community support of all the elementary schools in this district. These teachers will not do anything that might undermine that performance.”
Another reason teachers are skeptical in the delivering of technology in classrooms.
1. Making good change requires a focus on a purpose likely to win broad acceptance
- teachers need to know how venture will improve student performance.
- teachers will not accept only because it’s “the thing to do”
2. Making good change demands the cultivation and engagement of the key stakeholders
within the school community, especially the classroom teachers.
- Failure to involve building staff in the development of the learning program, the design and placement of the network resources and a robust 3-4 year professional development program is courting disaster.
3. Making good change involves a strategic and balanced deployment of resources.
- optimize and define resources
- budget for PD and technical support
4. Making good change necessitates time away from the “daily press” of teaching.
- If districts expect to see broad-based adoption of new technologies, they must provide 30-60 hours yearly for teachers to meet, to learn and to invent classroom units.
*The rest of the book is about “skill and method” for changing a school for the better. It could be a good resource for teachers and administrators who are considering integrating technology and would like to plan in that regard.