The receptivity to innovation and change by teachers in local authority schools was examined within a period of systemic and institutional reorganization. The initial interest arose out of expressions of political, professional and parental concern about the schooling process. It was postulated that certain factors, in isolation or in combination, existed at institutional level which exerted a significant influence on the rate of take up of innovation, in the general direction of conservatism. These factors were powerful enough to over-ride heightened environmental interest, support and encouragement for change over recent years. The methods of investigation employed included a pilot survey of one hundred senior serving teachers and their working experiences of innovation and change with respect to fifty two aspects of school life. Investigations were then conducted by means of recorded interviews with headteachers and assistant staff, in order to examine the significant factors affecting the openness to innovation at the level of individual institutions. A model of institutional dynamics was developed during the empirical investigations. This brought into prominence a number of institutional phases which then led to a reappraisal of previously published examinations of planned change. The investigations supported the view that innovative activity and periods of maintenance of the existing state were more closely associated with the interactions of chief executive and assistant teachers and determined more by the longevity of this association and degree of cultural cohesion than by external factors such as political interest in schooling, improved funding and research and dissemination of innovations.
|Date of Award||1980|