Federal Programs Supporting Educational Change

Vol. I, A Model of Educational Change

by Paul Berman, Milbrey Wallin McLaughlin

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Abstract

The first in a five-volume study of federally funded (change agent) programs designed to introduce and spread innovation practices in public schools. This report provides a theoretical perspective to the series by analyzing the current state of knowledge of planned change in education and by proposing the conceptual model of factors affecting change processes within school districts. The literature review reveals the need for a more systematic understanding of the process of implementation. Over time the innovative plan will become developed, operationalized, often revised, and "adapted," following the realities of its institutional setting. Implementation is the change process that occurs when an innovative project impinges on an organization. Thus the focus of research shifts away from measuring a project by its stated goals. What is important are the actual changes occurring as a result of the project, how and why they occur, and what effect they have on the organization's operation.

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