The Teacher Change Process Pt. 1

Previous research on the views, perceptions and experiences of education professionals on in-service teacher professional development is voluminous. This is not just due to societal regional and global pressures, but sundry, various and wide-ranging theories that purport to explain teacher professional growth and change. I will briefly highlight three theoretical models. These are the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM), Guskeys Model of the Process of Teacher Change and Interconnected Model of Teacher Professional Growth.

According to Anderson (1997), the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM), is a frequently used theory and methodology for understanding how change facilitators implement educational change. It was conceptualized by Hall & Loucks (1977) and seeks to calibrate, verify and elucidate teacher change processes and is primarily used when new curriculum resources and instructional practices need to be implemented. The model measures how intervention strategies impact the change process. The key components of the CBA Model are Stages of Concern, Levels of Use, Innovation Configurations (IC), Change facilitator styles, and Interventions (Anderson, 2007). One of the strengths of Anderson’s article is its thorough description of the model. For example, he suggested that the model was self-contained and came complete with methodologies designed to measure changes within model components (singly or combined). Anderson then explained that the Stages of Concern was the first framework within the model and focuses on the feelings teachers might have about the change process. The second step of the model is the Levels of Use framework that measures teacher behaviour patterns as they prepare, begin to utilize and gain experience from the intervention. Innovation Configurations (IC) recognized that teachers very rarely correctly implemented the intended innovation as they should and recommends that change facilitators should assess teachers concerns and design interventions site-based coaching, monitoring and evaluations and additional training (Anderson, 2007).

A second theory is Guskeys Model of the Process of Teacher Change, which was first conceptualized in 1986. Guskey (1996) theorized that significant changes in teachers’ views, perceptions, beliefs and attitudes are only likely to occur when teachers begin to witness marked improvements in student achievement. In other words, teachers’ views on the planning and outcomes of professional learning activities will improve when they observe measurable improvement in student learning outcomes after implementing the intervention.

A third theory is the Interconnected Model of Teacher Professional Growth. According to Clarke & Hollingsworth (2002), change can only occur through the intermediating processes of ‘‘reflection’’ and ‘‘enactment’’. The model has four main components, the personal domain (teacher knowledge, beliefs and attitudes), the practice domain (experimentation), the consequence domain (salient outcomes), and the external domain (information sources, stimulus or support) (Clarke & Hollingsworth, 2002). Furthermore, this model recognizes the complexities of professional growth by highlighting the numerous growth corridors between the four domains and emphasizes the intermediating processes of reflection and enactment as the conduit for inter-domain changes (Clarke & Hollingsworth, 2002). This model holds that changes in teacher views, beliefs and perceptions will be mediated by how well these new practices exceed their expectations in the classroom.