Essays in Education


Policy cannot “mandate what matters”. In fact, policy in educational reform can set a general direction and framework, but it is local implementation that produces real outcomes. It is important to change the core of schooling or teachers’ deep beliefs in teaching practices, their values, and basic assumptions. Changing organizational culture can bring deeper forms of change that helps the organization survive and grow. This article, which stresses the importance of organizational culture in school change, is based on five arguments. First, taking a post-modernist standpoint, the paper argues that change is itself a complex process. Second, as change doers, different classroom teachers understand a policy differently and require different models of implementation, and centrally-imposed polices are likely to cause teachers' resistance to change. Therefore, policy-makers have to be aware of changes in organizational culture that lead to changes in teachers’ basic assumptions, behaviors and processes. Both policy-makers and practitioners must not neglect the existence and the world of the other, so that different units in a change paradigm should be linked to each other. The paper concludes that all changes should include human substance transmitted through effective communication and emotional quotient management.

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