I have had one of those moments when I realise I’ve been taking an easier option when looking at change in my context. I had been focusing on the Year 7 course and the implementation of the DT & HM curriculum. Although it is not a straight forward implementation and still requires a lot of change, the teachers involved are reasonably supportive and willing to give it a go.
When I initially started looking at CBAM at https://www.air.org/resource/concerns-based-adoption-model-cbam, I was quite overwhelmed with what appeared to me to be a very rigid theory. I think this was exacerbated by the fact that I looked at “Innovation Configuration” first and my initial thoughts were it seemed very top down and I wondered who made the decisions about what constituted good practice. Good teaching may look different in different classes and with different students. It felt very rigid to me.
I then moved onto the “Stages of Concern” and this made more sense to me. I could identify with people having different types of concerns and requiring different support, as a result of this.
The last area of “Levels of Use”, I could see was useful, but perhaps later when the implementation had occurred, to ascertain the success or otherwise.
I was at this point thinking that it was a great theory, but how on earth would I apply this to my context and in a relatively short time span. After reading Evans & Chauvin (1993) I was grateful to see that there were other ways to gather feedback and ascertain where people might be with their concerns. I realised that I had intuitively been gathering information from “one-legged conferences” and that there was still an opportunity for “open-ended statements” as described in Evans & Chauvin (1993).
I then read Davis’ (2017) adaption laid over the Arena and felt that this would be a good way to approach looking at Year 8.
Interestingly when you model the Year 7 course and the Year 8 course in the Arena, they look almost identical. In fact, they are both implementing the same level of the curriculum and should be very similar.
For reference here is the Year 8 model. The Year 7 is discussed here
- T = Teacher
- S = Student
- E1 = DT & HM curriculum leader
- E2 = HOF
- E3 = Principal
- E4 = Year 8 course leader
- P = Parent
At the centre is my classroom with a Y8 course. I have coloured the T and E1 the same colour, as they are the same person. E2 and the green T are also the same person. E4 and the blue T are the same person.
The only difference between Year 7 and 8, is the addition of E4.
So, what is different and why?
If I was to use Rogers (2003) Diffusion of innovations theory, I would probably decide that it was because the course was already successful, the parents and students loved the outcomes and it was engaging. Meaning that the relative advantage and compatibility were low.
The other differences are the distribution of the staff leading this area and the staff involved. Although the changes appear minor on the surface, it has caused some tension in the allocation of roles and responsibilities and their attitudes and beliefs. Davis (2017) states that concern-based models require us to do more than just provide tools and training, we also need to carefully consider the people involved.
Applying Davis (2017) concern-based stages, (which has been developed from the work of Sherry & Gibson and the LAT model) I may further understand the issues involved. At this point it is based on the conversations I have had to date and my own thoughts.
- Information on the new curriculum has been available since last year. I have been to roadshows and studied the new curriculum and feel I have a good grasp on the intent of the area.
- Other staff are from other curriculum areas and would have barely looked at any information, apart from being told they now have to include it in their classes.
- The course leader will have read the progress outcomes.
- I have written the unit plans and sought feedback on understanding from the teachers. I have taught the concept and made the video available to other staff. I have had one on one sessions to teach the content to the teachers.
- Other staff have taught the concept based on the unit plans.
- I have evaluated my unit and been disappointed by the rigidity of the assessment. I am also concerned by the depth of knowledge we all have, especially when the students want to explore the ideas further. I am concerned that we have included too much, at too higher level.
- Other staff have been encouraging.
- The course leader has suggested ways it could be developed further.
- I am not sure at this point what the engagement of the students has been.
- I am frustrated by the level of engagement.
- Although I am championing it – I am experiencing push back from time constraints and “what we’ve always done”.
This evaluation has allowed me to analyse my thoughts and will lead me to think about how to address my own concerns. It is interesting to see that a lot of the concerns are in fact my own at this point.
Davis, N. (2017). Chapter 6. Understanding the complexity of change. In Author, Digital technologies and change in education : The Arena framework (pp 128-155). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Evans, L. and Chauvin, S. (1993). Faculty Developers as Change Facilitators: The Concerns-Based Adoption Model. To Improve the Academy. Paper 278. (Hosted by The DigitalCommons, University of Nebraska – Lincoln)
Rogers, E. M. (2003). Chapter 6. Attributes of innovations and their rate of adoption. In Author, Diffusion of Innovations. 5th ed. (pp. 219-266) New York, NY: Free Press.