Investigating Concerns Based Models

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, 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.

Change Agent:

  • 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 ModelTo 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.

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Quality Learning with Scratch revisited using ISTE Standards for Students (2016)

Having now realised there is a later version of the standards, I have readdressed the standards and analysed areas I could improve on with reference to using scratch in my classroom. These standards and the indicators listed beneath them at provide great prompts for analysing the use of technology and the opportunities to be explored.

  1. Empowered Learner

“Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals”

  • Scratch allows students to set their own goals and are able to choose the type of outcome they wish to construct.
  • It allows the building of networks beyond the classroom through the scratch website and they can get feedback from others in the scratch community.
  • Remixing of others’ projects allows them to explore and transfer their knowledge.

To consider:

I need to ensure that the projects have enough scope that the students are truly empowered to choose something that will allow them to demonstrate their competency. Reflection is also covered in this standard and is something I would like to model and further develop with the students.

A continual need to evaluate the legitimacy of remixing vs the strict structure of the school environment and authenticity of the work.  This also relates to being a digital citizen and acknowledging the work of others. This has the potential to have many opportunities for exploring this.

I would also like to add in more pair programming (which I am looking at in my other university paper). This should encourage those who enjoy working with others and learning together. This also supports the concept of tuakana-teina where a more expert learner helps and guides another.

  1. Digital Citizen

“Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunites of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world”

  • The signup to scratch has warnings about not using your real name and the personal details of users are not available to others.
  • This website is a good model of how to be a good digital citizen.

To consider:

Discussions around signing up and what the data is used for could be added to the current discussions about creative commons and ownership.

Could look at what the website says about data and “community guidelines”.

  1. Knowledge Constructor

“Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others”

To consider:

This area is not an area of strength in my current projects but could be implemented, by looking at more real world contexts. Especially thinking about games or animations that teach others. This would allow the students to look more at research and credibility of sources. Allowing the students to situate projects in their own culture and beliefs would also support the concept of ako – being culturally responsive and valuing the students.

  1. Innovative Designer

“Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions”

  • Technology projects support this standard well. By using the process of defining a problem and looking at the possible solutions, we are supporting this standard well.

To consider:

Increasing the ability of the students to accept risk an ambiguity. My Year 9s have just experienced this in their projects (which are not in scratch, but still relevant), a few of them were not successful but had gone beyond the normal confines of the project and taken risks. It was important to reassure them that the journey was just as important as the outcome, and that they were in fact learning more, than just staying safe.

  1. Computational Thinker

“Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions”

  • We explore computational thinking at the beginning to help them to start to be able to decompose problems.

To consider:

Include more practice at this, to increase their capacity to transfer to their projects.

  1. Creative Communicator

“Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals”

  • Scratch allows them to create original outcomes or to remix.
  • It gives the students a platform to communicate ideas.
  • It can be adapted for different audiences.
  1. Global Collaborator

“Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally”

To consider:

The current projects are individual, however I am thinking of using the hackathon exercise found in the Creative Computing workbook found at I am hopeful that this will encourage collaboration.

The introduction of pair programming, as mentioned above will also support this.


Harvard Graduate School of Education. (2014). Retrieved from

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2016). ISTE Standards for students. Retrieved from


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Quality Learning with Scratch

Scratch 2.0 Screen Hello World

I have chosen to discuss using the Scratch platform as my digital tool. I use this platform to engage Year 9 students in learning about programming. I have used Scratch as a teaching tool for many years and I believe that the learning for my students has drastically changed as my understanding of pedagogy has evolved.

Previously I would go through examples, explicitly teaching the constructs of for example loops and if statements, expecting the students to follow a formula and produce a fairly similar product at the end.

 My teaching has now evolved to showing the students the platform, explaining the environment and allowing them to play. I still explain the constructs, but we now learn them through play and unplugged activities, rather than formal explanations. The students are free to explore how this works in scratch and make discoveries for themselves. The projects have boundaries but are fairly open ended.

 I have just finished reading Resnick’s (2017) book on cultivating creativity. I think the theories he proposes back up many of the ISTE standards (in Davis, 2017), as he advocates that students should learn through projects, work on things they are passionate about, work with their peers and learn through play. The changes I will make as a result of reading this book are to work on making the contexts more authentic and aligned to the students’ passions. I will also work towards more group projects.

Looking at the ISTE standards

1.     Creativity and innovation. Students can be creative using Scratch. They develop their own stories, games and animations. There is the ability to create their own characters and sounds. They construct their own knowledge by investigating and trialling. There is the ability to look at tutorials or just create your own. Papert’s influence and his constructionism theory is very evident in this platform.

2.     Communication and collaboration. Students are able to look at others’ projects on the website and learn from them. It also supports remixing of projects, that allows the students to build upon the work of others.

3.     Research and information fluency. Although this is not as strong in this type of learning, students still research the way that others managed to get something to work. And depending on the context that interests them, they may engage in additional research on the topic of their project.

4.     Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. Students will often encounter problems as they are creating, and the ability to experiment is well supported in this tool.

5.     Digital citizenship. While the project itself does not involve many aspects of digital citizenship, we do still discuss creative commons and ownership of content on the internet. Scratch itself encourages ethical behaviour and has in built protection for the young students that use it.

6.     Technology operations and concepts. The skills required to learn how to create your own characters, save your projects and many more skills all lend themselves to learning about technology operations.

This platform is widely used in schools and is fairly accessible. The barriers are access to a device and internet access.

Davis, N. (2017). Chapter 3. Can digital tools enhance quality in learning? In Author, Digital technologies and change in education : The Arena framework (pp 35-64). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Resnick, M. (2017). Lifelong kindergarten: Cultivating creativity through projects, passion, peers and play. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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Gathering data

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“The ultimate aim of curriculum design and review is to clarify and address priorities for student learning. Schools needs to know who their learners are – their interests, aspirations, and learning needs. This is what should drive the direction of school curriculum change.”

And some questions from the same page:

  • What are our priorities for student learning (based on evidence)?
  • What knowledge and skills do we need, and what actions shall we take to improve student outcomes?
  • What has been the impact of our changes (based on evidence)?
  • Where to next? What are our priorities for student learning now?

I have been looking at the above pages while reflecting on what learner voice I needed to gather while investigating how we implement the new digital technologies curriculum. In this case I am initially treating my learners as the teachers who are required to teach this new curriculum. says “The primary outcome for New Zealand students (described as the ‘vision’ in the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa) is for all students to be confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners.” And that “Specific curriculum and content knowledge is a critical part of this capability.”

My sample of learners is small, so I have decided that an interview is possibly a better approach than a survey, as the survey would not allow me to dig deeper into the questions and biases. A survey would not really result in anonymity as the sample size is so small.

I formulated the following questions using these webpages to prompt my thinking. I then referred to Rogers (2003) to see if that would help me expand my questions and apply his theory of Diffusions of Innovation to further clarify my thinking. I am very aware that my own bias is present and that we are doing some of this in retrospect with a very small sample. I however am hopeful that this will still give me some guidance on where next.


  • At the beginning of the year what was your understanding of the new Digital Technologies curriculum?
  • How important did you think it was to include the new curriculum in our courses? (compatibility)
  • How confident did you feel at the beginning of the year, to include this in your classes? (complexity)
  • Now that you have been teaching these units for a few weeks. What has gone well? Not so well?
  • Would dedicated PD sessions have helped with your understanding?
  • How confident are you feeling now?
  • How confident do you think your students are in their understanding? How would we know?
  • Looking at Progress Outcome 3, what knowledge and skills do you still need?
  • Do you have any suggestions for changes/actions we should make? What next?
  • Do you think we have included too much of the new curriculum into the Y7 course? (overadoption)
  • Is the new course more interesting to teach than the previous course? Easier? Harder? (relative advantage)
  • Do you think that the new curriculum fits well into the creative industries course? Or has it been forced in and doesn’t quite fit?(compatibility)
  • Do you think we were already including Digital Technologies in our course? (compatibility)
  • Do you think we should have introduced this to all our classes at once or just tried out some ideas in one or two classes? (trialability)
  • Would you feel comfortable for someone to observe you teaching these new areas? (observability)

Feedback on these questions would be most appreciated.

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.

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Ings, W. (2017). Disobedient teaching: Surviving and creating change in education. Dunedin, NZ: Otago University Press.

I read this book, late last year and wrote the following notes. I believe it is worth looking at now and reminding myself how much I valued the advice in this book. I need to look at the takeaways, to see what I changed and tried. And how well did it work.


Disabling the Obvious

  • Collectively name the 3 most obvious solutions
  • Write them up where everyone can see them, discuss them
  • State that they are no longer possibilities

Impossible Marriages

  • Creatively force a relationship between two unlikely ideas
  • Look at an object in front of you
  • Close eyes and listen. After 30 secs write down one sound you heard.
  • Try to use the sound to sell the object in front of you. Create a unique advertising campaign


In Y9 when introducing micro:bit project use the “disabling the obvious”. See if this results in more diverse projects.  I didn’t do this, and in retrospect if I had – would I have been removing the scaffold that some students needed. As we get better at using the micro:bits this will still be a valid thing to try.

Y7 – “impossible marriages” could be an intro to how we will introduce creativity. Or Lean Canvas could be adapted. Still working on this one. There have been so many changes at Year 7, that changing and trying everything has been impossible.


The measure of performance is not the measure of learning. Set times for testing measures one thing at a set time.

Self and peer evaluation

  • Only the person who has made the work can criticise the work
  • What is effective about the solution and why?
  • If I had the time again what would I change and why?
  • Others can make positive comments, but, more importantly, they should ask analytical questions
  • Deadlines are absolute


Another method to continue to work on with Y9. As part of the exhibitions of projects. I have done this and I believe that it has given me better insights into their thinking. We also keep a log and portfolio of our thinking.


Growing other people

  • Strategically empower the people they work with

Creating high trust environments

  • Decentralised, high trust environments
  • Do not micro manage
  • Do not demand incessant reporting
  • Expect high levels of personal responsibility
  • Do not always place themselves in the final seat of approval

Encouraging critical conversations

  • Respect for questioning and alternative solutions is attentively nurtured
  • Attentive inquiry
  • What do you see as options for dealing with this problem?
  • What is your preferred option and why?
  • What are the benefits, costs and risks of this option?
  • What would have to be done to execute your plan?
  • Who else needs to be involved?
  • What support would you need?

Changing heroic practices

  • Strategically change practices that continue to emphasise the heroic model of leadership

Storying change

  • Change must have a voice
  • Recognise and disseminate authentic stories
  • Own name rarely appears – recognise others and value them


Need to work on stories. We are doing really good things and we need to celebrate. Y8 exhibition is a good example of this. Working on showcasing the students work. Providing many opportunities for the students to share their work with their parents/caregivers and make it visible.


Don’t criticise

  • People don’t respond well
  • Help people come up with the solutions themselves
  • Coax, encourage, question and reward

Question bravely

  • Why we think something happens?
  • How a solution might be improved?
  • What is working with a process?

Show an enduring interest in others

  • Show others they matter

Think from the other person’s perspective

  • Consciously put yourself in other’s shoes
  • Let other people take the credit

Humanise what opposes

  • Establish yourself as human
  • It is hard to attack something that you understand or empathise with
  • Change has the greatest chance of occurring in an environment where people have been enticed into showing appreciation of each other (even if they disagree)

Believe in your potential


Keep questioning

Believe in myself and my ability to influence change. This has been a big year for change and we are continuing to experience the discomfort. I am continuing to evaluate – my big focus for this year is gathering learner voice (both teacher and student).

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Resnick, M. (2017). Lifelong kindergarten: Cultivating creativity through projects, passion, peers and play. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

I’ve just finished reading this book, that I have really enjoyed. These are my notes and reflections from reading the above book.

Resnick talks about “The Creative Learning Spiral” as a way to think about the creative process. Imagine -> Create -> Play -> Share -> Reflect -> Imagine ….


  • Creativity is about artistic expression. Scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs are all creative.
  • Only a small segment of the population is creative.  Big-C vs little-c – doesn’t need to be big bang stuff, an idea that is new and useful to you is still creativity. Resnick states that “we need to help everyone reach their full creative potential” (p19).
  • Creativity comes in a flash of insight. It is a long-term process. After many cycles through the creative learning spiral.
  • You can’t teach creativity. “You can nurture creativity” (p21).

Screen time: Rather than minimising screen time – maximise creative time.

Resnick then goes on to give four key areas to look at how we engage our learners – Projects, Passion, Peers and Play.


  • Learning by doing.
  • Maker movement – make something
  • Seymour Papert – constructionism
  • Provide more opportunities to create their own projects and express their own ideas
    • Developing your thinking
    • Developing your voice
    • Developing your identity


  • Children following their interests and passions. Freedom of choice. Personally meaningful.
  • Papert introduced the concept of “Low floors, high ceiling”, being that students need accessible projects but they should be able to be extended up towards a high ceiling. Lifelong kindergarten added Wide walls. So that lots of different projects are supported.
  • Children are given a reason for learning.

I particularly liked Resnick’s example of when the child excitedly thanked him for explaining variables, so he could have a score in his game. As Resnick says “How many algebra teachers get thanked by their students for teaching them variables?” (p70). If children can see the value and how to actually use something – surely that will make them more invested.

Extrinsic vs Intrinsic. Gamification can be an effective strategy for learning specific skills, but will not make creative thinkers. Need to draw on intrinsic motivation and their desire to work on the projects.

Closed-started and open-ended. Some students require structure and support when they get started. This is where examples and tutorials are good. But they need to allow the students to pursue their own interests, ideas and goals after the initial learning.


  • Design of the space – needs to encourage collaboration. Tables in the middle where people can come together and share. “Most thinking is done in connection with other people” p91.
  • Remixing supports sharing of ideas and an open knowledge-building community.
  • Traditional teaching leads to children believing that the way the teacher showed them must be the right and only way to do something. But we must make sure that we don’t go too far the other way. Resnick talks about moving between being a catalyst, consultant, connector and collaborator.


  • What types of play lead to creative learning experiences? Playpens vs Playgrounds. Playpens have no opportunities for risk, experimentation and creativity. Playgrounds have more room for exploring, experimenting and collaborating.
  • Mistakes are not a sign of failure – they are “bugs” that can be fixed.
  • “Schools don’t know how to measure creative thinking, so they end up measuring things they can measure more easily” (p151).
  • Portfolios and non-quantitative forms of assessment.

Ten Tips for Learners (originally from a workshop at the Boston Museum of Science, developed by the student participants)

  • Start simple
  • Work on things you like
  • If you have no clue what to do, fiddle around
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment
  • It’s ok to copy stuff (to give you an idea)
  • Keep your ideas in a sketchbook
  • Build, take apart, and rebuild
  • Lots of things can go wrong, stick with it
  • Create your own learning tips

Takeaways for me:

  • Continue to give the students projects, but allow more freedom of choice
  • Keep encouraging group work
  • Try out the hackathon mentioned in – particularly relevant for my Year 9 class.
  • Encourage remixing and adding their own unique components
  • Work on the intrinsic by igniting the passion by allowing more choice
  • Look very critically at current assessment practice
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Annotated Bibliography – 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.

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.


This chapter is discussing the rate of adoption of innovations and what influences this rate. It defines the rate as a measure of “the number of individuals who adopt an idea in a specified period”.

It identifies five perceived attributes of an innovation, and says that this explains most of the variance in adoption rates. These are relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability and observability. It goes on to say that it is the individuals perceptions of these attributes that actually predict the rate – that is, the potential adopters influence the nature of the diffusion. It stresses that perceptions are far more important for prediction than objective measures.

The chapter then continues with examples of each of these five attributes and uses examples to illustrate them. Each of the categories is further broken down into other factors that can contribute to these attributes.

It also discusses ways that the information can be collected and touches on questionnaire design.


This book is close to 15 years old, however it still describes a valid way of looking at a new innovation. Especially discussing the perceptions of people as an important factor for the adoption of the innovation. Resistance to change can still be a major contributor and is influenced by perceptions.

The limitations of this book are the very US- centric examples, which are not so relevant to other countries, coupled with a lack of application to an education setting.

For my research there are sections that will be very relevant particularly those that discuss mandatory change.

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Annotated Bibliography – Davis, N. (2017). Chapter 2. The Arena framework and a story. In Author, Digital technologies and change in education : The Arena framework (pp 9-33). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Davis, N. (2017). Chapter 2. The Arena framework and a story. In Author, Digital technologies and change in education : The Arena framework (pp 9-33). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.


This chapter introduces us to the Arena framework developed by Niki Davis. The Arena framework uses ecosystems to model the different areas within an educational setting, illustrating the overlapping areas right out to a global level. It uses explanations of human ecology as a metaphor for explaining the influences around and within an ecosystem. The ecosystems are modelled using ovals that show the ever expanding influences that are situated around for example a classroom and the adoption of new digital technology. Davis identifies five sectors of influence – family, professional, resource, political and bureaucratic. The chapter includes fictional examples to illustrate the Arenas application to educational settings.


This is a very recent book, that is the result of many years of research and adaption of the model. There are previous peer reviewed papers that have supported the evolution of this model.

For the purposes of my research area, this model is relevant and able to be adapted. Although it is designed mainly for looking at the introduction of a new digital technology and what influences are present for the adoption or rejection of that technology. I believe that it can be applied to the introduction of a new Digital Technologies curriculum, as it allows the modelling of the influences and ecosystems that are in fact very similar.

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Draft Essay Plan – Take 2

What is my goal for writing this essay?

My goal is to review two change models applied to my research area of “How might we successfully change our Y7/8 Technology courses to include aspects of the DT|HM curriculum”.  It will be an opportunity to analyse the literature around this topic.

What information do I need to include?

  • History of the previous/current classroom context
  • New curriculum requirements and the reasons for change
  • What impact will this potentially have on teachers and learners
  • Analysis of other curriculum changes and their effect
  • Two change models and their application.

How will the information be organised?

  • A collection of annotated literature will be developed in my blog.
  • The essay will continue to be informed by readings and the Learn site.

What is the personal change context you would like to focus on?

The context will be focused on one Year 7 class that I teach. It may touch on the other classes at the same level.

What is the central thesis or key question you aim to answer drawing on the research on change with digital technology in education?

How can we adapt our courses to successfully integrate the new DT|HM curriculum, while being mindful of the changes and upskilling that will be required from our teachers.

What are the main themes you plan to address in the body of your essay (bullet points)?

  • Background information and tradition
  • New curriculum demands
  • Two change models applied and reviewed

What conclusions do you anticipate?

  • That this is a complex change that goes beyond the one classroom
  • There are many factors that impact on the class when implementing curriculum change

Davis, N. (2018). Digital technologies and change in education: The arena framework. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Attributes of innovations and their rate of adoption. In Author, Diffusion of Innovations. 5th ed. (pp. 219-266) New York, NY: Free Press.

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Interview with a leader


I have permission from the person I interviewed to share these details publicly.

I interviewed my Head of Faculty and I would like to thank her for taking the time to do this for me at an extremely busy time of the year for us.

Please tell us about your trajectory to the position you have.

An odd one, I never intended to be in management. I wanted to teach. I was teaching Media Studies and English. It just kind of happened. I ended up being a Media guru – and I got a TIC within first 2 years and this was all when NCEA was first coming out.

I changed jobs a few times and I started to be known as the person who could set up NCEA Media and set up an environment that supported it. I became known. I started to go beyond English and I was doing things differently.

I was doing presentations at conference, standard writing, NZQA contract roles. Then at this school I was getting really good results from the students. I was noticed and was given the gift of a Digital Design faculty.

I am grateful for the amazing opportunities and the learning I got from other people in that faculty. It involved other people and the relationships and personalities.

What is your philosophy about leadership? 

It is harder than it looks. Lots of people are doing it how they think people want them to do it.

It is an organic process and it should happen in the team. It is something that you pick up and put down.

It should be distributed, empowering other people and yourself. We need to model what we want it to look like – for our students as well.

It needs to be transparent!

Do you have a role model of ‘great leadership?’

A principal (name deleted for privacy). That person is personable, visionary, calm. They modelled distributed leadership, including to the students.

But leadership comes from all the people around as well. People who share and show good practice.

What are your greatest challenges in your current role?


My own personality


My expectations of myself – thinking what do other people expect of me?

Transparency is challenging.

What are the greatest rewards in your position?

People, people, people including the students

Personalities and relationships

The Aha moment

My reflection

My HOF endeavours to be as transparent and supportive as she can. Her style is to hand over things to people and let them run with it, but at the same time being available if you need her. She has aspects of a distributed style of leadership, but there is also a transformational style in there as well.

The transformational style comes across in her belief that we are all bring something to the table and she is respectful of that. She learns from others and places a strong emphasis on the relationships within our team.

The distributed style comes through in our shared responsibilities and her flexible approach to how or who does things.

The most interesting thing from my perspective is that I thought it was solely a distributed style and after rereading about the different styles – I am more and more leaning towards the transformational. I think that is because we are a very diverse faculty and we are all specialists in different areas. We have to be trusted to do our own thing.

3 April 2018:

I have added the following diagram taken from Levin & Schrum (2017) and highlighted the areas that I believe this leader exhibits the most. It shows that there are aspects of all types, however the transformative and distributed are more prevalent.

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 7.09.50 PMLevin, B. B., & Schrum, L. (2017). Every Teacher a Leader: Developing the Needed Dispositions, Knowledge, and Skills for Teacher Leadership.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

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