Essential Question: Consider your own context within your school and with your mentee. How can understanding of controlled disruption and coherence making impact your leadership of peers at this time, and at this level?
Michael Fullan wrote, “We need leaders who can create a fundamental transformation in the learning cultures of schools and of the teaching profession itself” (2002). Education is not static. Let’s face it, education is changing. I actually feel educational institutes are often in a tough spot because there seems to be such a resistance to change in schools but at the same time there is a definite need for transformation.
You have one mindset, “What was good enough for one generation is good enough for the next” and then you have those that understand that learning in the 21st century is a continual process and requires ongoing changes. In my school there is currently a “change fatigue” from making some many changes in a short amount of time. There is also a loss of faith because the results come slowly.
Anyone who has experienced change knows that change creates messiness. Change is often rapid and nonlinear. Real change creates a transformation that is typically not possible without messiness. With all the changes we see in education today it’s no wonder it feels a little uncomfortable but it is reassuring to know that its ok. Most change is a result of a disturbance. We are human and we are going to have differences of opinion. A leader guides people through difference.
It is the role of the leader to help lead through change. Leaders have an understanding of the change process. Leaders help find collective meaning and commitment through a moral purpose. Those who lead must be coherence makers. Fullan writes that leaders “help forge coherence through checks and balances embedded in their interaction” (2002). The “process embedded in pursuing moral purpose, the change process, new relationships, and knowledge sharing do actually produce greater and deeper coherence as they unfold” (2014).
In my mentorship the coherence making was so strong that disruptions were not a big factor. My mentee and I shared a moral purpose so it was easy to use that and our strong relationship to guide us through change. The mentorship was also nice because the change was self-motivated. Had I been mentoring someone who is opposed to Minecraft or who was not willing to change I would have encountered more disruptions.
This week when I was helping lead a large number of people through a top down change, the disruptions were more frequent. Even with a common moral purpose people are human and interpret moral purposes differently. Marris wrote “All real change involves loss, anxiety, and struggle. Failure to recognize this phenomenon as natural and inevitable has meant we tend to ignore important aspects of change and misinterpret others” (Fullan, 2013). I defiantly have felt all those while trying to work through change this week. The key are the relationships when those aren’t there change becomes 10 times harder.
Fullan, M. (2002). The Change Leader. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may02/vol59/num08/The-Change-Leader.aspx
Fullan, M. (2014, February). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco, CA.
Fullan, M. 2013). The new meaning of educational change. Retrieved fromhttp://www.eblib.com
Mochari, I. (2014, June 10). The Chaos of Change: 3 Keys to Leading Through Transitions. Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/ilan-mochari/3-tips-leading-change.html
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