Change is inevitable in education leadership both in training and in daily performance. The key drivers of change in such organizations include government policies, technological changes and desire to satisfy stakeholder needs. Resistance to change is also an inevitable part of education and may result in pessimism, loss of enthusiasm, pettiness and increased tension among others. Because of this, education leaders have to undergo training on handling change resistance. The stakeholders also have to be informed about the change reasons, the process, and the expected outcomes.
In education, change is inevitable on all levels of education. In most cases, change is aimed at enhancing excellence in certain areas of performance, both by the educators and the students. Although everyone involved in the education process strives for excellence and improvement, any initiated change attracts resistance. Such resistance can stem from various sources including teachers as well as students and may have either positive or negative impacts. Change resistance is one of the factors that should be dealt with effectively. Otherwise, it can result in failure of the new systems put in place. Therefore, education leaders have to ensure that effective strategies for addressing change resistance are put in place during change initiation. Overt forms of change resistance are often unconcealed; however, they can be productive if well handled. On the other hand, covert forms of resistance are often concealed; these may hinder and obstruct the efforts to make changes.
Impacts of change resistance to education
In the education sector, particularly in schools, various factors result in the pressure to pursue a change in various operational aspects. Factors such as technological changes, government regulations, and societal values, all apply pressure to school organizations to change. Moreover, the need to satisfy the demands of various stakeholders in the education sector also pushes school leaders to drive change in their institutions. Governments intervene in the education system through making regulations and policies to which the education leaders are supposed to adhere in order to effectively address the challenges of the education sector. However, the desirable changes in the sector come with resistance from various stakeholders and hence the need to address change resistance in education (Yilmaz & Kilicoglu, 2013).
Change resistance can lead to many impacts in the education sector. According to a study conducted by Pieterse et al. (2012), change resistance can create a lot of tension in the education sector, both in training and in the daily performance of duty. In training, resistance to change can result in a lack of cooperation among peers in the classroom. Similarly, daily performance also faces similar challenges concerning change resistance. For instance, Caruth and Caruth (2013) discuss various impacts of change resistance in education practice. Such impacts include negative feelings concerning job security and effectiveness of new approaches, uncertainty about the potential positive outcomes that may result from the change, reduced job stability, pettiness in the conduct of daily roles, and unmanageable disruptions, some of which may lead to stress, illness, and pessimism. In most cases, as Caruth and Caruth suggest, change resistance comes about due to cynicism based on past failures. To avert the probability of these impacts, it is suggested that education leaders should take into consideration various methods for change management in order to ensure that resistance does not hamper the success potential of change programs.
Managing Change Resistance in Education
Managing change resistance in education is a process that begins with the training of education leaders. During training, educators and education leaders have to learn about the inevitability of change in education and the imminent resistance to that change. Through understanding the change process and potential resistance to it, it can be possible to manage change in education. During the change process, all stakeholders have to be informed about the goals and expectations from the ensuing changes. When educators and learners receive the necessary information, which ensures their understanding of the need to make changes and the potential outcomes, they are more likely to accept the change more positively and to adapt to it (Pieterse et al., 2012)
Caruth, G. and Caruth, D. (2013). Understanding Resistance to Change: A Challenge for Universities. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 14(2).
Pieterse, J., Caniels, M. and Homan, T. (2012). Professional Discourses and Resistance to Change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 25(6), 798- 818.
Yilmaz, D. and Kilicoglu, G. (2013). Resistance to Change and Ways of Reducing Resistance in Educational Organizations. European Journal of Research in Education, 1(1), 14-21.