Managing and reducing educators' resistance to change in Sediben-West (D8)
Molete, Anna Lebohang
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The following key words were used: resistance, change, renewal, conflict, change management, resistance management, restructuring. All economies, and especially an economy like that of The New South Africa, depend on a well-educated, adaptable and continuously teaching work force to generate and implement change and innovation in schools. This requires a high quality and standard of education. Furthermore, education has a critical role to play in attempts to develop and maintain successful democratic societies. To address these objectives, order in the practical teaching situation is a prerequisite. Educators play a key role in creating quality and order in the practical teaching situation. Quality and order in education mean that the education process and outcomes must realise the best potential of the learners and meet the expectations of the community. Other factors such as resources may also contribute, but educators are mainly responsible for such quality and order since these aspects are rooted in their knowledge, skills and dedication. At present large numbers of pupils leave school with a school record of failure and without sufficient knowledge, understanding and competence to pursue successful careers. One of the reasons for this sense of failure is the almost complete absence of order in some schools since educators are resisting change which is brought about in the education system. There are many reasons for the apparent resistance to change. It is believed that educators can, to a certain extent, be regarded as a significant factor (perhaps a key factor) causing lack of order and discipline in schools, because of lack of support from the education department in meeting the needs of educators to enable educators to be productive. The management of resistance to change by school principals in Sedibeng-West (D8) was investigated in this study. Changes are continually occurring on all levels of a rapidly developing community. The school principal, as education manager, should be trained in a firm variety of skills, whlch will enable him to implement the management of resistance to change efficiently. Examples of large-scale changes that occurred in education during the past six years are the implementation of Curriculum 2005 and the transformation of Model C schools. It would therefore appear that it might be sensible to focus on reducing educators' resistance to change as part of a strategy to re-establish and promote order in education. The aim of this research centred on the following questions: How can the concept "resistance" be interpreted to create positive attitudes amongst educators to accept change in the education system? What is the role of principals as managers of resistance to change? Firstly, a literature study was undertaken to ascertain the nature of resistance to change, as well as methods and models according to which resistance to change can be managed. Findings from the literature study point to a number of aspects of resistance to change that play a decisive role in the management of change. These include factors giving rise to resistance to change, types of resistance to change, manifestation of resistance to change and reaction phases of resistance to change. Secondly, an empirical investigation was undertaken to investigate the degree and way in which school principals manage resistance to change and how educators' attitudes can be changed to accept change positively. For this purpose structured questionnaires were used.
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