Being A Change Agent Essay

Being A Change Agent Essay-88
New mind-sets arise from mastery as much as the reverse. It has long been known that expertise is central to successful change, so it is surprising how little attention we pay to it beyond one-shot workshops and disconnected training. Pascale (1990) captures this precisely: “The essential activity for keeping our paradigm current is persistent questioning. Inquiry is the engine of vitality and self-renewal”(p. Inquiry is necessary for forming and reforming personal purpose.

New mind-sets arise from mastery as much as the reverse. It has long been known that expertise is central to successful change, so it is surprising how little attention we pay to it beyond one-shot workshops and disconnected training. Pascale (1990) captures this precisely: “The essential activity for keeping our paradigm current is persistent questioning. Inquiry is the engine of vitality and self-renewal”(p. Inquiry is necessary for forming and reforming personal purpose.

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On closer examination they are natural allies (Fullan 1993).

Stated more directly, moral purpose—or making a difference—concerns bringing about improvements. In addition to the need to make moral purpose more explicit, educators need the tools to engage in change productively.

On the other hand, the way teachers are trained, the way schools are organized, the way the educational hierarchy operates, and the way political decision makers treat educators results in a system that is more likely to retain the status quo.

One way out of this quandary is to make explicit the goals and skills of change agentry.

All four capacities of change are intimately interrelated and mutually reinforcing.

The second one—inquiry—indicates that formation and enactment of personal purpose are not static matters but, rather, a perennial quest.

Mastery involves strong initial teacher education and career-long staff development, but when we place it in the perspective of comprehensive change, it is much more than this.

Beyond exposure to new ideas, we have to know where they fit, and we have to become skilled in them, not just like them.

To break the impasse, we need a new conception of teacher professionalism that integrates moral purpose and change agentry, one that works simultaneously on individual and institutional development. Working on personal visions means examining and re-examining why we came into teaching.

Asking “What difference am I trying to make personally? For most of us, the reasons are there, but possibly buried. It gives meaning to work, and it exists independently of the organization or group we happen to be in.

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