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In order to achieve positive changes in the educational environment and use all the available resources to realize the goals set, it is essential to adhere to competent work plans. The information field is rich in strategies that can be effective and valuable in developing plans to introduce new approaches to maintain a consistently high level of education. Fullan (2016) suggests paying attention to some initiatives that should be respected by a competent leader to preserve the positive dynamics of innovation. In particular, socially-based and action-oriented strategies, capacity, and positive pressure are seen as the components of productive work to entrench positive and sustainable change. The use of these initiatives in practice makes it possible to achieve students’ high-performance indicators and organize the educational process in accordance with the current trends in the educational sphere.
Socially-Based and Action-Oriented Strategies
One of the key proposals considered by Fullan (2016) is the need to adhere to socially-based and action-oriented strategies in the educational sphere. The author notes that “change by doing rather than change by elaborate planning” is a prerequisite for maintaining the trend of positive innovation (Fullan, 2016, p. 46). The prospects of successful development in accordance with the strategies proposed are positive if teachers try to increase the interest of students through the introduction of active learning aimed at stimulating cognitive skills. Otherwise, it will be impossible to achieve significant results, and forces will be wasted.
Similar ideas regarding the need to implement these strategies are considered by Dove and Honigsfeld (2014). They argue that “innovative program implementation in a school environment needs to be investigated from a comprehensive perspective,” which implies using action-oriented approaches (Dove & Honigsfeld, 2014, p. 62). Various school reforms proposed by educational policymakers are not aimed at maintaining socially-oriented strategies, which may cause the lack of students’ interest in innovations (Day, Gu, & Sammons, 2016). Nevertheless, this direction of work should be one of the key ones to ensure the sustainable and dynamic development of the educational process. I personally observed such approaches and can argue that their utilization was of great importance for the successful implementation of changes in the learning process. Therefore, the strategies considered are valuable tools that are to be taken into account when drawing up work plans.
Lack of Capacity as the Initial Problem
As another work initiative to support changes in the educational environment, Fullan (2016) offers to pay attention to the lack of capacity and argues that it “is the initial problem” (p. 46). In the context of primary education, this factor can affect the lack of interaction among different members of the educational process – teachers, children, and parents. The recognition of this issue will help to attract all stakeholders and involve students in the work process. According to Wiek, Xiong, Brundiers, and van der Leeuw (2014), professional capacity is to provide a comprehensive range of knowledge. Therefore, the higher this indicator is, the more successful the process of changes will proceed.
I was involved in the initiative to establish contact with the parents of students. Nevertheless, this work was organized incorrectly since no attempts were made to bring the problems of children to adults and discuss the ways to solve them jointly. On the contrary, the claims of some colleagues were periodically addressed to those parents who attended meetings rarely, and no significant results were reported. Therefore, it is essential for all the parties to be interested in positive changes to achieve sustainable learning dynamics.
Conditions for Evolution of Positive Pressure
Another initiative that is recommended to support in order to implement changes in the educational process is the maintenance of positive pressure. This approach is relevant for any educational institution because, with its help, the teaching staff can encourage the activity of children. According to Fullan (2016), “positive pressure is pressure that motivates” (p. 52). In other words, by creating conditions for encouraging students’ success, it is possible to arouse a desire for knowledge and create the educational environment where children may show interest in learning independently. As Bohanon, Wahnschaff, Flaherty, and Ferguson (2018) remark, such conditions are possible if the collective, including parents, intentionally encourages pupils to be active and stimulate their success. This method of work is a valuable mechanism of impact; therefore, its application in practice should be necessary.
I managed to take part in such an initiative supported by the leadership of the school. Teachers, parents, and the representatives of the children’s board took part in the discussion of the forthcoming plans and workload. Such interaction allowed identifying the key areas of innovations scheduled and, at the same time, organizing the learning process in such a way that all students could feel benefited from their activities.
The application of the initiatives described contributes to maintaining the dynamics of positive changes in the learning process and makes it possible to stimulate the activity of students. The methods of the organization of activities that have been considered may help to implement changes effectively and achieve high-performance indicators. The personal experience of participation in the introduction of corresponding approaches and strategies can be useful when working in different educational establishments.
Bohanon, H., Wahnschaff, A., Flaherty, P., & Ferguson, K. (2018). Leading schools under pressure: Considerations of systems theory and schoolwide positive behavior support efforts during school actions. School Community Journal, 28(1), 195-216.
Day, C., Gu, Q., & Sammons, P. (2016). The impact of leadership on student outcomes: How successful school leaders use transformational and instructional strategies to make a difference. Educational Administration Quarterly, 52(2), 221-258.
Dove, M. G., & Honigsfeld, A. (2014). Analysis of the implementation of an ESL coteaching model in a suburban elementary school. NYS TESOL Journal, 1(1), 62-67.
Fullan, M. (2016). The new meaning of educational change (5th ed.). New York, NY: Teacher College Press.
Wiek, A., Xiong, A., Brundiers, K., & van der Leeuw, S. (2014). Integrating problem-and project-based learning into sustainability programs: A case study on the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 15(4), 431-449.