The Systemic Change Process in Education: A Conceptual Framework
This paper provides a conceptual framework for a systemic change process, both to help researchers advance knowledge about how school districts can engage in paradigm change, and to help educators and policy makers understand the big picture for such change. The conceptual framework is comprised of key ideas that have emerged from the authors’ experiences in facilitating change in school districts, and from a review of the educational change literature. The authors first present an argument for the need for systemic change. They then present the conceptual framework, which is comprised of six elements that are important for any systemic change process to succeed: broad stakeholder ownership, learning organization, understanding the systemic change process, evolving mindsets about education, systems view of education, and systems design. The description of each element includes suggested activities for implementation. Finally, the authors recommend that policy makers address each of the elements within the framework, and that educators and scholars explore how the interrelationships and interdependencies of the elements can lead to successful educational reform.