Michael Fullan has focused his work on educational change. His model focused on "the human participants taking part in the change process" (Ellsworth, 2001). Ellsworth (2001) commented that Fullan and Stiegelbauer's (1991) The New Meaning of Educational Change presents guidelines for resisting, coping, or leading change efforts from perspective ranging from the student to the national government. Different from Rogers, whose work focused more on the characteristics of the innovation and the adopters, Fullan (1982, 1991) focuses on the roles and strategies of various types of change agents.
Ellsworth (2001) pointed out that the issues that Fullan's model helps the change agent to deal with include:
According to Rogers (1996), a change agent is an individual who influences clients' innovation-decisions in a direction desirable by a change agency. Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation seems to have a clear cut between the change agent and its client system. On the contrary, Fullan views every stakeholder in the educational change as a change agent. Fullan and Stiegerlbauer (1991) have given a promise for the change agent that "there is enormous potential for true, meaningful change simply in building coalition with other change agents, both within one's own group and across all group." (Ellsworth, 2001)
Fullan (1982, 1991) proposed that there are four broad phases in the change process: initiation, implementation, continuation, and outcome.
Image from Sarah Fitzpatrick's site
The factors that affecting the initiation phases include:
Fullan and Stigelbauer (1991) identified three areas of the major factors affecting implementation: characteristics of change, local characteristics and external factors (government and other agencies). They identified different stakeholders in local, and federal and governmental levels. They also identified characterizations of change to each stakeholder and the issues that each stakeholder should consider before committing a change effort or rejecting it.
Characteristics of Change Local Factors External Factors
|Characteristics of Change||Local Factors||External Factors|
Continuation is a decision about institutionalization of an innovation based on the reaction to the change, which may be negative or positive. Continuation depends on whether or not:
Attention to the following perspectives on the change process may support the achievement of a positive or successful change outcome:
What can we learn from the complexity of change process?
Fullan (1993) provide eight basic lessons about thinking about change:
"The dynamic systems perspective leads to a view of culture as emergent. What a group comes to share in the way of culture and philosophy emerges from individual personal beliefs through a learning process that builds up over years." (Stacy, 1992, p. 145)
Neither centralization nor decentralization works: the center and local units need each other. Successful changes require a dynamic two-way relationship of pressure, support and continuous negotiation.
Connection with the wider environment is critical for success: change should recognize a broader context, to which change asserts its constant action.
Every person is a change agent: " It is only by individuals taking action to alter their own environments that there is any change for deep change."
Fullan (1993) provided suggestions of elements that successful change requires:
Fullan (1999) pointed out the importance of the recognition that the educational change process is complex. To deal with such complexity is not to control the change, but to guide it. Fullan provides eight new lessons about guiding change.
Ellsworth, J. B. (2000). Surviving changes: A survey of Educational change models. Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse.
Fullan, M. (1982). The meaning of educational change. New York: Teachaers College Press.
Fullan, M. G. (1993). The complexity of the change process. In Change
forces: Probing the depth of educational reform, pp. 19-41. Falme Press.
Fullan, M. G. (1999). Change Forces: The sequel. Philadelphia, PA: Falmer
Fullan, M., & Stiegelbauer, S. (1991). The new meaning of educational
change. 2nd ed. New York: Teachers College Press.
Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation
Fullan's Educational Change
Ely's Conditions of Changes