Lifelong Learner & Reflective Practitioner

Lifelong Learner & Reflective Practitioner

Let's Transform Our Schools Into TRUE Professional Learning Communities

Let's Transform Our Schools Into TRUE Professional Learning Communities
In Your School- Do all stakeholders subscribe to the belief that EVERYONE has something to learn and EVERYONE has something to teach? This blog can help you gain insight on how to facilitate this transformative mindset with your faculty!

Jun 9, 2011

Roles in the Change Process

I have been reading Gladwell's The Tipping Point and Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations. One thing that I have found very interesting is the adopter categories of the individuals involved in a change effort. It's very important for a change agent to be aware of which category individuals belong to because this will ultimately affect the rate at which the change effort gets adopted. Here's a summary of the five different adopter categories represented in my school system:

In my school system, I see these people as huge risk-takers that are “trailblazers” when it comes to creating and developing new programs. These are the teachers and instructional leaders in my school system that are the very first to develop the most progressive curriculums, teaching strategies, assessment procedures, behavior management programs, community partnerships, parent involvement programs, fund-raising efforts, and professional development plans. I do not believe that we have any true Innovators at my school, but I do see some of our partners at our Public Education Foundation (PEF) as Innovators.

Early Adopters:
I see these people as the educators who closely watch the innovators and are typically first to follow suit and adopt the innovations. They are opinion leaders who are well respected and credible. I view myself as an early adopter. I am the kind of person who recognizes, even anticipates, the need for change. My visionary attempts at improvement are often viewed as not being appreciative of past successes or traditions. The Early Adopters are individuals that are thoughtful and analytical. Although we are not as big of risk-takers as the Innovators, we do take risks. However, the risk-taking is never haphazard, but instead very cautious and well thought out.

Early Majority:
These are the teachers who adopt an innovation just before the masses. These educators are seldom opinion leaders, but because they are between the very early and relatively late adopters, they play a very important role in bridging others and aiding the rate of adoption. These individuals are not teacher leaders. These are the educators who rarely take a risk, and they hold out until the Early Adopters have adopted and implemented the innovations and they are recognized as valuable and commonly utilized by the most respected educators.

Late Majority:
These are the skeptical teachers. Anytime an innovation is proposed, they typically have the reaction of, “So what is it this week?” They never believe that any innovation is going to be successful. They are notorious for dampening the enthusiasm of the teachers that may actually want to give the idea a try. I see these teachers as needing some peer pressure from the teachers that they view as credible before they will adopt. These teachers are not risk takers so all uncertainty must be removed before they view it as safe to adopt.

These are the strongest resistors who see no need for change at all. They are very traditional in their teaching techniques and they have no desire to question the status quo. The Laggards are always the least enthusiastic and committed if the decision is made by the faculty to implement an idea.

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