Transform Teaching With the Diffusion of Innovation
Effective teaching is a never-ending process of improvement. When we teach, we must adjust our practises each year to accommodate a new group of students, each of whom brings to the classroom a unique combination of strengths, challenges, and life experiences to share with the class. We introduce new curricula, as well as new standards and demands, into our schools. We are constantly on the lookout for innovative techniques and strategies that have been proven in educational research to be effective in the classroom.
All of these changes, though, can be challenging. For example, implementing a new strategy may necessitate modifications to courses, the development of new methods of assessing and monitoring student performance, more extensive interaction with colleagues, and the adaption of techniques in order to achieve continual progress. If we can clearly see the benefits of changing our practise, we as instructors are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to make that shift.
The Social Mechanics of Change
The study of how change occurs has been going on for decades, and the implications of that research may be valuable to you as you work with colleagues, administrators, parents, and other stakeholders to bring about transformational teaching improvements in your school setting. Everett Rogers developed a key hypothesis that outlines the pace and path of acceptance of new ideas and improvements. This theory is now widely accepted (PDF). Rogers highlighted how the diffusion of innovation occurs in a social system as a result of people going through a five-step process to analyse the impact of change on their professional and personal lives:
They become aware of a new notion and begin to improve their comprehension of the function of the innovation during the knowledge step.
Afterwards, people are convinced to have either a positive or negative attitude toward the change.
They make the decision on whether to adopt or reject the new technology.
They put the new concept into action.
Your School at the Tipping Point
They reaffirm their decision after analysing the outcomes of the implementation process.
Despite the fact that people move through these stages at widely disparate rates and in ways that influence how others around them respond to and adopt the innovation, Rogers’ theory acknowledges that people move through them at widely disparate rates and in ways that influence how others around them respond to and adopt the innovation. Some people are innovators, the first ones to test out new ideas as they come to mind. Early adopters, who are attracted to a new idea as a result of the positive replies of inventors over the benefits of adopting it, are a close second. Following the early adopters in stages are the early majority, the late majority, and the laggards, who may continue to resist embracing a new thought until they are penalised in some way for their refusal to adopt the idea in question.
Your Institution is at a critical juncture.
The rate at which a new idea or method gets adopted is determined by a variety of factors. When it comes to education, these considerations are relevant:
The first and most important factor to consider is how instructors and administrators evaluate the advantages of a new idea or strategy in relation to the status quo. In other words, does it appear likely that this new strategy will result in improved academic achievement among students?
Whether or if this new strategy is compatible with the existing professional values and previous experiences of teachers and administrators must be determined.
The question is, if the new notion is complex, how can it be communicated in a way that is both accessible and relevant, as well as actionable?
Is it possible for teachers to test out this new strategy, experiment with it, and adjust it to their needs?
Is it possible to see the results? To the extent that good change can be demonstrated with clarity, the greater the likelihood is that teachers and administrators will accept a new method.
The tipping point, or the point at which a novel idea acquires widespread acceptance and adoption, is at the heart of diffusion of innovation theory. The tipping point is the point at which tiny adjustments and advances have accumulated to generate significant momentum in the direction of more fundamental advancement. With this in mind, the question for educators becomes: What can people who support this progress do to “move the dial” closer to the tipping point? Finding ways to advance excellent educational practises and projects over the tipping point into a world where teachers, administrators, and policymakers recognise their positive impact and agree on the need to integrate them into school systems is at the heart of transformational teaching.
Adoption of New Technologies
The introduction and adoption of innovations take place within the social structure of a collaborative work environment in the context of education. Here are a few tactics that you might find useful in getting support for positive change in your school or district:
Identify and effectively convey the visible benefits of adopting an innovation that have been proved in study and practise, on a consistent basis and using whatever channels are available.
Obtain the support of influential people. Seek the assistance of powerful colleagues and administrators who are likely to become early adopters of a new programme and who are also prepared to spread the good news about it to their colleagues and administrators.
Advocate for policy and procedural changes that will make it easier for the organisation to implement the innovation and gain support from the organisation.
Present use of social media platforms, electronic channels, and other engaging methods to make your argument for change to the public.