The micropolitics of a faculty-led school reform

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High, Cynthia Steele

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This study was designed to identify, describe, and categorize the strategies used by teachers to influence change at elementary school. The study employed action research with a micropolitical perspective. The researcher used an Interactive Qualitative Analysis (IQA) 1) to inductively observe emergent micropolitical behaviors of the teachers; 2) to deductively code the meaning of the identified behaviors; and 3) to theoretically code or analyze the cause and effect relationships of those behaviors (Northcutt, Miles et al, 1998). The outcome of the IQA process is illustrated in the Systems Influence Diagram (SID), a graphic model or mindmap describing the perspective of the teachers in this study of ideal behaviors necessary to implement reform at their school. In this study, the IQA was used in a pre-test and post-test design to indicate changes in micropolitical behaviors over time. The volume of the micropolitical behavior of the teachers increased as they became more confident and successful. The researcher focused not only on constructing an effective reform, but on the micropolitics of the school. Research showed that schools tend to initiate new programs without proper planning and follow through. It was also determined from the research that new programs need to be incorporated into the school by making a connection to existing programs because when teachers do not understand the purpose for change, the programs can become valueless and unnecessary Since a well-planned reform is easier for stakeholders to support, it was believed that a faculty-led reform had a better chance of gaining support by the teachers who must employ the strategies. The inclusion of teachers from the beginning generated a reform that was better designed, developed, and implemented and produced change that was effective, flexible, and lasting.