University Of Tasmania
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The management of innovation : the implementation of contemporary science programs within the Tasmanian secondary school system

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posted on 2023-05-26, 23:17 authored by Alford, B
The term innovation embraces a broad spectrum of ideas from superficial and marginal changes to actions directed at radical restructuring of contemporary society. That innovation is of itself \good\" and likely to lead to improvements in existing situations is often assumed. The school as a social institution has not been immune from these processes of change and renewal and it-has been our task to consider the implementation of innovative science programs within the Tasmanian Secondary School System. Emphasis has been placed disproportionately we believe on the nature and content of innovations rather than on the processes by which innovative ideas interact with the target systems. If the integrity of new ideas is not to be compromised then it is vital that the variables affecting successful implementatioh of such initiatives be clearly identified. Surveys of current literature suggest very strongly that factors antagonistic to the successful implementation of innovations are largely due to insufficient funding and lack of materials inadequate preparation of teachers and what is often stated as \"the resistance of teachers to change\". While recognising the above constraints it is our thesis that one of the most potent barriers to worthwhile innovation develops through the creation of threat overtones for the encumbent in his dealings with both system and innovation. Such interactions may give rise to feelings of insecurity and anxiety as he attempts to reconcile the expectations of the system with the uncertainties inherent in the more \"open\" nonprescriptive nature of contemporary programs. The intellectual and professional demands placed on him through his association with innovative ideas may add to his feelings of unease. This existence of a climate of threat is likely to initiate behaviours which are destructive of the task at hand. These dysfunctions may well lead to modification institutionalisation or total rejection of the innovation. . We believe that contemporary science programs represent a major change from the view of traditional science and its instructional methods; a change from science as a search for universals and the building of an \"ordered body of knowledge\" most efficiently transmitted by the \"authority of the master\" to a view of science as the creation of explanatory models held to be tentative and subject to refutation. The role of the modern science teacher is that of a guide leading his clients to an understanding of the methods of science and an appreciation of both its potential and limitations as a key to explanation of natural phenomena. This much more diffuse and uncertain task is likely to place him at variance with the expectations of a slowly changing educational system an organisation still largely characterised by a rational authority structure. By this we mean a structure in which emphasis is placed on the selection and maintenance of behaviour patterns which are in keeping with the organisation's purposes. If then we are to succeed in our attempts to innovate we must propose strategies which will provide alternative security bases for the teacher so that he may retain the support of the system but at the same time be free to invest in change and diversity. Our final section suggests the nature of management strategies placing emphasis on self development external validation including community support teacher education and career reform and the active involvement of teachers in the innovative process."


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Copyright 1975 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.Ed.)--Tasmanian College of Advanced Education, 1976. Includes bibliographical references (leaves [67]-70)

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