Supporting Complex Change

by Beth Knittle on July 5, 2014

Integrating technology, project based learning, personalized instruction, etc all require a change in a teacher’s pedagogical practice.  That is a pretty complex change as there is nothing simple about people, teaching and learning.  The teachers I support are my ‘students’. I need to know what is not working or missing to help them achieve success as they continually fine tune and perfect their craft.  Over the years I have used Knoster’s thoughts on managing complex change. There are various versions of the model floating around the internet. I have include one below*.

Kostner’s take on complex change helps me figure out what they are missing, what hinders them from having success integrating technology or implementing other changes. Once I know where the trouble lies I can develop the best way to support them.  The answer isn’t always more training.  In some cases more training** just hinders the process.  Sometimes it is just helping a teacher find the vision of what could be, or the incentive to keep plugging away or procure the resources they need to be successful. So when things are not going well it is worth taking a look.  It is also helpful to remember our teachers are individuals and sometimes whole group strategies are not very helpful.

* I have removed the diagram that was linked by request of Dr Mary Lippitt.

** Please read my previous post and my take on training.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Marisa Farnell July 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Hello, Ms. Knittle! Your post was very insightful. Knoster’s Model for Managing Complex Change is definitely something I’m going to have put in my teaching arsenal for my future classroom. It seems like it will be a great tool for when I can’t figure out why particular lessons aren’t working. I can see how adapting to these different outcomes can be challenging for teachers. It’s a special skill to be able to adapt to all of these!

Dayna November 15, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Hello Beth,

Reading your blog and I came across this post very interesting how you use Knoster’s Model for Managing Complex Change. I am an instructor for Park University and I teach logistic classes. I am in my second year teach at Park University. I use certain teaching plans and I notice that my students are not full engaged. I will have to implement the Knoster’s Model for Managing Complex Changes and why my specific teaching plans are not engaging my students. Beth when you have used the Knoster’s Model what is the biggest changes you have seen using this model yourself? How did you go about making or implementing these changes?

Thanks Dayna

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