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Modern Education: Organization Changes

The new millennium has brought changes into our society and brought the necessity to implement changes into the education organization changes. The rapid development of technology and overall globalization reveals that changes in education are necessary as well. Burke (2002) emphasized that changes in organizations were to be regarded as the reaction toward the “external environment” (Burke, 2002, p.9). Educational institutions, being one kind of organization, also undergo constant changes.

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At present students are required to master larger amounts of information and sometimes even their teachers can’t handle that, and they need assistance in coping with new facts, new events, and new methods of teaching. Higher educational institutions were always focused on making students aware of the peculiarities of the chosen profession and giving the students the necessary skills to be professionals in a peculiar field. As Anderson (2009) defined changes as a constant pressure that different organizations are to cope with. Each organization implements different strategies and works out different programs.

For instance, Owens and Valesky (2006) depicted the results of the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 in schools, focusing on such aspects as motivation, leadership, and organizational culture. Drago-Severson (2009) stressed the necessity of adult learning leadership. She pointed out that developmental theory was the most appropriate in the sphere of education (Drago-Severson, 2009, p.35).

Admittedly, leadership is regarded as the most powerful means in organizational changes, thus, a lot of scholars focus on this aspect. For instance, Fullan (2009) stressed that leadership “must spread throughout the organization”, and he emphasized that leadership built long-term prosperity in the organization “rather than focusing on short-term results” (Fullan, 2009, p.14). Bunker et al. (2010) also insisted on the exceptional role of leadership which could be regarded as a factor “guiding organizations of all through challenges and driving them toward higher performance” (Bunker et al., 2010, p.16).

Smart (2004) provided a successful pattern of changes implementation, via organizing “teaching and learning centers on a university campus” (Smart, 2004, p.471). These centers helped faculty to develop their skills in teaching, provided the faculty and administrators with the necessary information. These centers were also a good base for experience interchanging and making a lot of important decisions since in these centers the faculty could meet and discuss the major issues of the teaching process.

Teaching and learning centers represent an example of developmental change in the organization since this method leads to improvement via training and communication. Once more Smart (2004) pointed out the importance of leadership in this process and stressed that these centers also need a competent leader who could show exceptional skills in managing such kind of institution in modern life with its technological rapid development and globalization issues.

Though this strategy is a long-term one, since quite a lot of time is necessary to educate the faculty and bring out results, but the thirty years of these centers’ implementation prove that they are very successful. The staff at universities with such centers is very competent and very adaptive to the changing environment and conditions. This, of course, contributes to the interest among students and, thus, its profits. Teaching and learning centers contribute to the development of the whole organization and help it to survive among others.

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Henkel (2000) also pointed out those educational institutions which launched such kinds of centers reached their goals (Henkel, 2000, p. 61). Henkel admitted that thoughtful planning and organization are of the highest importance in this process. Once again leadership is stressed to be one of the main means of obtaining success. Al this proves that thoughtful consideration in combination with strong leadership brings the method discussed above very successful and helpful in reaching the main aim of the educational institution, which is to provide students with the necessary knowledge.

Assuming that the faculty of some departments used another paradigm, other results could occur. For instance, if instead of centers universities launched specially worked out programs for the faculty development. This method would imply the compulsory attendance of the teaching staff, this program would be designed by professionals (may be very helpful), though intended for a very wide range of people. This method would fail because of numerous reasons.

First of all, some of the teachers will be already aware of the material presented within this program, thus, they will only lose their time, and the program will lose its goals. Secondly, to maintain such kind of change director’s leadership will be highly needed, since the director should prove the necessity of this program and make people be involved. Finally, this program would need considerable funding, though the results of such kind of program would be quite poor.

Thus, it is possible to conclude that one of the most successful types of change in education is developmental change when clear objectives are set; there is the necessary economic background; there is the leader who can inspire the staff to be involved, and there is the necessary environment of interchanging ideas among the staff and the possibility of making important decisions.

Reference List

Anderson, D. L. (2009). Organization Development. The Process of Leading Organizational Change. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Bunker, K., Hall, D.T., Kram, K.E. (2010). Extraordinary Leadership: Addressing the Gaps in Senior Executive Development. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Burke, W.W. (2002). Organization change: theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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Drago-Severson, E. (2009). Leading Adult Learning: Supporting Adult Development in Our Schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Fullan, M. (2009). The Challenge of Change: Start School Improvement Now! Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Henkel, M. (2000). Academic identities and policy change in higher education. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Owens, R.G., Valesky, T.C. (2006). Organizational Behavior In Education: Adaptive Leadership And School Reform. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Smart, J.C. (2004). Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research. New York: Springer.

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