An investigation into the management of change in Design and Technology: a qualitative inquiry based on the implementation of a new curriculum for senior secondary schools in Botswana.
thesisposted on 26.06.2015, 13:06 by Victor T. Ruele
This thesis explored the management of change, from a British model of Design and Technology (D&T) curriculum to the Botswana model intended for senior secondary schools. There is little research on the management of change in D&T education especially at senior secondary school level. The study employs the ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement) change model, originally designed for business and industry as the theoretical framework to assess the nature of change and use insights gained to identify gaps in the implementation and make proposals for more effective implementation. The study employed a multi-phase case study as a data collection strategy, which was mainly qualitative and situated within a post-modernist inquiry paradigm. A multi-method approach was adopted for data collection, which included questionnaires, individual and group interviews as well as literature review. The data were collected from in-service officers and teachers because of their role as change managers and implementers respectively. Data analysis employed a thematic analysis approach for qualitative data while descriptive statistics were used for quantitative data. The findings of the study revealed the following issues affecting the curriculum: limited implementation strategy. limited participation by key stakeholders. weak coalition for change. limited administrative support especially in terms of provision of resources. and a limited teacher support system as well as weak reinforcement mechanisms to sustain the change. The findings showed that the existing D&T curriculum included new advanced technological content areas to align it with the country s vision of moving away from the traditional agro-based economy to the industrial one. These findings suggest that the technology content areas were barely taught in secondary schools primarily due to limited teachers expertise and inadequate provision of equipment. The study proposes a school-based continuous professional development (CPD) model, which recognises that teachers are change agents and a vital resource that can be developed to build the necessary change capability. The premise of this framework is that the current regional management system was not effective considering the constraints of limited implementation capacity and resources, the vastness of some regions as well as the fact that schools operated under different contexts. The envisioned CPD recognises the uniqueness of school and teachers input into the design and development of CPD programmes. The proposed CPD model promotes also research-based evidence that ensures that it is not a mere skill upgrading exercise, but one that integrates teachers professional development needs, with those of the curriculum and students. This thesis contributes to the field by providing some insights into some of the dynamics of implementing and coping with change within the context of Botswana. The ADKAR framework employed in this study is an original contribution in the field of D&T education. This framework will be of particular use to other countries undertaking D&T curriculum innovation in terms of guiding change management activities such as: readiness assessment; resource provision; developing communications strategies; identifying gaps in terms of training needs for teachers; creating enabling structures; resistance management and reinforcement strategies.
University of Botswana