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Title: An exploratory study on the preparedness of further education teachers to cope with, manage and implement educational change during a college merger
Author: Otiotio, Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 3473
Awarding Body: University of Greenwich
Current Institution: University of Greenwich
Date of Award: 2015
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This study examines the preparedness of FE teachers for educational change with particular focus on a recent merger between two further education colleges in South East England. The merger was conceived three years before implementation with the intention of developing a model that eliminated competition and promoted collaboration between the two colleges. Previous studies on changes in the further education sector (LSIS 2010; LSC 2010) have shown that change whether internally or externally imposed can impact on teachers who are the main fulcrum of educational change but they seem to have very little input in the change process even though they have to constantly adapt their mental framework to cope with the challenges associated with change. The study specifically explored how the merger between both colleges was conducted and whether teachers were prepared to cope with, manage and implement a change of this magnitude. It then goes on to discuss whether teachers require specific skills and knowledge to enable them cope better with change and if so, how such skills should be incorporated into their professional development. The research was designed as a case study which draws on a mixed method approach. Research data were collected through surveys and interviews with six teachers from both merging colleges in order to gain detailed insights into their experiences and how this impacted on their personal and professional lives. The participants who took part in the study were mostly teachers most of who hold additional management responsibilities including course leadership and management. Other participants were curriculum leaders. Data obtained from interviews were transcribed and analysed, with the following themes emerging: integrating cultures and systems, communicating change, motivation, the impact of power and politics during mergers, emotional and psychological issues of change and the pace and timing of the merger. One of the key issues that emerged from the data was teachers’ perception of their role as change agents and their acceptance that change was an intrinsic part of their job that they have to adapt to. The issue however, was the lack of training in change management to prepare and equip them with the skills to manage and cope with change. The non-inclusive, top-down approach to educational change was also an area of concern for teachers because their needs are usually ignored. In developing the case study, selected statistical analyses were conducted to measure the relationship between key variables. The research concludes that, as professionals working in a rapidly changing environment, teachers in the FE sector would benefit from acquiring ‘new knowledge’ in change management which will not only equip them with vital skills to cope with change, but also place them on the same level as other professionals. An alternative framework that empowers teachers for change management and mergers in the FE sector is provided and recommended as a tool that would be of particular use to those responsible for teacher induction, and for coordinating professional development of teachers.
Supervisor: Ade-Ojo, Gordon ; Jameson, Jill Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education