Open Access Repository

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


Downloads per month over past year

Alford, B 1975 , 'The management of innovation : the implementation of contemporary science programs within the Tasmanian secondary school system', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

PDF (Whole thesis)
whole_AlfordBri...pdf | Download (3MB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

| Preview


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

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Alford, B
Keywords: Australian Science Education Project, Educational innovations, Science
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

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).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Ed.)--Tasmanian College of Advanced Education, 1976. Includes bibliographical references (leaves [67]-70)

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page