A systematic literature review of barriers and supports: initiating educational change at the system level

Felicity I. McLure, Jill M. Aldridge

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this systematic literature review of empirical studies was to analyse the results of 20 years of research, related to education reform, to identify factors that support or hinder change efforts. An electronic search identified a total of 160 relevant primary studies published between 2000 and 2020 that were included in the review. Whilst recognising that change processes are not linear, this paper reports factors (possibilities and constraints) that are reported in the literature as change is planned for and introduced into schools. The review suggests that, to heighten the success of change initiatives at the initial stage, those designing and mandating the changes need to consider six overarching factors: coordination of the reform; coherence between goals, strategies and professional learning and the vision and needs of the school; connection between the new reform and ongoing changes occurring across schools; flexibility of the reform to address different needs between schools and within schools; fit with sociocultural factors found in each school context; and construction of school leadership capacity to manage change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalSchool Leadership and Management
Early online date19 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Aug 2022

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