Journal of Educational Change (J Educ Change )

Publisher: Elsevier


The Journal of Educational Change is an international professionally refereed state-of-the-art scholarly journal reflecting the most important ideas and evidence of educational change. The journal brings together some of the most influential thinkers and writers as well as emerging scholars on educational change. It deals with issues like educational innovation reform and restructuring school improvement and effectiveness culture-building inspection school-review and change management. It examines why some people resist change and what their resistance means. It looks at how men and women older teachers and younger teachers students parents and others experience change differently. It looks at the positive aspects of change but does not hesitate to raise uncomfortable questions about many aspects of educational change either. It looks critically and controversially at the social economic cultural and political forces that are driving educational change. The Journal of Educational Change welcomes and supports contributions from a range of disciplines including history psychology political science sociology anthropology philosophy and administrative and organizational theory and from a broad spectrum of methodologies including quantitative and qualitative approaches documentary study action research and conceptual development. School leaders system administrators teacher leaders consultants facilitators educational researchers staff developers and change agents of all kinds will find this journal an indispensable resource for guiding them to both classic and cutting-edge understandings of educational change. No other journal provides such comprehensive coverage of the field of educational change.

  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    Journal of Educational Change website
  • Other titles
    Journal of educational change (Online)
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Pre-print allowed on any website or open access repository
    • Voluntary deposit by author of authors post-print allowed on authors' personal website, or institutions open scholarly website including Institutional Repository, without embargo, where there is not a policy or mandate
    • Deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate only allowed where separate agreement between repository and the publisher exists.
    • Permitted deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate, may be required to comply with embargo periods of 12 months to 48 months .
    • Set statement to accompany deposit
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to journal home page or articles' DOI
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • NIH Authors articles will be submitted to PubMed Central after 12 months
    • Publisher last contacted on 18/10/2013
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article explores the significance of actively engaging with students in school about matters that concern them. The discussion draws upon data from a large-scale mixed methods study in Australia that investigated how ‘wellbeing’ in schools is understood and facilitated. The qualitative phase of the research included semi-structured focus group interviews with 606 students, aged between 6 and 17 years, which incorporated an activity inviting students to imagine, draw and discuss an ideal school that promoted their wellbeing. These data reveal how capable students are of providing rich, nuanced accounts of their experience that could potentially inform school improvement. While varying somewhat across the age range involved, students identified creative ways that pedagogy, the school environment and relationships could be improved, changed or maintained to assist their wellbeing. They placed particular emphasis on the importance of opportunities to ‘have a say’ in relation to these matters. Such findings challenge deeply entrenched assumptions about who has the authority to speak on matters of student wellbeing, while also highlighting the potential of more democratic, participatory and inclusive approaches to change and improvement in schools.
    Journal of Educational Change 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This article explores the use of protocol-structured dialogue in promoting reflective practices and shared theories of action within a district leadership team. Protocols have been used to make individuals’ theories of action visible and subject to evaluation. This is important for leaders trying to establish coherence across a system; in order to establish coherence, individuals on leadership teams need to be able to surface, test, and sharpen and align their internal pictures of how change works. The author draws on qualitative data from a year-long study of one team as it prepared to implement a capacity-building initiative that would promote collaboration and reflection in schools across the district. Findings illustrate how, as administrators experimented with reflective practice using protocols, divergent theories of leadership’s role in setting a clear direction for school-based reflection emerged, with principals looking for district-wide goals to drive school-based reflection and the superintendent looking to leave decisions about goals to individual school leaders. Our findings suggest that the team’s capacity for aligning these theories was limited because protocol-structured dialogue was carried out as a generic problem-solving exercise. As such, it did not promote visible, productive reasoning in the system’s formal leader, the district superintendent. Moreover, protocol-structured discussion did not mediate the problematic effects of formal authority distinctions or longstanding relationships within the administrative leadership team.
    Journal of Educational Change 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Within the academic field of futures in education there has been concern that pupils’ negative and pessimistic future scenarios could be deleterious to their minds. Eckersley (Futures 31:73–90, 1999) argues that pessimism among young people can produce cynicism, mistrust, anger, apathy and an approach to life based on instant gratification. This article suggests that we need to discuss negative and pessimistic future visions in a more profound and complex way since these contain both hope and hopelessness. A pessimistic view of the future does not have to be negative in itself: it can also illustrate a critical awareness of contemporary social order. This article therefore aims to explore hope and hopelessness in young people’s dystopias about the future. Adopting dystopias may open up possibilities, whereas adopting disutopias will only lead one to believe that there are no alternatives to the current dominant model of global capitalism. Even a dystopia that predicts the end of the world as we know it might be the beginning of a world that we have not seen yet.
    Journal of Educational Change 11/2014; 15(4).
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    ABSTRACT: This article explores how comprehensive school teachers’ sense of professional agency changes in the context of large-scale national educational change in Finland. We analysed the premises on which teachers (n = 100) view themselves and their work in terms of developing their own school, catalysed by the large-scale national change. The study included theory-driven interventions in the case school communities, as well as pre- and post-test measurements. The results suggested that the learning of active professional agency was facilitated among teachers during the 2 years of development work. A significant number of teachers had adopted a more holistic orientation towards the reform. Moreover, the number of teachers who considered themselves as the subjects of the development work increased slightly. This increase suggests that teachers’ intentional and responsible management of new learning proceeds from the interpersonal meaning-making process to the internal process that regulates the elements of a teacher’s professional agency.
    Journal of Educational Change 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated why and how principals selected members for their instructional leadership team (ILT) and how this selection criteria and process may have impacted team members’ understandings of, and behaviors on, the team. Qualitative methods, specifically interviews and observations, were used to explore team members’ perceptions regarding the team’s purpose, function, and selection criteria as well as how these perceptions seemed to impact team members’ behaviors. Data were collected for a period of 8 months during the 2011–2012 school year from ILT in four, in-district charter schools. Results suggest that principals had difficulty articulating their teams’ purposes and functions, with the latter remaining primarily informational or consultative; members were not given decision-making authority. Additionally, when selecting team members, principals prioritized broad representation of teacher groups over other criteria. This focus on role representation above expertise, coupled with teachers’ tendencies to embrace traditional professional norms, limited ILT members’ abilities to effectively work together to lead instructional reform.
    Journal of Educational Change 08/2014; 15(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Recent attention to youth activism for school reform reveals positive student outcomes. Yet educators may object to the use of social actions in schools, diminishing opportunities for these benefits to accrue. This paper analyzes educators’ conceptions about the proper exercise of student voice within schools and how these coincide with activists’ tactics for school reform. The qualitative investigation rests on interviews with principals, teachers, community organizers, and students—all touched by a community-based program that encourages urban youth to organize and transform their schools. The paper seeks to bridge the perspectives of educators and activists in ways that enhance acceptance of a more robust role for students in school life.
    Journal of Educational Change 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper reports the results of an 18-month integrated, problem-solving research study of one new school’s efforts to create a K-12 system of student assessment data that reflects their innovative vision for personalized and student-centered instruction. Based on interview, observational, and documentary data, the authors report how teachers articulate, measure, and assess student core competencies, aligned with a common vision and supported by a technology interface designed to promote data use. Findings from this study add to the research literature on assessment and data use by articulating the necessary knowledge and supports teachers in new autonomous schools need to develop and formatively use student assessment data.
    Journal of Educational Change 05/2014; 15(2).
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    ABSTRACT: This paper pinpoints and discusses key aspects of the current approaches to school reform in the Arab world against the backdrop of what is accepted as the best practice in the international literature on effective school reform and educational change. The main goal of the paper is to highlight deeply ingrained assumptions and practices that are likely to create barriers for reformers who are interested in effectively implementing educational reform in the Arab region. The paper concludes with a list of recommendations informed by the current international literature on effective school reform, and deemed promising for overcoming the identified barriers and achieving effective and sustainable reform in the region. While the case of reform in the Arab region has its unique characteristics, it shares with other developing countries many of the challenges it faces. Lessons learned in this region offer promising insights to reformers in other developing regions of the world.
    Journal of Educational Change 05/2014; 15(2).
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    ABSTRACT: While educational theory has often seen collaboration and competition as incompatible, there is increasing evidence that collaboration persists in educational markets characterized by competition. In this paper, we use the theoretical lens of ‘coopetition’, a relationship between organizations involving competition in some segments and cooperation in others, to study this phenomenon and look at the applicability of this concept to education. A case study approach was used to study collaboration and competition in a network of eleven 6th-form colleges, which teach 16–18-year-old students in England. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with managers in each college. Documentary evidence was collected such as websites, brochures, and publicity materials. Results show that the collaborative network was perceived positively. The concept of coopetition was clearly applicable to this network, with collaboration and competition equally informing college strategies and policies, and many aspects of coopetition theory applying to the network. However, challenges to future collaboration were identified.
    Journal of Educational Change 02/2014; 15(1).
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    ABSTRACT: This article discusses how teachers construct new representations about accountability and professionalism in the context of increased external control. Over the last decade in particular, concerns about the quality of schooling and the quality of teachers has been raised by both politicians and the public alike, while prominent policy responses have seen an increased emphasis on student performance and the external control of professional work. Based on a 1 year long fieldwork in a Norwegian municipality, the findings imply how forms of external accountability are accepted by many teachers as a necessary and desirable development, but also one that is resisted as the policies are seen to downplay the broader aims of education. In this tension of external and internal accountability, however, alternative discourses have developed. In particular, an emphasis on scientific knowledge and research-informed practice becomes an important representation for enhancing professional legitimacy and trust. By opening up the concept of accountability, it is possible to investigate how teachers’ representations of being accountable may take new forms when teacher professionalism is reconstructed in policy.
    Journal of Educational Change 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper uses theory from sociology of education to explore associations between mentors’ and senior colleagues’ perceptions of schoolwide collective responsibility and the frequency of their interactions with novice teachers. Survey data was collected from novice teachers, their mentors, and their school-based colleagues in 6 Michigan districts and 5 Indiana districts in 2007–2008. The findings suggest that mentors’ perceptions of collective responsibility for learning are strongly associated with their interactions with mentees, and that senior colleagues’ perceptions of schoolwide collective responsibility are also critical to their interactions with novice teachers. This study has implications for principals’ efforts to facilitate interactions between beginning teachers and their mentors and colleagues about core instructional issues.
    Journal of Educational Change 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Of late, teachers unions have worked together with district management in new and notable ways. This paper examines the role of teachers unions in shaping the Together Initiative (TI), which seeks to increase autonomy and broaden decision making in urban schools in one northeastern state. In general, state-level union leaders have taken more consistently reform-oriented stances than those adopted by their district-level counterparts. We found that district-level union leaders supported TI’s growth and were willing to work with district leaders to reform schools in districts where labor-management relations had been collaborative in recent years and in schools where union leaders trusted the principal. Where labor-management relations were less positive and the union viewed principals as more arbitrary, union leaders practiced more industrial-style leadership.
    Journal of Educational Change 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: This mixed-method case study explored teacher union members’ beliefs about the teacher union and their reasons for being active or inactive in the union. Findings suggest that teacher unions have gained pragmatic and cognitive legitimacy (Chaison and Bigelow in Unions and legitimacy. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 2002), but that participants’ perceptions of the union’s moral legitimacy (Chaison and Bigelow in Unions and legitimacy. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 2002) influenced their beliefs about the union. Specifically, participants’ beliefs about the union’s role in job protection, especially the protection of ineffective teachers, and social-professional supports (or lack of) strongly influenced their decisions to be active or inactive in the teacher union. These findings have implications for how effectively teacher unions are able to engage current members and sustain member engagement in the future.
    Journal of Educational Change 11/2013;