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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Implementation of classroom change and the management of ambiguity Fafard, Denis V. J.


Uncertainty characterizes teachers' work as they implement classroom change. They manage this uncertainty or ambiguity by modifying their appreciative systems (i.e., values and beliefs about teaching) and the innovation itself. This argument is made on the basis of selected literature related to the implementation of classroom change and is illustrated through three interviews with each of two teachers during their implementation of cooperative learning over the course of a school year. The discussion of the literature clarifies a view of implementation around three central concepts - appreciative system, uncertainties, and the management of ambiguity. Interview transcripts were analyzed in terms of these concepts. It was found that the teachers managed their ambiguities by improvising short-term solutions to immediate implementation problems which were linked to uncertainties endemic to teaching. In doing so, they had to modify their use and understanding of cooperative learning. Implications for implementation support and further research are discussed.

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