Change theory and the implementation of the 10-year Education Plan: impacts on educators in the New Brunswick school system

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University of New Brunswick


This study examined the implementation of the New Brunswick 10-Year Education Plan through a change theory lens to identify its related impacts on a number of educators across the system. Participants included classroom teachers, school principals, district staff, a Superintendent of Schools, and Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD) personnel. A case study approach was used to focus specifically on Grade 2 teachers and their implementation of literacy practices intended to improve learning outcomes for students. Methods of data collection included individual participant interviews, observations, and analysis of various documents related to EECD literacy expectations for Grade 2 teachers. Documents included surveys administered to educators related to the literacy expectations. Five themes emerged from the data: system instability, varied perspectives on change process, the importance of leadership support, definitions of literacy success, and the impact of social capital as significant factors in implementing a systemic change effort. New offerings to the change literature include identifying the most helpful supports when implementing change for individuals who hold different roles within a system, and how social capital and relationships among individuals during a large-scale change may impact the change effort’s overall outcome. Keywords: change theory, change implementation, school reform, case study, social capital, improvement planning, leadership, teachers, literacy.